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Spain trains Nigerian journalists on fact-checking, AI application, others


By Chika Nwachukwu, Abuja

Experts from Spain have trained Nigerian journalists on fact-checking, Artificial Intelligence applications, digital cybersecurity and disinformation debunking.

The two-day training which was organised by Casa África in partnership with Dubawa also introduced 35 Nigerian journalists to methods and technology to combat disinformation.

The training was also supported by the DG Africa of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, the Embassy of Spain in Nigeria and the Centre for Journalism Innovation & Development (CJID) of Nigeria.

Speaking on the training, Director General of Casa África, José Segura Clavell said that his organisation was are proud to collaborate with Nigerian partners in the training program which will strengthened the capacities of African journalists in fact-checking and digital security.

“We believe that these skills are essential for a quality journalism that can inform citizens and combat misinformation that can undermine democracy and human rights,” he said.

Also speaking, Executive Director at the CJID, Dr. Tobi Oluwatola said, “AI and its new iteration of large language models have changed the world in ways we do not fully comprehend yet. It is critical that Journalists are able to explain and leverage them for democratic purposes such as verification and digital literacy.”

Also speaking, Spain Ambassador to Nigeria, Juan Sell, who attended the closing ceremony of the training to hand over to the participants their certificates, commended Casa Africa for hitting the bulls-eye by bringing the most specialized fact checkers of Spain to train Nigerian journalists and partnering with Dubawa, an already reputed platform in the field of nowadays essential fight against disinformation.

“Spain is holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU this Semester and that among our priorities there is certainly the support of a free, independent, trustworthy and competent media, in Africa and elsewhere, as it is a prerequisite for a thriving and inclusive democracy,” he said.

The courses included the participation of two specialized trainers from the Spanish media outlets Maldita.es and Newtral, who shared their knowledge and experience with Dubawa fact-checkers and with other journalists interested in fact-checking.

This initiative which is part of the #PeriodismoÁfrica program of Casa África, seeks to bring Africa and Spain closer together through educational, economic, cultural and informative activities. For 15 years, Casa África has been fighting against stereotypes in the narratives about the African continent and supporting the role of journalism as a powerful tool in the fight against misinformation.

The training which was held from July 12 to 13 2023, in Abuja has been the third training experience of the #PeriodismoÁfrica program, which aims to take advantage of the talent and high innovation existing in the field of verification and the fight against misinformation in Spain to improve the training of African journalists, who have a huge challenge in misinformation. The first two experiences were carried out in Kenya and Namibia, with great success and satisfaction from the participants.

Casa África plans to continue deepening this program, as early as next September through the IV Meeting of Journalists Africa-Spain, which will take place in Madrid on September 26-27 and will focus on both misinformation and narratives about Africa in Spain and Europe.

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