With about 430 thousand social media users in The Gambia, FactSpace West Africa in partnership with the Gambia Press Union (GPU) has trained 25 social media influencers in digital literacy skills to help in curbing the spread of mis/disinformation during the country’s December presidential elections.

The Gambia is at a crossroad in its transition from dictatorship to good governance, and the upcoming election is expected to define the future of the country as it seeks to improve on the hard-fought gains of the 2016 election.

“This will be the most contested elections in The Gambia since we became a republic. After 21 aspirants filed their nominations, 6 of them have now been given the all-clear by the IEC to appear on the ballot. So, we need you to promote peace and work with fact-checkers to tackle fake news.” President of the Gambia Press Union (GPU), Muhammed S. Bah said in his opening remarks.

Speaking at the launch of the training programme on November 19, the Managing Director (MD) of Media Academy for Journalism & Communication (MAJaC), Sang Mendy admonished the selected influencers to be circumspect about their online engagement and contribute to the effort in curbing the spread of mis/disinformation.

The Social Media Influencer/activists training included lead trainer from FactSpace West Africa – Rabiu Alhassan and Demba Kandeh, and other trainers from Meta/Facebook – Judith Mongala(Partner Manager, Government Politic and Non-Profits, Sub-Saharan Africa), Farai Morobane(Public Policy Manager, Human Rights, Sub-Saharan Africa) and Suzan Elsayed(Safety Policy Manager, Africa, Middle East, Turkey)

“For us to make the most impact, we believe that verified information must reach the majority of Gambians. So this training is to help equip you with basic digital literacy skills. But as well set up a collaboration where we leverage on your following on social media to reach Gambians.” Lead trainer from FactSpace West Africa, Rabiu Alhassan said.

The training programme was organised with support from the West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP) National Elections Response Programme and was funded by the European Union (EU).

This comes after a similar training was organised for 25 journalists by FactSpace West Africa in partnership with the Gambia Press Union (GPU) to help in tackling information disorder during the polls.


By: FactSpace WA