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Recovering Côte d’Ivoire

2011 April 18
by sfcg

Newspapers return to Abidjan (from

In Côte d’Ivoire, the road to normalcy is a long one but there are signs of hope as calm gradually returns.

Popular Ivorian musicians, Magic System and Tiken Jah have released a new song called “Ca Va Aller” (It Will Be Alright), calling for Ivorians to unite for the sake of the country. The recent violence following the contested elections last fall has displaced thousands and destroyed lives, property and trust. This song expresses the hope that things will get better and that by coming together, Ivorians can make it so.

Newspapers that suspended their publication for security reasons are now back on the city streets. The GEPCI (group of Ivorian newspaper editors) have called for the resumption of publications and for the government to protect reporters and news organizations so they can work in peace. International broadcasters such as BBC and Radio France have also returned to Ivorian airwaves.

Early steps are being taken to ensure the independence of media and to revive the journalistic code of ethics. The GEPCI has advised editors and journalists to avoid writing and publishing articles that may incite ethnic tensions and further erode the country’s fragile social cohesion.  In the weeks preceding the height of the violence, media was often used to espouse divisive messages and play on identity politics and xenophobia.

The potential for media to have a positive impact is immense, as distrust abounds on all sides. Greater diversity in messaging and responsible reporting can help to ensure transparency and perhaps a smoother road to reconciliation.

How do you think media (all forms) can help support Côte d’Ivoire’s recovery?

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