Using Radio and Social Media to Reach Youth and Women about COVID-19 in Côte d'Ivoire

Prisca Koffi aka “Civilia” is a young woman journalist in Côte d’Ivoire who, up until recently, traveled the country meeting with young people, especially women to report on their concerns and issues. She would investigate, then question civil society and local authorities and report her findings on a radio show and social media accounts, including Facebook and WhatsApp.

Her voice is needed in Côte d’Ivoire, where according to Internews Project Director Etienne Rougerie, “If you are a young woman, you can listen to TV and radio all day long without hearing anything about your life, your problems or real concerns.”

But now, Civilia is working from her home on her iPhone.

“We have changed our focus, in particular to discuss the consequences of COVID-19 on daily life such as high food prices and the closure of markets and loss of jobs,” she said.

Working with a network of correspondents, Civilia posts interviews with health professionals and with ordinary people dealing with high food prices and unemployment. She demonstrates and promotes prevention activities such as hand washing. The messages are translated into local languages to reach rural areas and especially women who have less access to education.

Watch a short video report from Civilia on her COVID-19 activities:

An additional 99 community radio stations have started broadcasting Civilia’s chronicles since the COVID-19 outbreak.

In Côte d’Ivoire, Internews is also working with a network of local community service organizations. One partner NGO drives a pickup truck with a sound system through an outdoor market broadcasting messages to raise awareness of the epidemic.

The pandemic crisis is also an information crisis, and journalists are the first responders. In an emergency, information saves lives. Please help those on the information front line.