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CCMN North West Members drilled on Digital Literacy

A digital literacy initiative designed to connect policy and industry stakeholders to discuss the shared responsibility of promoting digital literacy and combat issues such as misinformation, hate speech, bullying, and harassment has trained some 10 members of the Cameroon Community Media Network (CCMN) in Bamenda.

Organized by GIDICom (Global Initiative for Digital Inclusion and Communication), the training was an opportunity to discuss key steps to verifying information – who is behind the message, what the evidence is and what sources say.

CCMN was chosen because most of its members engage more in online communication. We felt information verification should be part of today’s session to strictly guide them fact check every of their information before dishing it out to the public”, Pedmia Shatu, CEO of GIDICom said.

Community standards on some social media applications that fall under Meta such as Facebook and WhatsApp are necessary to be known. Sadly, many people ignore and when they go against any, they incur a ban or some sort of punishment through suspension between 30 days and sometimes span 3 months depending on the gravity of the fault committed, continued Pedmia.

To better understand the concept of online advocacy, the attendees of the workshop were segmented into two groups for further discussions on key steps involved in online advocacy inter alia identifying concepts, how to go about the issue, and key players in the advocacy plan.

We’ve also been able to access the needs for hashtags and ads in online campaigns and particularly community-based campaigns. A common problem plaguing the Bamenda I, II, and III councils is poor waste management. Looking at the state of waste management in our region and city, in particular, we commonly identified the hashtag #ManageDorty,
implying we should manage and recycle our wastes judiciously to avoid environmental pollution”, explained Pedmia.

Pedmia disclosed that in September, CCMN North West will have another workshop on fighting hate speech and fake news both online and offline.

From the training, I am expecting them with the information verification knowledge to be able to shape their reports. Let the information they have received change their narratives and cause them to be up-standers and not bystanders to uphold values that will create them a seen online presence. There are times you apply for a job and your social media handles are demanded to check your online works, so I expect them to be good digital citizens”, she concluded.

It is worth noting that the digital literacy training aims to “equip 1000 Cameroonians journalists, parents, youths, community leaders and teachers with skills and tools necessary to adapt in our today’s world – where communication and information access is dominated by technology”.

This initiative by META (formerly Facebook) and GIDICom is to implement the My Digital World Project in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon which started in July to run through December.

The training deal was signed on June 22, 2022, between the latter partners and was launched in Yaoundé, by the Secretary General at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, Mr. Mohamadou Saoudi.

By Mbehni Drusilla Nange

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