Launched in 2008, L'Equipe (The Team) is a radio drama and television series broadcast in Cote d'Ivoire that is designed to shift the way that Ivoirians think about their neighbours and themselves. Produced by JNB Productions and Search for Common Ground, the series dramatises cooperative ways of overcoming ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic divisions, reflecting on the desire of all Ivoirians to live together in peace. The series is a local adaptation of a multi-national television drama initiative, The Team, which is designed to use sport as a unifier to transform social attitudes and diminish violent behaviour in countries dealing with deeply rooted conflict in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Communication Strategies: 

The project began as a radio series and was developed for television partly as a means to expand the reach. L'Equipe tells the story of Napoka and Herve, two young footballers from different backgrounds and tribes who play for the same local football club. The show follows Herve, Napoka, their coach, and their families as they learn that their success in life and on the field depends on their ability to overcome their differences and individual struggles for the greater good of all. Each episode focuses on a different set of issues and challenges for the young players, including unemployment, gender-based violence, HIV, child trafficking and child labour, corruption, religious tolerance, rape, prostitution, impunity, and good governance. However, the underlying theme of youth empowerment is always present. Click here to read episode summaries of Series 1 of the L'Equipe Ivory Coast.

The Team uses popular culture to communicate positive messages. By using this "edutainment" medium, The Team is able to promote co-existence and connect with a broad and diverse audience, including governments, on sensitive topics. In addition, the series portrays positive role models and young people taking responsibility for their actions.

The first season of The Team television series was scheduled to be re-broadcast in late summer 2010. The second season of The Team television series started broadcasting in October 2010. Besides broadcasting over television and radio, about 3,000 copies of the series have been distributed, primarily to youth, in 12 cities through associations and community groups. In rural areas where TV is not accessible, mobile cinema screenings are set up for public showings, followed by moderated discussions. Mobile cinema screenings of the series were held in five cities in Cote d'Ivoire, two of which had been torn apart by the country's civil war. The screenings reached 15,000 viewers.

Development Issues: 

Conflict Resolution, Youth

Key Points: 

According to the organisers, season one of The Team had a weekly viewing audience estimated at 3.4 million people and won first prize for Best African TV Series at the African Film Festival in Verona, Italy. The series is broadcast on RTI, the state broadcaster of Ivory Coast, in Abidjan and is broadcast via Canal France International (CFI) in sub-Saharan Africa.

For more information, contact:
Spes Manirakiza
Country Director
Search for Common Ground - Cote d'Ivoire
Boulevard Latrille X Rue J 106
06 BP 6426
Cote d'Ivoire / Ivory Coast
Tel: +225 22 42 39 66
Fax: +225 22 42 49 44

Deborah Jones
Executive Producer, Common Ground Productions
Search for Common Ground (SFCG)
1601 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 200
Washington DC
United States
Tel: 202 265 4300
Fax: 202 232 6718

Partner Text: 

JNB Productions and Common Ground Productions/Search for Common Ground.

See video

Search for Common Ground website and YouTube on May 12 2010; and email from Deborah Jones to Soul Beat Africa on August 20 2010.