Germany's development minister, Dirk Niebel, recently visited DW Akademie headquarters in Bonn. During his visit he spoke with Master's students in the International Media Studies program and with DW trainees.
Offering advanced training and consulting services to media workers is a worthwhile investment - even in countries with limited press freedoms, said the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dirk Niebel "Dictators cannot take from people all the insights that they've gained."
In a discussion with the Minister DW trainees and students were particularly interested in learning more about Germany's efforts in their own countries. Niebel said one of his priorities was to motivate the private sector to become more active in developing countries. "I don't believe that transferring budget aid from one government to another constitutes a successful aid program," he said.
DW Akademie's activities in international media development were the main focus of the Minister's visit. "Education is also a core area in our own work," he said, pointing out that advanced training for journalists was high on the list at the Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ). "Journalists need to be able to relay political developments and issues." He praised DW Akademie's training and consulting services for journalists and media organizations involved in media development cooperation projects and said he had been impressed by DW Akademie projects he had visited abroad. DW Akademie, he emphasized, was BMZ's most important partner in the area of media development.