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Penplusbytes and NCCE partner to Fight Election Disinformation Ahead of Ghana’s December Polls


Democratic elections are hinged on informed participation where citizens can make choices based on their ability to distinguish between truth and fiction, often amplified by political parties and their allies. Unfortunately, electoral environments have proven to be breeding grounds where misinformation and disinformation thrive.

Although not a new phenomenon, the advent of technologies like social media platforms has encouraged the spread of misinformation and disinformation at unprecedented speeds, distances, and volumes, particularly during electioneering periods. This is evident in how political parties and their candidates, including the general public, are not backing down from throwing mud and framing false narratives at each other as they canvass for votes ahead of Ghana’s December 2024 general elections.

With barely five months to Ghana’s general elections, there is an urgent need to safeguard our democracy by once again voting peacefully and transitioning governments smoothly, as has been done in previous elections. The need to enable people evaluate information and separate truth from fiction with media and information literacy (MIL) is also clearly evident considering the influx of election related misinformation and disinformation on digital platforms.

For this reason, Penplusbytes with support from DW Akademie and in partnership with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) is implementing the “MIL in Elections Campaign”. The project seeks to firstly train officers of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on the importance of media and information literacy in elections, how to recognize and combat election disinformation and misinformation, and then equip them with the necessary tools to disseminate accurate information to the public. The trained officers will go on to use information, education and communication materials to reach out to their communities with the message of being critical about consuming media during this election.

Providing more details about the campaign, Precious Ankomah, Head of Programs at Penplusbytes, indicated that the training for the NCCE officers will take place in selected regions across the country.

“This intervention is targeting 180 NCCE officers. We are hoping that at the end of it all, the trained officers will be able to cascade learning to the general public, which will lead to increased digital literacy levels among the population and more importantly, enhance the capacity of NCCE offices to deliver accurate messaging to combat false information before, during and after the elections,” she added.

The Deputy Chairperson in charge of Finance and Administration who signed the agreement on behalf of the National Commission for Civic Education, Lawyer Victor Brobbey, said the Commission is committed to this project because of what it stands to achieve.  He further explained that, “the NCCE has begun public education to fight fake news and misinformation going into the 2024 elections. It is one of our primary organizational objectives for this year. The partnership with Penplusbytes will further deepen our commitment to creating awareness about the dangers of misinformation. Officers selected for the training will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to identify election disinformation and misinformation. This will go a long way to support public engagement efforts by the Commission.”

The MIL in Elections Campaign forms part of Penplusbytes’ activities for the 2024 MIL project year which aims to reach new target audiences and new regions of the country with media and information literacy (MIL) education as the country prepares for its general elections in December 2024.