The #AFFCameroon 2023 Africa Fact-checking Fellowship is currently accepting applications. The goal of the Africa Fact-checking Fellowship – #AFFCameroon is to monitor and record social media viral trends pertaining to the present problems with “fake news” in Cameroon.
Through its many cohorts, #AFFCameroon seeks to improve the abilities of seasoned professionals in order to successfully contribute to social cohesion and peacebuilding by countering misinformation and hate speech. It aims to support data journalism, fact-checking, and digital rights for African journalists, bloggers, and content producers. The curriculum is built on a blended learning strategy that includes webinars, hands-on training, peer-to-peer learning, and actual fieldwork. Fellows will have access to a wealth of online resources and tools, as well as a global network of professionals and experts.
The increasing adoption of ICT usage in Cameroon, coupled with the democratization of public
speech, has made it possible for often inexperienced players to manipulate, disseminate, or
influence information with nefarious intentions. Today, hate speech, misinformation,
disinformation, and malinformation are prevalent in online spaces and the mainstream media. It
is packaged using methods designed to manipulate public opinion and serve the interests of its
initiators. This contributes to the weakening of social cohesion and critical thinking within the
Cameroonian society, which is characterized by fragile sociopolitical and security issues.
Since 2017 the Anglophone conflict and the 2018 post-election crisis crystallize the public
debate and increase consumption and spread of ‘fake news’ online and in traditional media.
Despite the efforts of various actors, the situation is taking alarming proportions in the context
of tribalist attacks and their offshoots. Yet fact-checking is not new in the newsroom. In recent
years, there has been an increase in the verification of online information and public claims due
to the proliferation of fake news on social media. This desire to combat the proliferation of ‘fake’
news online is underreported in online and offline media.
It is in this context that #defyhatenow Cameroon has for the past three years, run the “Africa
Fact-checking Fellowship” #AFFCameroon programme, which aims to equip professionals with
fact-checking skills to recognise misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation online. To
date, seven cohorts of approximately 115 professionals from the Centre, Littoral, South-West,
North-West, Adamawa, North, Far-North, and West have directly benefited from the fellowship.
Following this, #defyhatenow Cameroon is initiating a call for applications for its eighth cohort
of professionals from April to June 2023. The objective is to establish a critical mass of factcheckers, right information advocates, online and offline hate speech, and digital rights
- Open to
- Content creators
- Digital rights activists
- Opinion and community leaders
- Between 20 and 40 years old.
- Resident in Cameroon.
- Be fully available, understand English and French, computer literate, and active on social
Application deadline is April 20, 2023. Selected applicants will be informed by email of their
selection for the program by April 24, 2023.