The British government has donated US Dollars 1 million to aid in fight to end impunity for crimes against journalists in Somalia and Somaliland.
The money drawn from the conflict security and stability funding has been channeled to a BBC Media Action project.
This is meant to amplify women’s voices to raise awareness on the impact of climate change, conflict and support efforts towards peace building, and promoting gender equality.
BBC Media Action will work with local media partners in each Federal Member State and Somaliland to develop capability for female journalists to promote community-led action on issues affecting women, with a focus on the active participation of women.
The UK government said the grant is testament to the country’s longstanding role as champion of media freedom, freedom of expression and access to information in Somalia.
It said that media freedom is the cornerstone of democracy and a crucial component of a more stable, secure and prosperous Somalia.
British Ambassador to Somalia, Mike Nithavrianakis, said: “The UK believes a free, fair and independent media speaking truth to power is essential to democracy. Within this, the voice of women is critically important.
He added: “This BBC Media Action project will empower cohorts of female journalists throughout Somalia to report on the issues that matter most – including on climate change, conflict and peacebuilding, and gender equality.”
The envoy stated that open access to information is vital. Informed citizens make better informed decisions, and this leads to a more open society and resilient communities.
” I therefore see this as a step in the pathway towards a more stable, secure and prosperous Somalia. In the words of His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh, a “Somalia at peace with itself and the world”.
BBC Media Action Chief Executive Officer, Simon Bishop, said: “Access to trusted, impartial information is critical wherever you are in the world, as an essential cornerstone of democracy and prosperity.”
He said this vital support will help to strengthen local media, which face tremendous financial pressures, while ensuring women’s voices remain at the heart of respectful discussion, debate and decision-making around the issues that matter most in their everyday lives.