Agence Future Travel log 3.9: Africa - Ouhayigouya and Ouagadougou
We rode from Kani Kombole to Ouahigouya in Burkina Faso in two days. On the Malinese side of the border it was a tough ride over bad dust tracks. We did not stop to interview but took a forced break in the shade of a grass top roof accompanied by at least 80 villagers.
Just across the border a man told us of the rising millet prices that Yann and the media too had discussed. The man drew a picture of hunger in one in three families in the village that evening and talked of the the mistake of local youngsters wanting to copy Europe.
In Ouhigouya we stayed in a hotel where we saw the May-day violence in European cities on the television news. There was no reaction from the other spectators, no comment whatsoever.
In Ouagadougou we met up with Joep and Lieve again and I visited the ministry of information. It was a surreal experience, sitting there waiting in a small office with a boss and two other people watching a very bad French comedy on television. I had to wait until the end of the film before I could talk with the man who was going to tell me about the future of the media in Burkina Faso.
All he did when the film was over was to listen to my question intently, then repeating it to a young man he called in with the request to get me the lists of 'representation and accomplishment'. Despite further inquiries on my part, all I left with was a list of Burkinabese newspapers, radiostations and periodicals, their ownership structure and some statistical details about numbers of issues etc. The newspaper journalist I spoke with in the same town told of state inefficiency as well as greater issues of censorship, openness and democracy.
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