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Disinformation Dynamics in the Sahel

Disinformation in the Sahel and how this impacts western security collaboration.

- Technology & Innovation - Format: PDF - Size: 0 Bytes - Date: Mar, 2024 - Pages: - Copyright: NATO Strategic Direction South HUB - Tags: Sahel, Cybersecurity

The Southern Talks #6.

This sixth episode in our Southern Talks series is focused on disinformation in the Sahel, and how it impacts western security collaboration - focusing on the G5 states in the francophone western Sahel region. 

Welcoming our esteemed guests Ms. Beatriz de Leon Cobo, researcher and analyst specialising in security, conflict dynamics and violent radicalisation in West Africa and the Sahel and Mr. Habibou Bako, Officer in the West Africa Team at Search for Common Ground and a temporary lecturer at the Abdou Moumouni University in Niamey.

Key Takeaways:

1.       Most disinformation in the region is both locally generated and locally targeted at domestic issues such as political, ethnic and religious rivalries. This is less noticeable to the western world because it does not affect us directly, is often in local languages, and may by in offline media such as radio, requiring a different regulatory environment.

2.       There is extensive regulation, but it is often inappropriate and/or abused. What is needed is better regulation, and better enforcement.

3.       One of the best ways to undermine low-quality news is to ensure there is access to better alternatives. “The West” must make more effort on “the positive side” - to promote good standards of local and international news sources, as well as undermining disinformation through local fact-checkers.

4.       There’s a strong need for multi-stakeholder engagement between civil society, the tech companies and government.

5.       Some progress has been made, in particular on new technology legislation, in particular cyber, and there are examples of adapting partner / neighbor-generated legislation..

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