100 young Burkinans trained in citizen public speaking

100 young Burkinans trained in citizen public speaking

November 23, 2018

In June 2018, as part of the FasoMédias 2 project, CFI and UNALFA (Union Nationale de l'Audiovisuel Libre du Faso; National Union of Free Audiovisual Media of Burkina Faso) organised two training courses in citizen public speaking and speechmaking for young people in Bobo-Dioualasso and Fada N'Gourma.

These training courses were designed to prepare the young people for the citizen public speaking competition organised as part of the “Harmonies Citoyennes" (Citizen Harmonies) scheme associated with the project. In total, 100 young people from the two cities, aged 16 to 30, were selected from over 200 applicants. The aim was to enable them to better defend their ideas orally, allowing them to get more involved in public debate and the development of their local area.

Contributors (researchers, teachers, journalists and performers) had the task of teaching participants the theory and practice of public speaking, speechmaking and the debating of ideas. These modules were supplemented by workshops on slam poetry, diction and theatrical improvisation. The participants also attended talks on citizen involvement in monitoring public policy, the running of a council budget, the foundations of the rule of law and the separation of powers, or on the challenges of disinformation.

For most of the participants, these few days have really changed them, and helped them to overcome their fears and put the training they received into practice.

It was the first time that I had made a speech by myself", admits Nématou, a biological engineering student. “My feet were trembling; my voice was shaking. But in the end, I wasn't the only one. The other participants and the training staff gave me confidence. I went for it. And I don't regret it.".
Ismael, a secondary school student, shares this sentiment: “Before, I was shy. I didn't even dare speak up at home. I wasn't brave enough to put my name down to be the representative for my class because of my shyness. Afterwards, I regretted it because those who were elected didn't do anything. Me, I had more ideas! But since the training course, I am confident enough to speak up at home. My father says that I have become too talkative!"

These two training courses also helped to highlight certain things that young people in Bobo-Dioualasso and Fada N'Gourma would like, such as greater inclusion in public life through local initiatives or better information on existing schemes designed for young people.

The rounds of the citizen public speaking competition will entail a prepared speech, an improvisation, and a debate of ideas. To take account of the range of candidate profiles, the candidates will be split into three categories: secondary school students, young people speaking in national languages, and university students.

The first part of the competition will be organised and broadcast on the radio, with 6 programmes which will decide between the 50 candidates from each city. The programmes will be broadcast on the project's partner radio stations: Savane FM, LPC, Oméga Fm, Radio Municipale de Bobo, Radio RED, Radio Tin tua, Radio Taanba and Fada FM.
Two candidates per category will be selected for the regional finals of the competition, to be held in Bobo-Dioualasso in October 2018 and in Fada N'Gourma in November 2018.