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Elections in Burkina Faso: making the voices of young people heard with Studio Yafa

In Burkina Faso, presidential and legislative elections will be held on November 22 in a deteriorating security context. Studio Yafa, the news program created by Fondation Hirondelle in 2019 for young people, is playing its role in civic education and is preparing to provide complete and independent coverage of the elections.

Studio Yafa, with its newsroom of 12 journalists in Ouagadougou, its 10 correspondents across the country and its 29 partner radio stations, will ensure that the voices of young voters are heard and that they are informed about electoral issues. This in a very delicate context where the organization of the election promises to be very complicated in several regions of the country plagued by jihadist violence.

The objective of Studio Yafa during this crucial period for the future of Burkina Faso is to promote interactivity with young people, and to allow them to express their voices, desires, projects and concerns through magazines and debates, and through social networks. It is also about giving them the accurate and reliable information that will enable them to make their decisions with all the keys to understanding the context and the issues at stake.

Throughout the electoral process, Studio Yafa's journalists cover the concerns of young people, and analyze the candidates' programs to identify the aspects that directly concern them (education, employment, competitions, sports, culture). Studio Yafa also relays in its news, magazines and debates the expectations of the youth vis-à-vis the future elected officials (MPs and President).

To carry out this work, Fondation Hirondelle implements the following activities in support of the Studio Yafa team and its media partners in the country :
- Training on media coverage of an election campaign for Studio Yafa journalists and 25 journalists from partner radio stations.
- Production and dissemination of an electoral charter to ensure ethical coverage.
- Special programs broadcast by the 35 partner radios. Thus, 4 debates organized in 4 different localities, in partnership with the National Youth Council of Burkina Faso, and respecting a strict balance between representatives of the majority and the opposition.
- A special "elections" page created in early November on the website, gathering all the articles and content produced by the editorial staff of Studio Yafa on the subject.
- « Dare your ideas » video capsules, broadcast on social networks and giving a voice to young people, opinion leaders and civil society actors.

This program of activities of Studio Yafa for the coverage of the elections is supported by the Swiss and Swedish cooperations.