In the Central African Republic, the hot-topic debate concerns social cohesion

March 23, 2017

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.

Organised by CFI and its partner ARC (Central African Republic Community Radio Station Association), this workshop brought together Recovery and stabilization in Central African Republic Project, medias stakeholders for the Berberati prefecture, plus two senior members of the Voix de Barangbaké radio station in Bria.

Over the three days, decentralised state services, local authorities, civil-society organisations and the media were invited to reflect on how to improve collaborative efforts promoting social cohesion, providing greater citizen access to public-interest information, and supporting efforts concerning redeployment of state services and early recovery.

Contributions, discussion and group workshops

Local stakeholders had the opportunity to use such forums to express their opinion regarding the status quo and their expectations for the future:
- personal experience of the past crisis for local people in Berberati;
- the opportunities for action open to the various local stakeholders, civil-society organisations, the media and the authorities working together in the current period of reconstruction;
- ways in which civil society and the media can encourage efforts at redeployment of state services;
- the consolidation of social cohesion based on working together with the authorities.

This seminar also enabled the two senior figures from the radio stations, Zoukpana in Berberati and La Voix de Barangbaké in Bria, and also the majority of local stakeholders to become involved. It set out the bases for collaboration that will be necessary if actions are to be implemented.
An identical approach is shortly to be adopted in Bria.

Closing the seminar, the Manbéré-Kadei Prefect, Lydie Marthe Yangba - on reading the undertakings made by participants in their desire to work together for greater social cohesion in the area – offered the following support:

"The entire state apparatus will support you because you have now flagged up the President's priority, namely enhancing social cohesion in the Central African Republic".

This project is part of the media section of the Recovery and stabilization in Central African Republic pilot Project, medias financed by the European Union's Bêkou Trust Fund, run by Expertise France in partnership with Avocats sans frontières Belgique (ASF) and CFI.
In the two territories of Bria and Berberati, it aims to support local authority redeployment, the strengthening of cooperative action, justice and the local media and also socio-economic revival as part of a broad, participatory approach.