On 20 and 21 September 2016, all the partners involved in the Faso Media project came together in Ouagadougou to give an initial appraisal of all the initiatives rolled out, as the EU-funded venture nears its end.
In the past 18 months, and against an unprecedented socio-political backdrop following the transition brought about by the presidential, general and municipal elections that have taken place, more than 80 training sessions have been organised at 70 media outlets, benefiting over 200 journalists and managers.
In his speech given at the opening of the seminar, Rémis Fulgence Dandjinou, the Minister for Communications and official government representative, declared that
“ the Faso Media project has brought real impetus to the Burkinian media landscape, and has highlighted the role played by the audiovisual press in covering elections."
He was also quick to stress to UNALFA (Burkina Faso's national union of free audiovisual media outlets), CFI, the media chiefs and the professional associations in attendance how vital it was to carry on with "this exceptional journey", especially by helping to "highlight the concerns of citizens so that local elected officials and governments can best serve the interests of the country".
Indeed, the next phase of the Faso Media project, which will last for another 18 months, will specifically be focusing on the role played by the media and journalists in the citizen-led control of public initiatives.
As a priority, in order to meet the expectations of the partners and beneficiaries of the Faso Media project, training courses on the functioning of institutions, on the issues surrounding accountability and even on decentralisation are scheduled to be held.
Sessions on investigative journalism, data-journalism and the production of debate shoes are also on the agenda.
Martin Kaba, from the radio station Liberté, was awarded 1st prize for his magazine show focusing on homeless children, while Mariama Tambura, from RTB2 in Dori, received 2nd prize for her work on the town's sanitation issues.