By Landing Ceesay
The Gambia Press Union (GPU) validated a research report on the prevalence of hate speech in Gambian media.
Speaking at the event, Pa Modou Faal, GPU board member said the validation of the document is timely and would serve as a guide, as the country is heading to an election in December.
“So promoting peace should be everyone’s responsibility. The media, young people and everybody matter as far as peace is concerned. All of us have to nurture peace but some stakeholders are to serve as peace advocates. Who are these stakeholders? The media is one and young people as well, because they are very critical of this issue. We have seen what happened in other countries because of hate speech. The media and young people are being used; we have seen the examples in Rwanda. We have also seen Kenya; and most of the time is the media and young people who are used,” he said.
Meanwhile, Yusupha Bojang of the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) believed the initiative would hugely help citizens, especially young people, the media and political party supporters to make informed decisions.
“After nearly five years since the ousting of the dictatorial rule, The Gambia is still at a crossroads. Our national democracy will face a serious litmus test in less than 90 days when the country votes in a presidential election. It will be a pivotal moment to sustain the momentous achievement of 2016 and cement the Democratic trajectory of the Gambia,” Bojang said.
The Gambia Press Union in partnership with the University of the Gambia Students’ Union has commissioned a research on hate speech to establish the prevalence, the propagators, and the motivation for spreading it.
Stakeholders from different occupations including university students, media and civil society reviewed the research report.
It is part of a UNDP funded project aimed at enhancing young women and men as stakeholders in ensuring peaceful democratic processes and advocates for the prevention of violence and hate speech.
The validation report took place today [18th September 2021] at a local hotel in Bijilo.