The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in West Africa, along with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), is hosting a significant event in Lagos. This event will bring together various stakeholders from across the region to discuss and find solutions to the problems of disinformation, hate speech, and the manipulation of information.

Dr. Dauda Garuba, the Director of CDD West Africa, announced in Abuja that this conference will last for three days and is supported by Global Affairs Canada. Attendees will include representatives from civil society, media, and government institutions.

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The conference aims to provide a platform for scholars and practitioners who are experts in countering disinformation. They will have the chance to discuss the dangers posed by false information and share effective strategies to combat it. According to numerous studies, disinformation can weaken public trust, disrupt the electoral process, and damage democratic institutions. Both NDI and CDD believe that the conference will create strong partnerships and strategies to protect the information landscape in West Africa.

One of the main focuses of the event will be on how different regions have dealt with information manipulation during elections and political transitions over the past year. The role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in both spreading and combating disinformation will also be a major topic. Technology platforms and tools are constantly evolving, and their impact on information manipulation will be examined. Additionally, the conference will address how disinformation affects women and marginalized groups and will look at effective practices and recommendations to combat these issues.

In particular, the conference will feature various keynote speakers and panelists who will delve into how recent regional elections have been affected by disinformation, misinformation, and hate speech. They will discuss the tactics used and their effects on the electoral process. The role of AI in both creating and fighting against disinformation will be explored, along with the specific targeting of marginalized communities and its impact on social divides and trust in democratic systems. Tools and methods for tackling these challenges and monitoring online spaces will also be covered.

The event will include keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities. Participants will engage in interactive discussions, share real-life examples, and learn from experts who are actively working to combat disinformation and hate speech in the region.

Furthermore, the conference will be conducted in a hybrid format, allowing both physical and online participation. This approach will enable a wide range of participants to join the discussions. A pre-conference survey will also be conducted to gather insights and perspectives from a broader audience on their experiences with disinformation.

By bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders and experts, the conference aims to foster a collaborative approach to addressing the critical issue of disinformation in West Africa.