The Bobo “48 hours of citizenship” event ends on a high!

November 14, 2018

On 20 and 21 October 2018, the city of Bobo-Dioulasso came alive with the "48 hours of citizenship" event, organised by CFI and UNALFA (Union Nationale de l'Audiovisuel Libre du Faso; National Union of Free Audiovisual Media of Burkina Faso) in partnership with the municipal council.

The weekend's highlight event: the regional final of the public speaking competition, Harmonies citoyennes (Citizen Harmonies), ended with three winners being chosen from the six finalists.

Over two days, a range of different activities for young people were held in Tiefo Amoro square: practical workshops on slam poetry, design, drama, personal development, and first aid. Around fifteen stands provided for civil society organisations (Laboratoire citoyenneté, Yen a Marre, Maison de l'Entreprenariat, etc.) and council departments (justice, fire, police, etc.) offered citizens information on a number of local platforms and initiatives.

At the end of the first day, local mayor Bourahima Sanou took part in a public broadcast on accountability, transmitted live on Bobo-Dioualasso partner radio stations (Savane FM, Radio LPC and Oméga FM) and on Facebook Live on the FasoMédias FM page. The mayor stated his desire to see this type of citizens' meeting be repeated.

The weekend ended with the regional final of the public speaking competition, which featured six finalists in total, selected from among 50 local young people coached over a number of weeks. They presented their arguments in defence of the contribution made by young people to development of Bobo-Dioulasso, before debating in pairs. The female candidates shone in this debate and were victorious in the three rounds of competition, winning, in addition to a computer and a scholarship, their ticket to the national final, to be held in Ouagadougou in February 2019.

After the competition, the candidates were congratulated on the fine example they were setting for Burkinan young people and on their sense of fair play by the performers who had come to bring the weekend to a close with music. The performer Sana Bob began his first song, 'Mon Pays', while holding hands with the competition winners.

After more than 20 months of training (for CSOs, elected officials, media organisations and young people) and coaching in public speaking and debate, the Citizen Harmonies project came to an end in Bobo-Dioulasso. To mark the event, a large 'Citizen Harmonies' mural was painted on the walls of the Jardin de l'Amitié (Friendship Garden) in Bobo.

Another Citizen Harmonies regional final is set to take place in Fada N'Gourma in November, before the national grand final in Ouagadougou in February 2019.