The African Great Lakes Reporting Initiative was created in 2014, building on the success of earlier IWMF reporting trips to the Western Sahara and Eastern DR Congo (DRC). The IWMF designed this program to support journalists interested in pursuing stories that go beyond the well-established path of political instability, armed conflicts, and humanitarian crisis in the region. Between 2015 and 2018, the IWMF will lead groups of women journalists to the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, and provide training and support for in-country journalists. These efforts include essential security training to help journalists stay safe in the field.
To date, 49 journalists have covered a wide range of under-reported issues including issues of empowerment, democracy, food security, and conservation efforts. Their work has been produced and published by leading media outlets around the world. The African Great Lakes Reporting Initiative is funded by a generous gift from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.