Fact-checking orgs unite to tackle Africa’s fake news problem
Fact-checking organisation FactSpace West Africa has entered into a partnership with AW Free Foundation to expand the fight against misinformation, disinformation, fake news and propaganda across Africa.
AW Free Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded by AfricaWeb, described as one of the biggest publishers in Africa operating in Ghana (ghanaweb.com), Cameroon (camerounweb.com), Nigeria (mynigeria.com), Tanzania (tanzaniaweb.com) and Togo among other African countries.
According to a statement released by the organisations the partnership seeks to leverage on AfricaWeb’s reach of 4 million multilingual visitors per month across three regions of Africa and its wide network of multilingual journalists to verify, fact-check and widely publish verified information in multiple languages across Africa.
FactSpace West Africa and AfricaWeb platforms across West, Central and East Africa have confirmed that they will introduce newly developed digital features that would, among others, rate the accuracy of information including claims by public officials, institutions etc.
Rabiu Alhassan, Director and Managing Editor of FactSpace West Africa, said, “This is a fact-checking/publisher partnership built to address the age-long challenge of debunks that have minimal online reach. Fact-checks are always known to hobble in the face of viral misinformation. But not anymore. This collaboration will ensure that millions of Africans online get access to verified information while we ensure purveyors of misinformation are held accountable - which speaks to our positioning as a second-generation fact-checker.”
Among other activities, FactSpace West Africa and AW Free Foundation would organise fact-checking training for journalists, whistleblowers, CSOs and the general public to develop their fact-checking skills.
Emmanuel Vitus Agbenonwossi, Executive Director of AW Free Foundation, added, “In sub-Saharan Africa, journalist and whistleblowers’ exposure to misinformation and disinformation, if left unaddressed, could further undermine the precarious foothold of independent media on the continent. So, with this partnership, AW Free Foundation plans to explore misinformation and disinformation in multiple African countries through in-depth research, policy briefs and to build the capacity of 2500 journalists across all 5 regions of the continent to restore trust in the media.”