Over 300 journalists, fact checkers and activists will seek to push for a regulatory mechanism on misinformation, disinformation and personal data protection in Cameroon, as they meet in Yaoundé on November 18 and 19, 2022. They assemble under the banner of the African Fact checking Fellowship, AFF, of the rOg Agency for Open Culture and Critical Transformation’s #defyhatenow.
With over 300 participants expected, the African Fact Check Fellowship’s conference will be its first ever in Cameroon, to discuss issues relating to the promotion of fact checking, accurate reporting and other challenges.
“From #FactMatter237, through the different #AFFCameroon Cohorts 2 to 7, seasoned experts are also awaited to jointly review the growth of fact checking in the country, while seeking ways to foster collaborative actions toward the common ills of misinformation, disinformation and malinformation,” revealed #defyhatenow.
The #AFFCameroon Conference is being held under the Patronage of the Ministry of Communication; with support from UNESCO’s Multisector Office for Central Africa and Meta. It has as main goal, to establish and make flourish, united action to minimise adverse effects of mis/disinformation on lasting peace and social cohesion.
More specifically, the conference seeks to “… reduce the gap between perceptions and reality as observed on the ground while tackling the challenges of mis/disinformation as threats to peace with the aid of Fact Checking.”
It also seeks to front for “digital, media and information literacy among public and private entities and open access to information of organisations, [and] initiate advocacy for a legal framework and regulatory mechanisms on mis/disinformation and personal data protection.”
Participants are drawn from public and private institutions, diplomatic missions, international and regional organizations, civil society organizations, educational institutions, media professionals and associations and past AFF Cameroon Fellows.
Despite its move towards a digitalised economy, Cameroon still very much lacks a specific digital privacy laws and regulations. Data privacy and its accompanying aspects however, are guaranteed in the constitution which highlights fundamental human rights as well as the inviolable privacy of correspondence.
Yet, even these have not been easy to come by for many a Cameroonian who have had to deal with among other violations, two major internet cuts in the past six years. The first ran from January to April 2017 (93 days), followed by another from August 2018 to April 2019 (240 days).