Diakalia Ouattara (Côte d’Ivoire), Theophilus Ekpon (Nigeria) and Julien Comlan Agbessi (Sénégal)

Countering Disinformation and Violent Extremism

CSPPS Representatives Participate in the 2023 US-West Africa Tech Challenge

CSPPS Steering Committee member Julien Comlan Agbessi alongside CSPPS Focal Points Diakalia Ouattara (Côte d’Ivoire) and Theophilus Ekpon (Nigeria) participated in the 2023 US-West Africa Tech Challenge on Countering Disinformation and Violent Extremism that took place in Abidjan/Côte d’Ivoire from the 27th to 28th of September, 2023.

The US-West Africa Tech Challenge advances the development of technologies that offer innovative solutions to help expose, understand, or counter disinformation, propaganda, and violent extremism within Coastal West Africa. Seven technologists were selected as finalists to demonstrate their technology to a panel of judges. Two winners were selected out of the seven technologists to split $250,000 to advance their projects to counter disinformation and violent extremism.

The first day of the event was devoted to demonstrations featuring the seven selected technologists and their outfits to showcase their projects to the panel of judges and the audience. The second day featured panels and discussions among technologists, government officials, civil society, academia, and the media to share lessons learned and opportunities for cooperation around issues of countering disinformation and violent extremism.

The event enabled governments and donors to better understand the work of civil society in working with communities and building partnerships to counter disinformation and violent extremism. The meeting also brought to the fore the urgent need to address the push and pull factors that lead people to violent groups so that interventions can make the desired impact. Tackling disinformation and violent extremist narratives alone without addressing the core issues of underdevelopment, ungoverned spaces, corruption, marginalisation, and unemployment will not yield the desired results.

The West Africa Tech Challenge was sponsored by the US State Department Global Engagement Center, US Embassy in Ivory Coast, the Ivorian Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, UNDP and Becera.

For more information on this event, please visit: https://youtu.be/amSHpKMQ1VI , https://disinfocloud.com/blog/finalists-us-africa-tech-challenge-2021 

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