iWatch Africa launches digital rights initiative to tackle online harassment in Ghana

iWatch Africa, a non-profit organization, has launched a digital rights initiative in Accra to curb online harassment experienced by human rights activists and journalists in Ghana.

iWatch Africa in collaboration with the Commission on Human Rights Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the police will monitor and prosecute individuals who use various online platforms to trample on the fundamental human rights of the targeted group.

The Co-Founder of iWatch Africa, Gideon Sarpong in his address at the event to launch the initiative decried the impact of online harassment on the quality of journalism practised in the country.

He called on the general public to be conscious of their social media posts so they don’t undermine the democracy and Constitution of Ghana.

The launch hosted 20 selected participants from diverse backgrounds to undertake the project which will help create a conducive environment for human rights activists and journalists in Ghana.

Some participants during the digital rights training in Accra

The Project Lead of iWatch Africa, Nana Boakye-Yiadom highlighted the adverse effect normalizing cyberbullying could have on the country and called on participants to refine their social media interaction modules.

The initiative is supported by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), through the Africa Digital Rights Fund (ADRF).

iWatch Africa is among 14 organizations selected by CIPESA to advance digital rights in 18 different countries around the continent.

About iWatch Africa

iWatch Africa is a non-governmental media and policy organisation with considerable national repute and significance.

iWatch Africa has carved a niche in Ghana’s policy and journalism environment by putting out objective, fact-based and independent assessment on many issues.

iWatch Africa tracks digital rights in Africa, trans-national organised crime, human rights abuse and government overall performance in Ghana.

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Gideon Sarpong

Gideon Sarpong is a policy analyst and media practitioner with close to a decade of experience in policy, data and investigative journalism. Gideon is a co-founder of iWatch Africa. He is an author; a fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Thomson Reuters Foundation, Commonwealth Youth Program ,Free Press Unlimited and Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative. Gideon is the founder of Sustainable Ocean Alliance Ghana. He was a 2021 Policy Leader Fellow at the European University Institute, School of Trans-national Governance in Florence, Italy and 2020/21 Open Internet For Democracy Leader. Gideon was also a 2022 Visiting Scholar/Reuters Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK and was selected as a 2022 TRF/Trust Conference Changemaker. He is currently the Africa Regional Cordinator for Environmental Justice Foundation and a 2023 Pulitzer ORN Fellow. Email: gideonsarpong@iwatchafrica.org.

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