Where We Work
AU/UN Information Support
Albany assisted the nascent Somali government and African Union's Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) by providing strategic communications effects to help stabilise the state. A cornerstone of the project was developing positive messaging for AMISOM and the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), whilst employing a range of methods to undermine the attempts of armed opposition groups, in particular, Al-Shabaab, to gain wider support from the population or to terrorize it into submission.
Through a unique contract with the United Nations, Albany's forty-strong project team in Mogadishu and Nairobi ran a fully integrated campaign to counter the radicalising effect of Al Shabaab and engage Somalis in building a positive future for their country. They provided direct support to the AMISOM, as the Information Support Team (IST). Within a multi-stakeholder environment, tasks included media mapping and monitoring, polling, domestic and international outreach programmes, communication capacity building and direct support to the Somali media.
The communications campaign also incorporated print, radio and TV production products, and we ran the AMISOM digital presence through social and web output. Political and military communications advice to the two sides of AMISOM was the mainstay of the campaign. Outreach events were organised on the ground in Somalia to bring together the civil society and support the burgeoning media.
Training of governmental institutions and AMISOM personnel in public affairs and public outreach was also a key aspect of the project, providing lectures and practical sessions and exercises to senior and junior officials and military personnel.
A major part of the United Nations project was to produce content for a radio station which was broadcast straight into Somali homes. Radio Bar Kulan, or 'meeting place', is a trusted independent, impartial observer of affairs in the country run by Somalis. Providing support for this Somali-run station involved significant and complex logistical requirements, providing a site, equipment, sourcing of staff and training. The station is now recognised as having the potential to form the hub of a larger future public broadcasting radio network.
Strategic Communication support to the Somali Government
Albany is supporting the Federal Government of Somalia through the secondment to Mogadishu of two highly experienced communications professionals, supported by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Based in the heart of government in Villa Somalia, the communications advisors work in the Office of the President and the Office of the Prime Minister and provide comprehensive communications support at the highest level and across government ministries to reinforce the new narrative of progress and success on the ground. Much of this project seeks to develop the indigenous capacity of Somali communications staff through a programme of training and mentoring. Support is being provided across the full range of press office functions, from media monitoring and press statements to digital outreach and stakeholder engagement. Our international experience is also fundamental in assisting with relations with Somalia's key international partners, especially the UK, US, EU and UN, who provide additional support for communications initiatives such as promoting the New Deal to domestic, regional and international audiences. As part of its commitment to developing sustainable results in the most challenging environments, Albany is also advising on the creation of a fully funded and professionally staffed media directorate primarily based in the Office of the Prime Minister with a separate but connected structure in the Office of the President.