In Côte d'Ivoire, DW Akademie and partner organizations are supporting discussions and promoting the responsible use of media among consumers.
Côte d'Ivoire has been a DW Akademie sub-Saharan focus country since early 2019. The social crisis in the West African country officially ended in 2011 but has still not been fully addressed. Tensions further increased leading up to the presidential elections in October 2020. The media sector continues to be polarized and politicized, making independent reporting difficult.
The Ivorian population lacks opportunities to freely express opinions and obtain adequate information. As in many African countries, youth here make up the largest segment of the population. However, this is not reflected in the media content or programming, and few formats exist that take young people's interests into account. DW Akademie and local partners aim to change this.
In spring 2019, DW Akademie began training young promoters of Media and Information Literacy (MIL). In the first workshop they discussed and responded to questions such as "How do I check media sources?" "What exactly is disinformation?" and "What are clickbaits and social bots?"
Another focus is sensitizing young participants in how to deal with online hate speech and various forms of radicalization. Together with the Centre d'Education pour une Société Durable (Education Center for a Sustainable Society), DW Akademie is successfully implementing the activities either in on-site workshops or, during the COVID-19 pandemic, online. As the project continues, trainees will share their newly acquired skills with young Ivorians throughout the country to promote critical media consumption.
DW Akademie is also promoting MIL in neighboring Burkina Faso and Ghana. The aim is for stakeholders from all three countries to network and create synergies as part of DW Akademie's Idea Labs, a structured creative brainstorming process.
DW Akademie is active in various regions, bringing together citizens with media representatives and public officials. For this, a network of female Ivorian journalists and communication experts – Réseau des femmes journalists et des professionelles da la communication de Côte d'Ivoire (RéFJPCI) – is developing public discussion formats, focusing on an inter-generational exchange and the promotion of women.
In the Facebook group "Côte d'Ivoire: Et si on en parlait?", more than 80 DW Akademie alumni exchange views on social as well as political topics. In regular video conferences and discussion rounds with experts, the alumni discuss topics that move young Ivorians.
The journalism school Studio Mozaik also focuses on young people. Under the motto "Esprit Jeunes, Esprit de Paix" (Youth Spirit, Spirit of Peace) and with DW Akademie support, Studio Mosaik works with youth organizations, civil society organizations and radio stations to produce and distribute media content made by and for young people. An editorial team of alumni members produces radio reports in the regions that focus on youth-related topics, while "Espaces de Dialogue", an event series, encourages young Ivorians to speak out and discuss their views.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), European Union (EU)
Program Director: Thomas Mösch
Locations: Côte d'Ivoire
Local partners: Studio Mozaik, Centre d'Education pour une Société Durable (Centre ESD),
Focus: Media and Information Literacy (MIL), social dialogue, mulitmedia journalism training