Young eastern European journalism students working together with experienced African journalists: as part of DW-AKADEMIE’s project East4South, they’ll be reporting on development topics from the African continent.
Getting a deeper understanding of development cooperation between the European Union and Africa, and sensitizing people in their own countries to this topic – those are the goals for the young, eastern European participants of East4South. They’re from the 12 new European Union member countries, also known as the EU-12: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Malta, Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
“Development cooperation as we know it is still quite a new area of politics for the EU-12 countries,” says Patrick Leusch, head of project development at DW-AKADEMIE. “But if you can explain complex projects to the public in a clear and understandable way you can increase their awareness of why development cooperation is important for everyone involved.” Patrick Leusch and his team won the contract from the European Union. The project runs until early 2012 in three parts, each with 20 participants.
The young, eastern European journalists will have the unique opportunity to work with African colleagues on location in Africa. The African journalists come from Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Nigeria, Liberia, Cameroon, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Together they’ll research and work on development-related topics such as poverty reduction and climate change for TV, radio, print and online reports.
They will also be able to establish a network of experts on development cooperation with Africa. “It’s important here in Europe that we realize that development cooperation is not just a luxury we can only afford when the economy’s booming,” says Leusch. “There are social, economic and ecological links between developing countries and Europe. In climate and energy questions, for example, we see that we cannot do without each other.”
With DW-AKADEMIE’s project East4South, young eastern Europeans can get to know the hardships and opportunities inside the African continent – without stereotypes, and with experienced African journalists who know the strengths and weaknesses of their own countries. And the complex issue of development cooperation can be reported and explained more clearly to people in the home countries of the eastern European participants.