A forum aimed to sensitise the youth and equip them with the requisite digital skills, to stimulate the prevention of violent extremism has been launched.

Launching the programme at Asankrangwa in the Western-North region, the Administrator of Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), Abraham Kofi Asante, stated that UNESCO’s action guided by the principle to countering violent extremism was not enough, hence the need for everybody to come on board for its prevention.

He added that disarming processes must begin with human rights and the rule of law, with dialogue across all lines by empowering the youth through education and skills for decent jobs.

Mr Asante indicated that technological and cultural competencies are required to sharpen the youth’s critical thinking antennae for dialogue, stressing such interventions must start very early in homes, communities and also on the benches of schools.

No hate speech campaign

As a key stakeholder to forging a culture of peace, UNESCO puts young people at the very heart of efforts in educating them on the root causes of violent extremism which is a growing concern for a number of young persons who are recruited on daily basis to join groups with extremist movements such as al-Qaeda.

To fight the canker, GIFEC in collaboration with UNESCO launched the project, dubbed “ICT and Media: Efficient Tools for the Youth in Preventing Violent Extremism”. 

The project trained 300 young men and women on preventing violent extremism using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) within two communities in Ghana. 

The expected participants of the workshops were teachers, members of religious bodies, students from senior high schools and tertiary institutions, entrepreneurs and people from the informal sector from two communities (Nsuta and Asankrangwa) in the Ashanti and Western North Regions respectively.

No hate speech campaign

The two-week workshop empowered and developed the youth in Ghana to professionally use ICT and other social media platforms thereby becoming agents for change and community development and safeguard human values, and counter negative behaviours and violent extremism. 

The necessity to build the capacity of the youth in countering violent extremism corresponded with the call by President Nana Akufo-Addo at the maiden Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) Forum. 

The forum was organized to immortalize the memory and contribution of the late Kofi Annan and to discuss Ghana’s iconic diplomacy. 

The forum also sought to provide a platform for robust engagement on global peace and security and adopt new strategies to counter the shared and unprecedented threat of terrorism and violent extremism in the sub-region.

The President added that there is the urgent need to tackle the issues of endemic poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and bad governance, as well as the adoption of appropriate technology to achieve the peace, security and economic transformation for West Africa.