First Person: An on-air antidote to misinformation in the Central African Republic

First Person: An on-air antidote to misinformation in the Central African Republic

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

The citizens of the Central African Republic (CAR) have endured decades of war and conflict. Merveille Yayoro, a young reporter at Guira-FM, the radio station run by the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (MINUSCA), says that she wants her work to provide an antidote to hate speech and misinformation, and help bring about a lasting peace.

NEW YORK, USA, June 14, 2021,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-

Fighting misinformation

“When people call in to the radio station they might be telling the truth, but they could also be spreading hate speech, and people often ask me to tell them if some piece of information they have heard is true or false. 

This is why reporters need to travel throughout the country, so that we can see with our own eyes what is really happening on the ground, and how communities are struggling to survive on a daily basis. 

Many people in the capital have no idea of what is going on in the interior of the country. They can eat and drink what they want, and walk around in peace and security, but when you travel inland, you can see that there is a crisis. People are not free to express themselves, or to go about their business freely. 

I joined MINUSCA with the aim of doing my bit to bring peace to my country, and I think that my work with Guira-FM is having a positive impact, but sometimes it can be frustrating. People will come up to me and say, ‘we need you to help us, we need you to be able to support us, but you can’t solve our problems.’ All I can tell them is that help will come later, and it breaks my heart that I can’t do more. So, it’s important to share the stories of the people we have met and spoken to on Guira-FM.UN Photo/Catianne TijerinaProtecting civilians is a key role of the UN peacekeeping mission in CAR.

Transforming women’s lives

When I was assigned to Kaga-Bandoro, which is around 300km from Bangui, I was the only woman from Guira-FM working in the field. Sometimes being young and female, with a family far away in the capital, can be an advantage. People want to help and, because I’m young, other young people find it easier to talk to me, and tell me things that older people wouldn’t.

But women in places like Kaga-Bandoro face many challenges. Many of them want to learn professions, but in some areas only boys are allowed to study, and in others there are no schools.

So, we started to use the local time slots made available by the national radio 
 station to make programmes that focus on women, and we seem to have made an impact. If you go to Kaga-Bandoro today, you will see that women are really starting to contribute a lot more. Not just in trades like sewing or hairdressing, but even on construction sites, you can see that women are working among men, who no longer think the industry is only for them.MINUSCAGuira FM reporter Merveille Noella Mada-Yayoro holds a toddler at Birao IDP camp.

‘One day, peace must return’

Central Africans need to see that we are all from one nation, and that we must work together to rebuild this country.

When I think of peace, I think of what I saw at a camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Birao, which is more than 1,000 km from the capital, near the border with Sudan.  

I was trying to interview someone when an 18-month-old child came up to me, completely naked. The child just wanted was to be with me, so I took her into my arms, and carried on with the interview.

I thought to myself, if there was peace, this child would not be at an IDP camp,  she would be with her family in their home, living in peace, maybe in Bangui. There are some many children like that in IDP sites, who want to return home, but can’t because of the lack of security. One day, peace must return, so that these children can find their place.”

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of UN News.

You might also enjoy

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

Conférence de Presse en Ligne

Les frontières terrestres ne doivent pas constituer des obstacles à la dissémination de votre message. Grâce à notre service de conférence de presse en ligne, nous vous offrons l’opportunité de vous rapprocher des médias africains, chaque fois que vous en aurez besoin.

Nos services comprennent:

Digital Communications

Today, social networks constitute an organization’s first point of contact with a user and a potential customer. At first glance, you need to convince of the relevance and quality of your content to stimulate and motivate the user to go further. We create consistently inspiring online strategy to meet business objectives, engage stakeholders and enhance our client brand’s reputation internally and externally.


Communication​ digitale

Les réseaux sociaux représentent aujourd’hui le premier point de contact d’une organisation avec un utilisateur et un client potentiel. Au premier coup d’œil, vous devez le convaincre de la pertinence et de la qualité de votre contenu pour l’inciter à aller plus loin. Nous créons pour vous une stratégie de communication précise et adaptée sur les réseaux sociaux pour atteindre les objectifs commerciaux, impliquer les parties prenantes et améliorer la réputation de votre marque en interne et en externe.

