To provide reliable news to young men and women from the Sahel region, and make it possible for them to express their opinions, take part in public debates and contribute to public life in their respective countries, through the media.
8,3 M




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Project timeline

January 2019
December 2022


In recent years, the Sahel region has experienced a series of multifaceted, overlapping and worsening crises. One of the factors behind this fragility is the sense of neglect, injustice and marginalisation felt by part of the Sahel's youth, with the under-30s representing about 65% of the population.

This crisis, which is sweeping across the entire Sahel-Saharan belt, cannotbe resolved without making young people feel more included in social and political circles. In this respect, the media have an important role to play by offering young people forums for expressing their opinions and promoting dialogue between citizens, civil society representatives and the authorities.

Through the media, the MediaSahel project is helping to increase youth inclusion, foster stabilisation and establish democracy in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. A scheme for supporting production has been planned to run during the 48-month-long project. In addition to nationwide initiatives, a regional dimension will make it easier to broadcast news and promote dialogue between those three countries, with the focus being placed on shared problems and solutions, and content being offered in local languages.

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“Conscious as we are that the media are essential to improving understanding of a complex environment and to initiating a more inclusive and more balanced public debate, we are delighted to be teaming up with CFI to work with the young men and women of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to produce reliable and independent news that is both focused on their interests and sensitive to gender.”
Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive of the French Development Agency

Project beneficiaries

Media professionals (radio stations, websites), bloggers, young people, civil society and local authorities representatives in the three countries.

Project manager


1.Strengthening the capabilities of the media

> Encouraging young people to take part in interactive shows and get involved in the production of content;
> Training local trainers in journalism;
> Strengthening the skills of media professionals: the fundamentals of professional journalism, journalism that is sensitive to conflict and gender, interactive shows engaging young people, discussion shows, encouraging representatives of the State and of civil society organisations to take part in discussion shows and raising their awareness;
> Aiding the development of media outlets or new formats created by young people;
> Providing training courses on new interactive formats for the internet;
> Supporting media management teams;
> Raising the awareness of the media, regulatory bodies and civil society organisations on the issues relating to fake news and the verification of facts.

Getting to know the Nigerien youth better... in order to better support them!

March 1, 2019

At the beginning of the year, a Nigerien expert went to the young people's meeting in the Tillabéri region (Niger) in order to understand their expectations regarding the media. He also mapped the local radio stations and carried out a study of the most used languages in each area.

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How can we improve youth inclusion with the help of the media?

April 15, 2019

The three MédiaSahel national coordination committees have been meeting up since the beginning of the project to affirm their commitment to serving the Sahelian youth.

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2.Supporting the production of content created by and for young people

> The production of news and debate programmes aimed at the young, focusing on both national and international issues, in the local languages of the priority areas and in cross-border languages (unifying languages);
> The production of content that is both entertaining and educational, focusing on international issues, in the main languages and in cross-border languages;
> Supporting the local production of interactive content and discussion shows, in French and/or in local languages;
> National competitions on new interactive and discussion formats, with production grants being awarded to three winners over the course of a year.

RFI launches two magazine programmes in Fula and Mandingo

April 6, 2019

Since April 2019, RFI has been broadcasting two new interactive programmes, modelled on the Alors on dit quoi ? [So, what do we say?] magazine, in Fula (Fulani) and Mandingo (Mandinka).

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“So, what do you think?” A new programme for the young people of Africa

June 30, 2019

What do young people in Africa dream of? What are their initiatives in their own countries? These are the questions that the new RFI programme, Alors on dit quoi ? (“So, what do you think?") launched in January 2019, is set on answering.

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Creating a new forum for dialogue between media and youth in Burkina Faso

July 19, 2019

At the end of July 2019, UNALFA, (the Free National Audiovisual Union of Faso - L'Union Nationale de l'Audiovisuel Libre du Faso) is launching several different language versions of a new interactive programme for young people.

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New offerings for young people on the Malian and Nigerien airwaves

July 29, 2019

In early June, Studio Tamani and Studio Kalangou launched new news and programme time slots specifically dedicated to young people.

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the MediaSahel project presented at the “Paris Peace Forum 2019”

November 7, 2019

MediaSahel, supported by CFI – the French media development agency – and funded by the AFD, will be presented during the second edition of the Paris Peace Forum, taking place from 11 to 13 November 2019 at the Grande Halle de la Villette.

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Two days of public broadcasts with RFI in Niamey

November 10, 2019

The Oumarou Ganda Cultural Centre (OGCC) in Niamey (Niger) welcomed RFI teams in October 2019 to record two editions of Appels sur l'actualité [News Calls] and also one of Débat africain [African Debate] with a large audience to listen and participate.

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