Support for Tunisia's democratic transition was the focus of the German Development Minister's visit to Tunis in early July. Minister Niebel also visited a DW Akademie project there.
German Development Minister Dirk Niebel
"Tunisia deserves our support, especially now," said Minister Dirk Niebel. "We hope the election of the constituent assembly on October 23rd will be successful." In the newsroom of Télévision Tunisienne - a Deutsche Welle partner station - he learned more about the DW Akademie workshop being held there. DW Akademie trainers together with staff from DW-TV's Arabic department and colleagues from Télévision Tunisienne were planning and producing news programs and television reports.
The workshop was financed by the Federal Department for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is part of the German support package for preparing the country - including its media - for Tunisia's first free elections this autumn. During his visit Niebel emphasized that support for the media was essential for the country's democratic development.
DW Akademie has been active in this process since early May, holding two 14-day workshops on election reporting for Tunisian radio and television editors from state-run and private stations. Workshops are now also to take place outside of the capital: initial in-house trainings will be held in Sousse and Gafsa this July.
This is particularly important, says Michael Tecklenburg, DW Akademie's Maghreb coordinator. "We really have to support stations in rural areas as well. It's important that people living in these areas can access objective and impartial information ahead of the elections."
Support for the Tunisian democratic process is to continue over the upcoming months. Niebel also confirmed during his visit to Tunis that his ministry would continue to support DW Akademie's work in the country.