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“The Migration Dilemma:” DW Launches Multi-Media Project For West Africa

By Vera Tellmann

DW’s new multi-media project “The Migration Dilemma” traces the dangerous journey to Europe undertaken by West African refugees. Reporters look into the social consequences of this exodus on the families and communities that have been left behind, and they discuss alternatives to fleeing with African youths and decision-makers.

Reporters and correspondents from DW's French, Haussa and English editorial teams are currently traveling around Germany, Italy, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Gambia. While they are on the road, they are talking to refugees in European reception camps, people who have willingly returned home and relatives of those who have gone missing. They also visit local and international initiatives which are working to offer a job perspective to young people in Africa.

Together with partner broadcasters in Mali, Niger and Senegal, DW is planning public discussions in French and Hausa with young Africans to address both the unrealistic expectations of Germany and Europe they have and the responsibility of politicians on both sides of the Mediterranean. “We are using our close contacts within the region and the advantages of our languages to engage in direct dialogue with the people. That's something that is often neglected on a day-to-day level,” said Claus Stäcker, head of the Africa program at DW.

The reports and the recordings of the events will be broadcast via radio programs accessible in the target area and complemented by Facebook entries and videos on social media. The subject will likewise be an area of focus on DW's English television channel in December.

Supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, the project's focus is on West Africa with a view to two decisive countries of transit, Mali and Niger. The project idea arose in DW's Africa program and was developed together with the offices of the foreign ministry.

In West Africa, DW has a network of around 140 local correspondents. Every week its radio broadcasts reach up to 34 percent of the adult population in the region. The number of Facebook fans in the three languages is around 1,000,000 total.