A group of journalists, media professionals and researchers hailing from several dozen countries will meet at the upcoming two-day Kampala Geo Politics Conference starting October 26 to seek a way to deal with fake news and online manipulation.
The event set to take place at Makerere University comes at a time the world is struggling to come to terms with fake news disseminated by individuals, organisations and states.
Misinformation as such is not a new phenomenon, but its acceleration in the digital age of digital seems to play into the hands of populists and manipulative commercial forces.
In Uganda, fake news about banks has since threatened the future of the country’s banking industry.
Facebook and online platforms owned by individuals are seen as the common medium through which fake news is disseminated.
When professionals meet at Makerere, they will hold a debate on whether beliefs are winning over reason.
For example, are we moving from an age of information into an age of disinformation and “posttruth”?
o the negative effects of social media outweigh their positive potential?
Are emotions and beliefs winning over facts and reason in the age of social media?
The speakers lined for the event include Sylvie Matelly, Deputy Director, IRIS, France; Christoph Plate, Director, KAS Media Africa; William Tayebwa, Head, Department of Journalism & Communication, Makerere University; Vincent N’gethe, Deputy Kenya Editor, Africacheck; and Dickens Okello, Secretary General Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA).
The session will be moderated by Raymond Mujuni, Investigative Journalist, NBS TV.
KAS representative Matthias Kamp says the conference aims at “creating an interactive and dynamic platform for dialogue and free exchange of ideas cutting across contemporary local and international geopolitics.”
Topics relating to global political, social and economic debates will be discussed.
Conference topics will include political, economic, health, demographic, gender, environmental, social issues in Africa and in the world.
About 100 speakers from various countries including France, Germany, South Africa, Kenya, South Sudan and, of course, Uganda: politicians, diplomats, journalists, researchers, activists and key leaders have been invited to the event.