Somalia is home to one of Africa’s longest running conflicts. Following a relatively peaceful transfer of power during the presidential elections in February 2017, the newly elected government is facing immense challenges with a drought leaving 6 million at risk of famine, lack of basic service delivery and a constant threat of terror attacks. In the hostile and volatile environment that Somalia offers, the media particularly is under heavy fire.

IMS has worked in Somalia since 2014. Support to the media and to the work with addressing some of the vast challenges the Somali media face is vital if the media sector is to fulfil its role as driver of peace, reconciliation, accountability and citizen participation.

Together with Swedish Fojo Media Institute, IMS is doing a four-year programme in Somalia with financial backing from Sweden. The programme, which will finalize by July 2018, aims to:

  • Improve gender equality and increase women’s participation in both media content and outlets.
  • Improve the safety of journalists and ensure increased media freedom
  • Strengthen of the economic sustainability of media houses.
  • Enhance editorial independence and bolster professional journalism skills.
  • Support professional content production through the IMS humanitarian content production platform Radio Ergo, a unique producer and broadcaster of original Somali programming on humanitarian issues.

Our impact so far:

  • Radio Ergo increased the number of female voices in its coverage from 31% to 41% in the daily radio programme broadcasted on shortwave and shared for re-broadcast with 15 local radio stations.
  • In cooperation with the World Association of Newspaper and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) IMS-Fojo has supported a group of female journalists in overcoming gender bias in their media career grooming them for leadership in media.
  • Seven media houses have created new revenue streams and increased existing ones.
  • The state monopoly on issuing press cards was successfully challenged when partners had authorities validate press cards issued by the Somaliland Journalist’s Association.
  • More than 30 radio stations now produce special programmes on good governance and share them in a joint weekly radio programme reaching large parts of Somalia.
  • An IMS-Fojo-developed an election reporting handbook contextualised to Somalia enabling journalists to report more professionally, accurately and fairly during the 2016-elections.

Contact person for Somalia


Story of young Somali girl prompts ordinary people to respond

Story of young Somali girl prompts ordinary people to respond

The heartbreaking story of nine-year old Maimun, who trekked with her younger siblings on a survival walk of nearly 350 km across drought-ravaged southern Somalia, became the talk of Somali social …

Somali media in need of female journalists

Somali media in need of female journalists

A group of 12 women from Somalia have just completed the leadership programme ‘Women in News’. Behind them is a series of trainings and discussions aiming at empowering their professional journalistic skills and sharpen their …

“A programme that has totally changed the way I view my career”

“A programme that has totally changed the way I view my career”

Somali women journalists face boundless challenges, from murder and death threats to hurdles in the workplace. Progressing professionally remains difficult. In a new initiative IMS aims to equip …