AMISOM has conducted a two-day training to support journalists on Election reporting and voter education in Baidoa, the capital of Southwest State of Somalia.
Facilitated by the Public Information Unit of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in conjunction with the Southwest State Ministry of Information and Social Awareness, 30 journalists from Baidoa and Hudur participated in the training.
At the opening ceremony, the Southwest State Deputy Minister of Information and Social Services, Mohamed Adan Mohamed, emphasised the important contributions of journalists to nation building and development.
"Southwest State has the highest number of MPs in the Federal government and for the upcoming elections, we need credible journalists that will report accurately before, during and after the electoral process to ensure communities and residents are well informed. This training is important to reporting accurately about the electoral process,” he said.
The AMISOM Coordinator for Southwest, Fadil Karar, said AMISOM was happy to partner with the Southwest Ministry of Information to strengthening the capacity of journalists on Political and Election news reporting.
A participating journalist, Kaltuma Mustaf Nur, said, "the training is important because as journalists we want to know the best practices and contribute to voter education in Somalia”.
This was echoed by broadcaster, Edin Hassan Edin, who thought the timing and focus was great.
"Many journalists in the Bakol region have longed for such opportunities to sharpen our skills, broaden our scope and learn new techniques in news reporting. We thank AMISOM for this opportunity for specialized training,” he said.
The 30 journalists drawn from state and private media institutions work across various media organisations including television, radio and online channels. They were taken through rights and responsibilities on election coverage, the impact of online and fake news, gender and conflict sensitive reporting.
With the support of some international partners including the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and the European Union (EU), AMISOM’s Public Information Unit plans to conduct and facilitate more of such trainings for journalists across the federal member states, ahead of the Presidential and Parliamentary elections. In the past such trainings have been done with trainers from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) from Ghana.