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The change we want!

Byr Abdoulkader Nouhou, APAC-ABCA consortium project manager

Did you know that in Niger there is now a charter for the use of social media? Yes, it is the result of the collaboration between two Nigerien civil society organisations, the Association of African Professional Communication (APAC) Niger in consortium with the Association of Bloggers for Active Citizenship, which aims to develop a “Charter for Social Media in Niger”. Through the project “Yarjejeniya Bisan Labarun Yanar Gizo” which means social media charter in French.

For 12 months, the APAC-ABCA consortium travelled to 7 regions of Niger to present it, explain it and have it adopted by the multitude of web activists, to their great delight! First, there were e-campaigns that consisted of popularising the charter on the web for a month, creating discussions around it with a passionate public and these e-campaigns ended with a capacity building workshop for young activists willing to improve the way the world should perceive them. Here are some testimonies.

 “Reframing is a plus for civic engagement”

My name is Mohamed Attaka Idrissa, I am 29 years old, I am a computer maintenance technician in private radio in Agadez. I had to face a lot of difficulties in my life in relation to my studies, I aspired to be an investigative journalist but due to lack of financial means, I could not realize my dream. However, with the advent of social media, I was soon converted to the digital world. I am now a blogger activist.

The social media charter has allowed me to reframe my intervention on the web and verify the veracity of the information while respecting human rights and preserving my information source.  I learned a lot with the APAC-ABCA consortium through the use of CANVA. This application has made it easier for me to edit photos and videos, and now my publications tend to make me feel like an expert in communication. The consortium has spared no effort to equip us through the popularisation of the social media charter, under funding from the VOICE programme.

Ensure the veracity of our information for better credibility with our subscribers

My name is GARBA DJIBO NANA ABSATOU I am 30 years old I am a blogger, with a degree in communication for development.

In my community, social networks are not well perceived and are subject to criticism by its users. I used to find it hard to digest the criticism from people who only know me virtually and think that social networking is just a means of distraction and settling scores and that making a living out of it is just a waste of time. However, these prejudices are beginning to fade away thanks to the APAC-ABCA consortium training. After the training, I was doing my publications with much more pride and confidence, because now for every publication I do, I make sure that the content is true and reliable. I also learned how to reach my target audience.

 The charter is a rule, I think it is also insurance for any blogger. It is a solution against bad practices on social media. We thank the Voice programme for funding this project, because today social media are part of our lives. It is therefore necessary to regulate, train and sensitise users of social media so that they serve as tools for the construction of our society and not its destruction.            

Training for better value

My name is Ismaël Abdoulaye Naoumani and I am 24 years old. I work at Radio Alternative as a journalist.  I am passionate about the profession of communication but due to a lack of funds, I had to postpone the defence of my diploma in communication.

I was very upset, I was disoriented. I was content to post via the social network Facebook to express myself without knowing that this tool could help me be useful to my community.  And this coincided with my meeting with the president of REZOPANACOM (Organisation de Diffusion d’information sur les réseaux sociaux) of Africa, namely Kakry. After a long discussion, he briefly introduced me to the creation and management of a Facebook page. This is where the creation of REZOPANACOM Niger started.  Due to lack of training, we sometimes published false information without realising that it was disinformation. This is due to the lack of training and experience at that time. The training I received from the APAC-ABCA consortium on the social media charter gave me an added value of clarity in my publications. This charter allowed me to measure the consequences of a publication, and to verify the information before publishing it even though I am a journalist. I also knew how I can be useful to my community through social media. In the end, this charter has given us a more precise field of the vision given its relevance and impact on the content of our publications.

Meeting the challenges         

My name is Ousmane Hamani Issoufou, I am 23 years old, I am an activist blogger.

My integration on social media just comes from a passion, as I am not a journalist by training and I have no basic training in the use of social networks, but I like to write and share with others what I feel deep inside, the environment in which I live, also to denounce certain practices or attitudes that are harmful to our society.  The lack of training in research and information sharing has sometimes led me to share “fake news”, photos and videos without first hiding the person’s image. However, I had the benefit of training on the social media charter provided by the APAC-ABCA consortium. It is essential for any blogger to know the spirit of this charter, and I have set myself a personal challenge: to respect all the provisions of the charter, as they list the rights and duties of all bloggers.

This series of training and awareness campaigns have allowed us to know the social media charter so that in the end each blogger can enjoy his role as an activist in the rules of art.


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