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Penplusbytes Empowers Communities in the Digital Age: Launches 2023 Global Media and Information Literacy Week in Kumasi

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Over the past few decades, the digital landscape has experienced unprecedented growth, transitioning from a realm accessible to only a select few, to one where virtually every individual, including children, possesses a mobile phone or a social media account. Ghana, at the forefront of this digital revolution, now boasts approximately 8.8 million social media users. This number is anticipated to rise significantly in the coming years, with platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter (now X) leading the digital charge in the country.

However, this rapid digitalization has given rise to a myriad of challenges. The proliferation of digital platforms has resulted in concerns such as the rampant spread of fake news, misinformation, cyberbullying, online harassment, and privacy breaches.

To address these concerns, Penplusbytes has adopted the theme for this year’s Global MIL Week celebrations, “Media and Information Literacy in Digital Spaces: A Collective Global Agenda,” and the organization will explore how the digital space is constantly evolving and the need to build the media and information literacy (MIL) competencies of individuals, particularly young people, while engaging on digital platforms.

Against this backdrop, Penplusbytes and its partners (DW Akademie Ghana, UNESCO Ghana, University of Ghana – Department of Communication Studies, UNIMAC- Ghana Institute of Journalism, and the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO) will for the fifth year running, organize and facilitate various public events to commemorate the 2023 Global MIL Week from October 23rd to October 28th, 2023.

In this year’s edition of Global Media and Information Literacy Week, Penplusbytes will develop new initiatives and reinforce existing ones to advance media and information literacy in digital spaces through a number of activities lined up to mark the week-long celebration.

For Mr. Jerry Sam, Executive Director of Penplusbytes, this year’s MIL Week celebration presents a perfect opportunity for Penplusbytes to expand its reach and to make MIL truly for all. He notes, “As the Hub for MIL in Ghana, Penplusbytes through thoughtfully curated local activities, we stand committed to raising awareness and enhancing the media and information literacy competences of the youth. In 2023 MIL Week, we reaffirm our dedication to empowering communities, fostering digital literacy, and ensuring responsible engagement with the vast digital landscape”.

 “What makes this year’s celebration unique is that, unlike in the past when the event was held in Accra, this year’s activities will take place for the first time ever in the Ashanti regional capital of Kumasi, which forms part of our vision of leaving no one behind in quest to make the general public media and information literate,” he added.

The week-long celebration will be launched with an opening ceremony on Tuesday, 24th October, 2023, followed by an online awareness campaign aimed at reaching people with a variety of MIL fun facts with the hashtags #SpotTheFake, #ThinkCritically and #ClickWisely.