“No Hate Speech” online campaign launched against violent extremism and radicalization

In September 2019, the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) launched the project, dubbed “ICT and Media: Efficient Tools for the Youth in Preventing Violent Extremism”.

The project trained three hundred (300) young men and women in preventing violent extremism using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) within two communities in Ghana. The expected participants of the workshops were teachers, members of religious bodies, students from senior high schools and tertiary institutions, entrepreneurs and people from the informal sector from two communities (Nsuta and Asankrangwa) in the Ashanti and Western North Regions respectively.

The 2-week workshop empowered and developed the youth in Ghana to professionally use ICT and other social media platforms thereby becoming agents for change and community development and safeguard human values, and counter negative behaviors and violent extremism. The necessity to build the capacity of the youth in countering violent extremism corresponded with the call by the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the maiden Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) Forum.

The forum was organized to immortalize the memory and contribution of the His Excellency the late Kofi Annan and to discuss Ghana’s iconic diplomacy.

The forum also sought to provide a platform for robust engagement on global peace and security and adopt new strategies to counter the shared and unprecedented threat of terrorism and violent extremism in the sub-region. The President added that there is an urgent need to tackle the issues of endemic poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and bad governance, as well as the adoption of appropriate technology to achieve peace, security and economic transformation for West Africa.

As a key stakeholder to forging a culture of peace, UNESCO puts young people at the very heart of efforts in educating them on the root causes of violent extremism which is a growing concern for several young persons who are recruited on daily basis to join groups with extremist movements such as al-Qaeda.

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It has, therefore, become necessary to make the Ghanaian youth aware and equip them with the requisite digital skills, which are fundamental to stimulate the prevention of violent extremism and make them active participants of the information and communication society of the 21st Century.

Launching the program at Asankrangwa in the Western-North Region of Ghana, the Administrator of GIFEC, Mr. Abraham Kofi Asante, stated that UNESCO’s action was guided by the principle to countering violent extremism was not enough, hence the need for everybody to come on board for its prevention.

The Administrator added that disarming processes must begin with human rights and the rule of law, with dialogue across all lines by empowering the youth through education and skills for decent jobs.

Mr. Asante further indicated that technological and cultural competencies are required to sharpen the youth’s critical thinking antennae for dialogue, adding “such interventions must start very early in homes, communities and also on the benches of schools.”

Knowledge about Ghanaians youth rights and responsibilities was one of the empowering tools used to channel their energies into a productive future. The final stage of the training was on advance technical training in social media which allowed the development and finalization of media productions of animations, infographics, factsheets, videos and imaginary, and audio-visual modules to be used during the online prevention campaign.

 

About “No Hate Speech” online Campaign

Knowledge about Ghanaians youth rights and responsibilities was one of the empowering tools used to channel their energies into a productive future. The final stage of the training was on advance technical training in social media which allowed the development and finalization of media productions of animations, infographics, factsheets, videos, and imaginary and audio-visual modules to be used during the online prevention campaign and economic transformation for West Africa. (KAPS) Forum.

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The forum was organized to immortalize the memory and contribution of the His Excellency the late Kofi Annan and to discuss Ghana’s iconic diplomacy. n words are abusive, threatens or written to express prejudice against a particular group or individual especially based on race, religion, gender, ethnic origin or sexual orientation, those words are described as Hate Speeches.

With the proliferation of internet usage as the main source of information amongst the youth, Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) in collaboration organized a “No Hate Speech Online Campaign. The campaign aims at combating hate speech by mobilizing young people to speak up on their human rights and democracy online. As mentioned early on, a balance of fundamental rights and principles, including freedom of expression and the defense of human dignity needs to be established.

The campaign seeks to reduce the acceptance of hate speech both online and offline, through human rights education and awareness-creation, youth participation and media literacy. It provides the youth, educators, and campaigners with efficient tools to combat and ultimately prevent violent extremism, hate speeches and cyberbullying which are some of the current technological challenges.

Knowledge about Ghanaians youth rights and responsibilities was one of the empowering tools used to channel their energies into a productive future. The final stage of the training was on advance technical training in social media which allowed the development and finalization of media productions of animations, infographics, factsheets, videos, and imaginary and audio-visual modules to be used during the online prevention campaign and economic transformation for West Africa. (KAPS) Forum. The forum was organized to immortalize the memory and contribution of the His Excellency the late Kofi Annan and to discuss Ghana’s iconic diplomacy.

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