Promotion​ d’événements

Le succès d’un événement réside en moitié dans sa promotion. Peu importe la beauté de l’événement, la qualité des orateurs et de l’ordre du jour, si personne ne rapporte ou ne parle de votre événement, vos efforts seront vains. Nous vous aidons à façonner votre récit et à créer un engouement autour de votre événement. De l’annonce de l’événement à la tenue de celui-ci, nous accompagnons votre effort de planification et le reflétons sur toutes les plateformes médiatiques.​

Formation​ Médiatique

Nous fournissons à vos porte-paroles les outils nécessaires pour présenter vos principaux messages et répondre avec confiance et cohérence aux questions. Notre formation est organisée soit à distance ou en présentiel, avec des études de cas réels et des répétitions. Nos clients repartent avec le sentiment d’être à l’aise devant les journalistes et d’agir en tant qu’ambassadeurs de la marque.

Veille​ Médiatique

Nous mesurons votre portée en relations publiques et rendons compte des informations de votre industrie et des activités de vos  concurrents en surveillant la majorité des canaux de diffusion dans toute l’Afrique. Une veille médiatique complète et opportune est essentielle pour s’assurer que vous ne manquez aucune référence à votre marque, que vous êtes constamment informé de ce qui se passe dans votre industrie et que vous êtes prêt à saisir les opportunités et à réduire les risques en temps opportun.

Relations​ Média

Peu importe le lieu où ils se trouvent, nous sommes une source d‘informations fiables pour les journalistes qui écrivent sur l’Afrique. Nous nous connaissons mutuellement et ils nous font confiance, car nous leur fournissons un contenu crédible qui les aide dans leurs tâches. Nous nous entretenons quotidiennement avec des journalistes aux quatre coins du continent, ce qui fait de nous l’un des organismes les plus efficaces pour mener des campagnes de relations avec les médias.

Stratégie et développement de contenu

Nous créons des stratégies de communication intelligentes, bien documentées et spécialisées destinées à vous aider à construire un récit fort qui engagera votre audience. Nous travaillons en synergie avec vous afin de rédiger des communiqués de presse et des articles d’opinions qui alimentent le récit de votre entreprise. Notre équipe a une expérience approfondie dans la création de récits et le développement de contenu multimédia.


C’est le service phare d’AMA. Nous avons mis en place des canaux de diffusion des communiqués de presse auprès des journalistes des 54 États africains ainsi qu’auprès des journalistes américains et européens couvrant les sujets relatifs aux marchés émergents.​

​Nos services comprennent:​

Event Promotion

Half of the success of an event lays in its promotion. Doesn’t matter how beautiful the event is, how wonderful the speakers and the agenda are, if no one reports or talks about your event, your efforts are gone. We help you shape the narrative and create a drumbeat around your event. From the announce all the way to the outcome of the event, we accompany your planning effort and echo it through all media platforms

Media Training

We provide your spokespeople with the tools to present your key messages and answer questions with confidence and coherence. Our training is organised either remotely or face-to- face, with real case studies and rehearsals. Our clients leave feeling comfortable being in front of reporters and acting as brand ambassadors.

Media Monitoring

We measure and report on
your PR reach, industry news, and competitive activity by monitoring most channels in North, West, Central, East and Southern Africa. Comprehensive and timely media monitoring is critical to ensuring that you don’t miss any reporting of your brand,
you’re constantly informed on what’s going on around your business, and you’re ready to capitalise on opportunities and mitigate
risks in a timely fashion..

Media Relations

We have become an authoritative source of news for reporters writing about Africa, wherever they are. We know them, they know us, and they trust us for providing them with timely and accurate content that helps them do their job. We speak to reporters on a daily basis in all corners of the continent and this makes us one of the most effective agencies in running media relations campaigns.

Strategy & Content Development

We create smart and localised communications strategies to help build a strong narrative that will engage your audiences. We partner with you to create press releases and thought leadership pieces that sustain a drumbeat for your company’s narrative. Our team have deep experience in shaping narratives and developing media content.


This is AMA’s flagship service. We have set up channels of distribution towards the journalists of the 54 African states, as well as to American journalists and European journalists covering emerging markets issues.
Our service includes:

Editorial advice

Localised editorial piece when needed

Distribution to the major print, broadcast and online publications along with industry-specific publications

Follow-up calls to secure interview request

Guaranteed distribution to

Distribution to Bloomberg, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters

Social Media Reach: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Full online monitoring and print monitoring when available. Includesreadership stats and Advertising Value Equivalent

Translation in French, Arabic and Portuguese available