On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of DW's Hausa service, Deutsche Welle Director General Peter Limbourg said that international media have an important role to play in Africa.
"People in Africa expect us to provide not only new perspectives on global issues, but also the means for education. Journalistic training is also in great demand," said Limbourg. "Deutsche Welle has been a large part of the media landscape in Africa for decades, where we are seen as a reliable source of information," he added, noting that it's here that DW reaches half of its 100 million users. "Africa is a successful market for DW with excellent prospects. As the voice of Germany, Deutsche Welle carries weight here."
Limbourg also pledged to expand DW's presence in Africa. This includes tailoring the English-language radio programs to satisfy the information needs of the target audiences on the continent.
On December 5, 2013, DW Editor-in-Chief Ute Schaeffer, together with Claus Stäcker, head of Programs for Africa, Thomas Mösch, head of the Hausa Service and Klaus Bergmann, director of International Relations, will participate in a media policy discussion in Niamey. The debate will be opened by Prime Minister Brigi Rafini and will focus on the role of international media in development and education. One of the prominent panelists will be Yahouza Sadissou, the minister of communication in Niger, who was until recently a DW journalist in Bonn.
The DW delegation will also meet with representatives of non-governmental organizations as well as partner stations and present Crossroads Generation, a new season of the successfulLearning by Ear radio program for Africa. The new series has a strong focus on social issues faced by young people in daily life. Another point on the agenda is a visit to the IFTIC journalistic training center, where DW Akademie is holding a seminar on "conflict-sensitive journalism."
In Sub-Saharan Africa, Deutsche Welle's English-language TV channel DW broadcasts 24 hours a day. On the radio and online, Deutsche Welle is available in English, French, Hausa, Kiswahili, Amharic and Portuguese.
DW has been broadcasting its Hausa radio programs since 1963. Today, DW Hausa is available nationwide in Niger on FM via local partner stations. "We want to further develop this form of reception as well as expand audio distribution on the Internet," commented Limbourg. "And we're also going to intensify interaction and dialogue with our audiences and users." However, he also stressed that shortwave radio is still an important broadcasting medium in Africa, especially in countries without freedom of the press.