The overall aim of DW Akademie in Uganda is to support the working conditions of different members of the media, to achieve plurality and provide the citizens of Uganda with unbiased, factual information.
Most of Uganda's media are concentrated in the capital Kampala, which has a lively and diverse media landscape characterized by critical reporting. But 87 percent of the population lives in rural regions, where local FM stations are the most important media – and often the only source of information.
Although press freedom and freedom of information are protected by the constitution, many citizens are not aware of their rights. At the same time, journalists and bloggers often fail to meet their responsibilities and do not always publish well-researched stories; reporting on verified information instead of biased opinions should be a standard but not all journalists meet such criteria.
The overall aim of DW Akademie in Uganda is to improve the working conditions of different members of the media, to achieve plurality and provide the citizens of Uganda with unbiased, factual information.
One aim of DW Akademie's work in Uganda is to promote access to information and new means of participation for young people between the ages of 13 and 24, with a special focus on girls and women. They must be given the opportunity to express their concerns actively in radio programs and on social media networks.
Children and young adults make up 78 per cent of Uganda's population. DW Akademie's partner radio stations offer young people the means of discussing concerns and topics that are important to them, thus providing them with opportunities to speak their minds. They also receive a forum where they can exchange thoughts and ideas on challenging situations and solutions with experts and local decision-makers. Using basic mobile phones and new software, young people get the chance to tell their stories and inform a wider audience on topics that they put on the agenda of their radio stations.
Another focus of DW Akademie’s work in Uganda is on building capacities for Ugandan journalists and media-makers by promoting professional and ethical standards in the media.
Together with Ugandan partner organizations, DW Akademie aims to build up expertise with regard to research and unbiased fact reporting.
Workshops focus on informing journalists about their obligations and rights, and providing best practice examples on how to use the available means to deliver good work. The activities target media businesses and media organizations interested in moving ahead, improving staff expertise, and delivering quality journalism. Furthermore, the project addresses press officers of public institutions that are responsible for supplying information, as well as local government institutions to raise awareness and enhance sustainable structures for media development.
Regional project Women@Web
Digitalization is gaining momentum in eastern Africa. The recent development opens up unprecedented opportunities for women to express themselves and participate in social and developmental debates. At the same time, violence against women on the internet continues to increase. Most women active in social media in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda report having experienced some form of cyberbullying and hate speech. This forces some of them to censor themselves. There is a lack of strategies and functioning legal regulations to protect women on the internet.
As part of the Women@Web project, DW Akademie supports civil society initiatives in the selected region. These initiatives teach girls and women digital media literacy with a special focus on digital security and are committed to increasing the number of women taking part in online discussions. East African women can thus better protect themselves against digital attacks and become active 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
Local partners: Centre for Media Literacy and Community Development (CEMCOD), Media Challgenge Initiative (MCI), Chapter Four, Unwanted Witness, Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Not Your Body, Defernders Protection Initiative (dpi)
Main focus: Professionalism and economic sustainability of the media sector, civic engagement, media and information literacy, participation of disadvantaged population groups, (local) participatory media offerings and community media, security of media professionals