Windhoek — The media development organisation, DW Akademie, has opened an office in Windhoek, Namibia - its third office on the African continent. Other African offices are in Accra, Ghana and Kampala, Uganda.
The DW Akademie is Germany's leading organisation for media development. For more than 25 years DW Akademie has been training and networking journalists, raising awareness of rural issues, developing new formats, building up community media and promoting media skills of young people in rural areas of Namibia.
"We want to support young Namibians to actively use media and thereby bringing attention their causes. At the same time, we qualify journalists and support civic media. Free and professional media are an important lever for development in the entire country," said Ute Schaeffer, head of media development at DW Akademie.
DW Akademie has been developing new media formats, establishing civic media, and enhancing media competences of young people.
In Namibia, DW Akademie co-operates with well-established partners, such as the Namibian Community Broadcasters' Network (NCBN), a network of civic media in the country, as well as the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC). In addition, DW Akademie works with the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) to promote transparency and media freedom in Southern Africa.
"We have been looking forward to this day for weeks so that we can show what we have built up here: structures and networks which provide a solid basis for the sustainable implementation of our projects," said Dani Leese, the country representative and head of the Windhoek office.
In 2015, DW Akademie joined efforts with the college of the Arts (COTA) in Windhoek, launching the Media and information Literacy Learning initiative (MiLLi). Several hundred young people in 12 remote regions have benefited from this as participants in youth projects. More than 60 multipliers have already passed on their knowledge to hundreds of users. Namibian ministries, UNESCO and 30 organisations make use of these offers.
"MiLLi is a success story. More than half of Namibia's population is younger than 25 years; many of them live in the countryside and want to know how to deal with the media, classify information and protect their own privacy. They learn all this through MiLLi," said Leese.
DW Akademie is a strategic partner of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. Since 2014, Namibia is one of the focus countries of DW Akademie, receiving BMZ-funding. As one of the world's leading institution advocating freedom of speech DW Akademie supports the development of free and transparent media, quality journalism, and offers programmes to boost media skills.