Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has organised a two-day media training workshop on Prevention of Violent Extremism through Social Accountability (PoVETSA) project in Tamale. It was aimed at strategically building consensus and trust to improve media-security agency relationship towards preventing violent extremism in the country. Mrs Alisa Mogre, Programme Manager at CRS, speaking at the training, said the project was funded by the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana to implement the PoVETSA project in partnership with the National Peace Council to enhance a trust-building mechanism for Ghanaian national peacebuilding institutions, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), security services and civilians. She said PoVETSA was centered on the premise of a vibrant peacebuilding infrastructure in civil society to empower a social contract that ensured improved relationships between communities and the security services for the prevention of violent extremism. She said participants were to gain deeper understanding of the vital role of conflict-sensitive reporting as a formidable tool in countering negative ideologies that fueled violent extremism. Mrs Mogre urged the media to play an instrumental role in shaping the discourse around peacebuilding and development initiatives. She said the PoVETSA project was building on the gains of the Sahel Peace Initiative, which addressed the rising security crisis in West Africa’s Sahel Region. Dr Felix Longi, Senior Lecture at University for Development Studies, who facilitated the training, urged the media to create awareness on risk assessments, early warning, disruption, and decisive action to combat acts of terrorism in the country. He said it was the duty of the media to use their professional skills to promote patriotism, inclusion, civic responsibility, and social cohesion to ensure justice, rule of law, and human rights and equal opportunities for all as part of conflict prevention. Mr Nuhu Abukari, Deputy Director of Programmes at Northern Regional Peace Council, entreated journalists to avoid discrimination and misinformation in their reportage to prevent conflicts in the country. He advised journalists to be mindful about perception, prejudice and stereotypes when reporting on conflict issues.
Source: Ghana News Agency