Being forced to flee or migrate are among the world's most pressing issues. DW Akademie's projects include the promotion of dialogue and access to information.
Flight and migration are among the world's most pressing issues. By mid-2018, 68.8 million people worldwide were refugees, internally displaced persons or asylum seekers. One in 110 people was affected. 52 percent of all refugees are children under the age of 18. Every two seconds another person is forced to flee.
Almost 60 percent do not cross national borders but are displaced within their own country. 85 percent of those who do leave flee to neighboring developing countries. The reasons for both flight and displacement include conflict, natural disasters, poverty, inequality and discrimination. These are global problems that require joint action by the world community – for example, in combating climate change, creating a fairer economic order, and protecting refugees and displaced persons.
Some 6.3 million refugees and 13.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in sub-Saharan Africa. In some of the affected border areas close to trouble spots in East Africa, the flow of refugees has triggered tensions and conflicts inside the host countries. Those affected – refugees, internally displaced persons and members of the host society – often have no access to reliable and relevant information. As a result, rumors, false reports and disinformation can escalate conflicts around scarce resources.
The "Refugees and Migration in Africa" project has four focal points: information and communication services are being set up close to the refugee camps to directly provide refugees with relevant information. They also promote a dialogue between refugees, those remaining in their home country, and members of the host society.
An important partner is the Cross-Border Network, a network of some 20 radio stations from southern South Sudan and northern Uganda. This is a region with more than one million refugees. The network was established in 2017 with support from DW Akademie and aims to provide refugees and civilians on both sides of the border with information. It also promotes exchange and the cross-checking of information to combat rumors and hate speech.
DW Akademie qualifies exiled journalists in conflict-sensitive reporting, and informing people in their home countries and host society. The media professionals are also primed to support their home country in the (re)development of a free media landscape.
DW Akademie is also working with relevant international organizations to develop the same standards for communicating and accessing information in flight situations. In times of great uncertainty, information is often essential for survival.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Project Manager: Aarni Kuoppamäki
Locations: The project is initially focusing on East Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and border areas in South Sudan
Focus: Social participation, political and legal frameworks, professionalism and economic sustainability of the media sector, civil society lobbying for freedom of expression, participation of disadvantaged groups, conflict and media/conflict-sensitive reporting, professionalism and journalists' networks