A young man with a radio talks on his mobile phone.
Photo: Niclas Roxenhed
Radio programme engages youngsters in anti-corruption
Susana Carillo, manager of the project at the World Bank, says:
– The most important result was the open dialogue, which was between the marginalized youths in the provinces and representatives of the government.
Youngsters who called the discussion programme on Radio Publique Africaine (in French) talked about difficult times in Burundi, including bribes, misgovernment, corrupt legal practices and dejection. And this was the frustration that the World Bank and Sida’s co-operational organization, International Alert, in conjunction with the Burundian government, wanted to capture.
It is hard to have political discussions in a country that has recently had a long civil war. Many fear that political discussions will raise old conflicts to the surface again.
New radio project planned
At the same time, it is difficult to build up a country without having a discussion with its youth. And it is hard to reach youngsters in rural areas. The intention was for the programme, which was broadcast one hour per week for 15 weeks, to reach far into the rural areas, and that youngsters could interact via mobile.
– Radio is powerful, but it has to be interactive, with a call-in function, to give the youngsters the feeling that you’re listening to them, Carillo says.
The radio project was part of two large research projects, which were about youths’ situation in Burundi, as well as corruption. The purpose was to spread the results of the surveys. The project was run in co-operation with the government and to prove that the government was taking the project very seriously, Martin Nvyabandi, the minister for Good Governance, went to the radio station to answer questions from listeners.
The programmes included research presentations, debates between studio guests, and, to which most of the time was dedicated, conversations with listeners who called in.
This radio project ran during late 2008. But because the format was so successful, the World Bank is planning a new radio project for late 2009 to quell any conflicts that could arise around the 2010 election.
– There have already been a couple of violent outbursts around campaigns because of the election. Our intention is to reduce these conflicts, Carillo says.
The radio programme encouraged young Burundians to call in and discuss the political situation in the country. Listen to the World Bank’s podcast feature on the programme and an interview with Susanna Carillo, manager of the project at the World Bank.