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Regional News Fri, 30 Nov 2012

Social Media activists urged to create public awareness

Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, Executive Director, West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), has appealed to social media activists in West Africa to use their platform to create more awareness

“Social media should give the public a space to become involved in issues facing our societies which in turn allows Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to expand their networks and widen participation in their causes.” She said.

Addressing a conference organised by WACSI for Civil Society Organisations which make use of the social media from West Africa on Thursday, she said social media if employed effectively, had the ability to broaden the scope of both the support base and activities of the organisation.

The conference was to provide an opportunity for CSOs to deliberate on how web-based technologies like the social media influence the operational contexts of CSOs and vice versa.

The conference was to create a platform for experts to share their success stories with using social media, and expound on the existing possibilities and challenges with the use of these new modes of communication.

This, she said, would enable WACSI gather relevant information to develop training and mentorship programmes for CSOs that focus on the most effective social media techniques to advocate for change and reform within the West African context.

The objectives of the conference were to map out strategies through which CSOs could leverage on social media to promote different development agendas, increase the knowledge and skills for the usage of social media for brand recognition, communication and advocacy purposes.

“It is also to provide a platform for sharing experiences on the different types of social media, using it as an advocacy tool and applying social media techniques to strengthen institutional and pragmatic delivery.

Some of the topics discussed included “Using the Blog to Report the Charles Taylor's Trial”, Blogging Ghana: Ghana Decides Factor”, Social Media and the Nigerian Demonstrations”, and “Communication Using Face book”.

Source: GNA