Involving MediaSahel stakeholders in the development of the project's phase 2
CFI is working on a follow-up to MediaSahel. At the end of June, all of the project partners joined in the discussions during a series of interactive workshops.
Over three days, around forty media professionals, young people and civil society organisations in Niger and some thirty in Burkina Faso took part in a workshop to discuss the actions carried out and the experiences of the beneficiaries of the Médiasahel and MediaSahel for Women projects. The aim was to involve all of the stakeholders in the process of creating MediaSahel II in order to take account of their needs, priorities and interests.
Good practices that could be replicated were identified during these discussions. These included in particular training on conflict prevention and resolution, the use of social networks, fact checking, production support and the involvement of young people in the media.
These workshops were a very important step and were key to measuring the impact of the project with a view to developing its second phase. According to Salif Sankara from the Wend Panga radio station, the programmes produced as part of the project warded off conflict in his local area. Others spoke of changes in the management style of their superiors.
Radio host Rasmata Ouédraogo describes MediaSahel as "a ray of hope".
"The project was launched at a time when some community radio stations were struggling to get by due to the security crisis. Everything had to be relocated and radio stations were struggling to find local guests for their interactive programmes. Thanks to the training, we have built up our resilience. We learnt how to integrate other communication channels into our programmes, in particular social media, to ensure guest participation," she continues.
Delighted by the announcement of a probable phase II for the project, Rasmata hopes that she will continue to benefit.
However, those involved in the work recognise that, in spite of the results achieved by MediaSahel, there are still challenges that need to be overcome. While some are disappointed that the project cannot be extended to cover the entire country, others voice their dissatisfaction with radio stations' lack of knowledge of youth representatives in their area. Conversely, the young people involved in the work said that they were glad that they were included in these discussions as it shows that their voices are being heard during the implementation of the project.
Rachida Bizo, a youth representative from Niamey, describes the interactive workshop as a pleasant setting for sharing experiences and catching up with one another. This encouraged fruitful discussions between stakeholders, which led to relevant proposals for improvement.
Following on from the discussion workshops, the participants drew up recommendations, including greater involvement of all stakeholders: civil society organisations (CSOs), internally displaced people (IDPs) and youth representatives. They also suggested the creation of a space in which they could hold discussions with young people from other countries and the establishment of helplines for young people that would promote the media broadcasts.
The friendly atmosphere was conducive to constructive discussions. As a reminder, MediaSahel is a project that was launched in 2019 in Burkina Faso and Niger to increase youth involvement in the media. Since its inception, the project has implemented numerous activities in support of local media and young people, such as capacity building and production support activities.