An eye-witness account of the Media and Development Forum in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) which took place from 11-13 September 2008, by Michel O.
The participants in the "Media and Development" forum were very curious about these children running around them, their recording devices in their hands ! Some found us ridiculous ; others, amusing. Some appreciated the fact we were there whilst others took their time in talking to us ! Journalists, in particular, got rough with us when it was a matter of interviewing big personalities such as the president of Burkina Faso or of taking photos ! But after all, you have to fight to get information !
We were at the forum to represent children from Africa, to remind everybody that there must be a place for us in the media. We have something to say about development action, which won ?t please those who think the opposite ! In any case, for a more responsible world tomorrow, those who will be the main actors in it need to take steps early on.
The Ouagadougou Forum will have begun to make people aware of the need to give everybody a voice for more appropriate development. As regards us - children and young people - we hope that politicians and decision makers will take into account all the proposals contained in the joint road map, signed by the Commission for the African Union and the European Commission. We are conscious that as children and young people, we shall benefit from its effective implementation.
We draw attention to a certain number of points, however, which seem important to us : equal access to public debate for everybody, the creation of local broadcasting media and written press, education of the very young in the importance of the media, freedom of the media and those working in it, the responsibility of journalists in the treatment of information.
Look at the Media and Development Forum website !