Young people, key allies in preventing
COVID-19 in Burkina Faso

May 15, 2020

Jeunes Wakat (Youth Time), a radio show produced by UNALFA (Union Nationale de l'Audiovisuel Libre du Faso – National Union of Free Broadcasting of Burkina Faso) as part of the MediaSahel project, will run a series of special programmes focusing on the role of young people in containing the coronavirus.

Like many countries affected by the pandemic, Burkina Faso is learning how to cope with the restrictions brought about by the virus such as closures of public places, cities in quarantine, curfews, social distancing and even a temporary lockdown.

Young people represent the largest demographic in the country and their contribution to containing this pandemic is highly significant. Aware of this reality, the editorial staff of Jeunes Wakat set out to meet young people in Ouagadougou, Bobo-Dioulasso and Dori in order to produce a series of specials in various languages (Mooré, Dioula, Fulfuldé, Gourmantché and French). The “Dougou Kibaria" vox pop section of the show gathered opinions from young Burkinabé on what they can contribute to the fight against COVID-19 and, in particular, the importance of following health measures.

Life is precious, we need to learn how to protect ourselves properly from this disease, explains one of the young people interviewed. The "Siffa" section presented the initiative of a group of young people who have teamed up to provide information to the public. The team at "Journaliste Facebook" on the other hand are committed to using humour to explain the need to be wary of fake news and to raise awareness among the most vulnerable groups.

Copyright : Jeunes Wakat / UNALFA

Programmes broadcast nationwide by 24 partner radio stations

Rachid Assad Zongo is the chief editor of Jeunes Wakat and believes that the objective is to get young people to take centre stage in the response to COVID-19 in Burkina Faso. More youth initiatives designed to help contain this virus have emerged since the first cases were recorded in the country.

Jeunes Wakat is broadcast in French and the main national languages on 24 radio stations of the network of UNALFA, a MediaSahel project partner in Burkina Faso. It typically covers current issues in society related to youth empowerment, community development, entrepreneurship, technology, sexuality and traditional and modern cultures.

In addition to the special programmes in different languages, Jeunes Wakat is also using its various networks to broadcast awareness-raising videos that the cartoonist Damien Glez has created for MédiaSahel.