DW Akademie in Uganda focuses on enabling young people, through the media, to participate more in civic debates. It also supports Women@Web, a regional project to help East African women better counter cyberbullying.
After Niger, Uganda has the world's youngest population. Almost 80 percent are under the age of 30. The media, however, largely ignore the information needs of children, youth and young adults and rarely give them a voice. This is especially true for rural areas, where more than three quarters of the population live and youth have little access to the media.
DW Akademie's projects in Uganda focus on enabling young people to use the media critically and inform themselves about youth-related topics. They also learn how to voice their concerns on radio programs and social media platforms, and to campaign for their interests. In addition, media professionals and media houses are sensitized to the interests of the young target group.
A Ugandan media NGO and local radio stations are training young people, primarily in rural areas, to become citizen reporters. Equipped with simple cell phones, they provide stations with photos, videos and interviews from their communities. This way, they initiate public discussions on issues and problems relevant to other youth and young adults in their area. Ensuing dialogues with local decision-makers often lead to improvements.
Journalism studies at Ugandan universities are often heavy on theory and light on practice. In response, DW Akademie supports a Ugandan media NGO that provides practice-oriented training for young media workers to prepare them for the demands of the job market. Developing content for young target groups is part of the training.
Media literacy is an essential skill, especially for young people active on social media. It enables them to distinguish reliable online information from fake news as well as cybermobbing and hate speech. DW Akademie supports local organizations in training instructors on media and information literacy so that they can help youth work effectively with media in the digital age.
Women@Web regional project
Digitization is gaining momentum in East Africa and opening up unprecedented opportunities for women to express themselves and take part in social and developmental debates. Online violence against women has dramatically increased and most women in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda who are active on social media have experienced some form of hostility, sexual degradation and cyberbullying. As a result, women often censor themselves or withdraw from social media. Lacking are strategies and functioning legal regulations to protect women on the Internet.
As part of the Women@Web project, trainings for women and girls are conducted in the partner countries, and focus on digital security and media literacy. DW Akademie also supports civil society initiatives that publicly advocate digital equality and increased participation of women in online discussions. This way, East African women can better protect themselves against digital attacks and take action against online violence.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country Coordinator: Mirjam Gehrke
Country Representative Uganda: Miriam Ohlsen
Project Manager Women@Web: Johanna Rieß
Locations: Kampala, Gulu, Jinja, Mbale, Wakiso
Regional partners Women@Web:
Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA, Uganda), Article 19 (Kenya), Acacia Book Café (Rwanda), Women@Web (Tanzania)
Main focus: Civic participation, media and information literacy, participation of socially disadvantaged groups, (local) participatory media formats and community media, professionalism and economic sustainability of the media sector