1.6 million

video views on the Yaga Facebook page in 2019

Debate and discussion

Offline activities reinforce the impact of the online platform. The monthly Yaga Nawe debates have become a well-established and respected forum for discussion. Each has a specific theme relating to young people’s needs and aspirations and local organisations and decision makers are also invited to attend. The debates have been an effective way of breaking through official censorship of the media and providing a civic space where young people dare to call for accountability.

Change of policy
In November 2017, during a Yaga Nawe debate about entrepreneurship, young participants discussed the high cost of the registration fee to set up a new business and called on the Agence Burundaise de Promotion des Investissements(API) to reduce this fee. Representatives of the API were present during this debate and young entrepreneurs told them that this fee impeded them from starting their business.
After the debate, API thanked Yaga for inviting them to participate. In April 2018, the fee was reduced.

Yaga Burundi

giving voice to the young majority

Since the coup attempt in May 2015, local media have been under pressure, with the closing of several independent media outlets and their replacement by propaganda media outlets. In this environment of media repression, Yaga Burundi has managed to gain a reputation as a trustworthy non-partisan platform empowering young people to discuss their country’s issues peacefully with their peers – both online and off.

Effective voices
Yaga brings together Burundi’s best bloggers and influential change-makers from across the political and social spectrum. Since its launch in 2015, the platform has grown to be an alternative civic space in a challenging media environment. It deals with a wide range of sensitive issues, and politicians and decision makers actively participate in Yaga events and engage in dialogue with young people.
In 2018, Yaga’s most successful campaign #burundisansboost tackled one of Burundi’s most taboo but widely prevalent social issues affecting young people- the use of the drug ‘boost’. The Yaga team first targeted people in power so they would have decision makers as their allies. The campaign focused on raising awareness of the effects of the drug ‘boost’ on young people as well as the society. Since the campaign, the Ministry of Public Security has made the fight against boost a national priority.


social media followers in 2019

The Yaga incubator

Some 150 journalists were forced to flee Burundi when the regime cracked down hard on the country’s independent media in 2015. This left a huge vacumn which Yaga has been working hard to fill. The team actively recruits promising young bloggers and reporters and offers trainings to strengthen their skills both in creating content and in subjects such as how to recognise and respond to prejudice in the media. They are then mentored and coached by the more experienced Yaga editors and encouraged to contribute to the platform.

‘Yaga will continue being the eyes, ears, and the voice of the Burundian people.’
– Jean-Marie Ntahimpera, Yaga blogger.

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