After the city of Shanghai in the People’s Republic of China in 2017, the political capital Yamoussoukro hosted the celebration of the 7th edition of World Radio Day. It was organized on February 13, 2018 by the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation for Peace Research (FHB Foundation) in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International World Radio Day and the African Broadcasting Union (UAR). The theme chosen this year is “Radio and Sports”. This celebration was under the patronage of HE Amadou GON COULIBALY, Prime Minister who was represented by Mr. Issa Koné, in charge of studies at the Primature.
During his opening address, Pr Jean-Noël LOUCOU, General Secretary of the FHB Foundation, was delighted by the choice of his institution to host this celebration. Then he noted the interest of the theme for African countries. “Africa is a land of encounters and competitions and it is also the privileged domain of radio,” he said. However, he said that sport and radio as the language of Aesop can be the best or the worst thing. He insisted that the best; it is the reconciliation of peoples and the fraternization of sportsmen and the worst is to use radio as a medium of hate, discord and crime.
Following him, Mr. Yao YDO, Director of the UNESCO Multisectoral Office in Abuja, Nigeria, for his part recalled the important role of radio in transmitting the excitement of sports events. He highlighted the low rate of content devoted to women’s sport (4%) and sports information presented by women (12%). To this end, he invited the audience to mobilize to make radio an ever more independent and pluralistic medium.
Mazzone GIACOMO, Head of External Relations of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), represented the International Committee of World Radio Day at this ceremony. He took the floor to show the importance of radio and the interest of its celebration in Africa. Indeed, he recommends the use of this media as a vector of peace through sport which is a very great tool of mediation.
As for the Director General of the African Broadcasting Union, Mr. Grégoire NDJAKA, he drew up the picture of the sports rights of retransmissions in Africa. Anything that he thinks is not always good. He urged everyone to unite to breathe new life into this area.
André APETEY, representing the Minister of Communication, Digital Economy and Post, urged development partners and national and international actors to make radio an instrument for bringing people together, peace and development.
To close the series of speeches, Mr. KONÉ said that we should encourage all kinds of initiatives to ensure the sustainability of the radio, so that it always participates in the education and information of the people.
After the opening ceremony, the work marking this celebration was divided into two sessions and a round table. The first session allowed Ivorian media representatives to present the audiovisual landscape of their country. The second was animated by the heads of international organizations in the media sector. The round table focused on the theme of the seventh edition, namely “Sports and Radio”.
This day of sharing experiences ended with a gala dinner offered by the FHB Foundation to all participants with performances by Ivorian artists.