By Sufyan Lawal Kabo
In addition to the previous Social Media for Peace Advocacy workshops in Kano, Bauchi, Abuja and Jigawa state, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from MacArthur Foundation conducted a one-day training on Use of Social Media for advocacy for CSOs in Zamfara state. Twenty (20) organizations attended the workshop which held at Fulbe Villa Hotel, Gusau, capital of Zamfara state on 12th of June, 2015.
The workshop was organized over the course of one day and it included combination of presentations, interactive discussions, and roundtable sessions.
The specific objectives of the workshop was:
- To conduct training for civil society organizations members to use social media to promote tolerance, diversity and peace in Northern Nigeria
- To encourage CSOs to setup social media platforms for peace campaign
- Develop and deploy social media platforms to be used to promote tolerance, unity in diversity and peace in Northern Nigeria
- Engage civil society organizations and other stakeholders to articulate alternative appropriate and effective framework for addressing the myriad of violence afflicting the country
Malam Musa Umar, CITAD’s Focal Point in Zamfara gave the welcome remark which he in it described the background and objectives of the workshop. He further stated that social media is a powerful and widespread communication platform for exchanging ideas and information among citizens, institutions and communities and it has presented enormous opportunities in utilizing them for peace campaign and other socio-economic development.
The first presentation was on Understanding Social Media facilitated by Malam Musa Umar. He described ICTs as a media shorthand for new communications technologies and can be unique in three important ways: these are Ability to transcend time and space constraints, de-professionalization of information processing and Integration of the various forms of media into a common platform. Besides, it is a web-based and mobile technology to turn communication into an interactive dialogue.
CITAD Media Officer, Sufyan Lawal Kabo took the next paper titled Case Study which explained the myriads of unrests engulfing the northern part of Nigeria as a result of insurgency attacks. This was made to be more of an interactive session in order to gain inputs and for experience sharing among the participants. The presentation also explained the objectives, goal and methodology of the peace project initiated by CITAD.
The next item was the theoretical and practical on Use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube apps by CITAD Peace Club Officer Malam Kamilu Isa– these include how to build friends and followers.
Other papers being presented during the workshop were: Planning Social Media for Advocacy, Using Social Media for peace campaign and Evaluating Social media campaign.
During the group work session, the participants split in three groups and came up with some recommendations as follows:
- Civil societies should synergize to advocate to the legislators for network improvement by the service providers for effective social media advocacy.
- CSOs should collaborate with media organizations/Media Houses to disseminate peace messages
- CSOs should try to make good use of use of social media for their activities.
- Government should make bandwidth more affordable to citizens
- CSOs should work actively towards sensitizing the people at the grassroots on the use of the social media for advocacy
- CSOs should use social media to promote peace and national unity