DW Akademie supports media professionals, activists and innovators in placing concerns of disadvantaged groups, especially women and people in rural areas, on the public agenda in Uganda and the East African region.
Uganda has the second youngest population in the world, with more than three-quarters of the population under 30 years old. Most work in the informal sector, with many underemployed or forced to work under poor conditions.
Providing public services such as access to water, education and health services is therefore crucial, especially for nearly 80 percent of the population who live in remote areas and are often affected by poverty and a lack of opportunities. The Ugandan government's National Development Plan (NDP III) aims to improve public service delivery and empower citizens to actively participate in sustainable developments in their communities.
DW Akademie and its partners support these efforts with targeted training and consulting services for media professionals at both the national and local levels, including in the areas of solution-oriented journalism and data journalism. The goal is to improve local reporting on public service delivery and to give a voice to rural populations.
Another focus is promoting via the media a constructive dialogue between citizens and political decision-makers in order to create a platform for raising issues, discussing local problems and supporting positive changes in communities.
Using mobile phones, citizen reporters and local correspondents relay to partner media outlets the voices and stories about public service delivery. These stories are then included in programs such as talk shows and local news.
East African region
In the East African region, women and their concerns are rarely heard in public discourse. This is especially true for rural women who, despite their significant contribution to economic development in the region, have a limited voice regarding sociopolitical and economic decision-making processes. The media offer few formats addressing this as well as overall gender inequality. Women are often portrayed as housewives or sexualized objects. Women and girls are also disproportionately affected by crises and at greater risk of sexual and gender-based violence. For example, studies have shown that violence against women – both online and offline – significantly increased during the coronavirus pandemic.
In response, DW Akademie's regional projects in East Africa focus on gender justice and women's empowerment. The Women@Web project helps female journalists, politicians and other prominent women who communicate online in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda to actively protect themselves from cyberbullying, hate speech and other forms of online violence. A wide range of training and advisory services provide women with targeted training in issues such as digital safety and digital resilience. Through regional and national advocacy campaigns, the Women@Web partner organizations work to ensure that women and girls have equal access to information and can freely express their opinions both online and offline.
The regional project "(Re-)Claiming Spaces" aims to give women in rural areas in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia a voice, and to strengthen their participation in social discourse. As part of the project, DW Akademie is initiating an ideas competition to address the information, communication and participation needs of rural women. Successful candidates will be brought together and receive support in developing innovative and interdisciplinary solutions. The two winning teams will be given the opportunity to pilot their solutions.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Program Director: Miriam Ohlsen
Locations: Uganda: Primarily Fort Portal, Jinja, Kampala, Kotido, Mbale, Soroti, and Wakiso; East Africa: Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia
Etoil a Karamoja FM 92.7 (Uganda) Etop Radio 99.4 (Uganda)Her Empire (Uganda),NBS Kodhe'yo 89 FM (Uganda)Radio Pacis (Uganda)Step FM 99.8 (Uganda)Media Challenge Initiative - MCI (Uganda)The Launchpad (Tanzania)
Focus: Civic participation, access to information, participation of socially disadvantaged groups, (local) participatory media formats and community media, media and information literacy, journalistic professionalism and economic sustainability of the media sector, journalism training, digitization