In 2012-2013, the Central African Republic (CAR) experienced an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, resulting in thousands of deaths and huge numbers of displaced persons. Now, this country of 4.6 million inhabitants, which has been rocked by a series of political-military crises since its independence in 1960, is struggling to attain stability. The Bangui Forum, which concluded on 11 May 2015, was an important step in the country's transition phase. The Forum's conclusions focused on issues such as the timeline for elections and beginning the process of reconciliation between warring parties.
Against this highly unstable political background, the Central African media are barely subsisting and struggling to make an impact (lack of financial and human resources, poor equipment and training). Radio, in particular community radio, is the only real mass medium capable of reaching the Central African public, irrespective of its level of education and literacy.
The Recovery and stabilization in Central African Republic, medias project is run by Expertise France in partnership with CFI, the French media cooperation agency, and ASF, Avocats sans frontières Belgium, with funding from the European Union (Bêkou Trust Fund). The project aims to provide support, in two selected locations, for the redeployment of local authorities, for the strengthening of consultation, justice and local media, and for socio-economic recovery, with an inclusive, participatory approach. The first phase of the project consists in drawing up a profile of four pre-selected locations (Berberati, Bangassou, Bambari and Bria), before selecting the two areas where the project will be implemented.
The media component of the project, managed by CFI and its partner, ARC (the Association of Central African Community Radio Stations), aims to establish better collaboration between radio stations, civil society organisations and local authorities so as to foster social cohesion, to facilitate access by the people to information of public interest and to support efforts to redeploy decentralised services in the two selected locations.
Report on the situation of radio stations and contribution to the drafting of a 'map of the land', a local development planning tool that will help to clearly identify all existing stakeholders (detailed mapping of local stakeholders, their relationships, constraints and needs in the area of access to the media).
A session for consultation between local authorities and local media stakeholders will be held.
From 16 to 18 March 2017, the Catholic Cultural Centre in Berberati hosted the first Recovery and stabilization in Central African Republic, medias Project focus seminar, entitled: Media, government and civil society: roles and relationships in the redeployment of decentralized services and enhancement of social cohesion.
Researching and prioritising information for a given audience, interviewing, reporting and recording, writing and presenting of radio news, ethics and social responsibility in journalism, and strengthening of the skills of managers and chief editors when it comes to the establishment of information processing systems and programme schedules.
Radio station directors and editorial managers participated in two management training sessions in Berberati (Central African Republic) as part of the media component of the Recovery and stabilization in Central African Republic, medias project from 20 to 25 March 217.
A special day for Radio Zoukpana and a first for the inhabitants of Wapo, a village located 8 km from Berberati (Central African Republic), which welcomed all the journalists of this community radio station for a debate "away from base" and in public on the subject of "Wapo, a local example of social cohesion".
Design and hosting of news and awareness programmes on the issues relevant to the project.
Synergistic production and network broadcasting of programmes on topics of common interest to the various ARC radio stations, related to issues relevant to the 3R project and requiring access to sources located in Bangui or elsewhere in the country.
This action will allow the two radio stations selected for the project to extend their broadcasting range to six additional priority urban centres, which are currently isolated and very vulnerable, and to reach a wider audience more effectively.
Support in the areas of management and running the network.
Training in team management, management of charitable organisations and community mobilisation organised for the heads of radio stations and sponsor establishments, and in situ management training sessions.