Innovative approaches to media literacy in the fight against misinformation

A lot of resources have been invested in getting journalists to do more fact-checking. But increasingly, we’re realising that it is not enough to verify claim after claim. It is not even enough to go after disinformation networks and get hundreds of bot accounts suspended from various social media websites. We also need to boost …

Sudanese Doctors Diagnosed Their Country And Prescribed A Revolution

When Mohammed Nagi Alassam enrolled in medical school, it would have been hard to imagine him as one of the faces of a revolution that would years later, change the course of his country.  Sudan has huddled under the boots of dictators for many years. Backed by Islamists, in 1989, Omar al-Bashir, then a 45-year-old …

The IPOB Diaspora Network Pushing Disinformation In Nigeria

One name that comes up often in the war against disinformation in Nigeria is the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a separatist organisation whose controversial campaign has ripped through Nigeria’s airwaves and internet spaces for over a decade. Despite multiple attempts to muffle its message, it has continued to have a powerful presence both on …

Chased By Terrorists, Caught By The Military: Two Sides Of An Ugly War

Boko Haram wanted Adam Lawan dead.  As a politician and vigilante, he represented everything they detested: allegiance to democratic rule and brazen defiance of the group’s armed insurgency. So they went after him each time they raided Uta, a village in Bama, northeastern Nigeria. But Adam was lucky to escape the attempts on his life.  The …

Civil Society Groups Rise To Safeguard Sudan’s Shaky Transition To Democracy

When in Dec. 2018, the people of Sudan thronged the streets to protest a failing economy, they met a resistance that reminded them they were also victims of an autocracy that had succeeded for far too long. So, they cranked up their demands, concerning themselves not only with the unattainable prices of bread and fuel, …

Tragedy On The Road To Maiduguri’s Cattle Market

One cool morning many Septembers ago, Goni set out on a long journey to the urban capital of Borno with a few personal items, three companions, and a healthy herd of goats. He was going to sell the livestock at the Maiduguri Cattle Market, use the proceeds to buy fabrics, and then head back home …

Chinese Loans: Nigeria Is Spending Money It Doesn’t Have On Projects It Can’t Sustain

When the creators of Nigeria’s capital Abuja envisioned the city in the late 1970s, they imagined it would be the hub of rail transportation, connecting all the other parts of the country. Over four decades later, that vision remains unrealised. Hope was rekindled in May 2007 when the capital territory authorities awarded the Abuja Rail Mass Transit …

How Are Terrorists In Nigeria Funding Their Violent Campaigns?

Nigeria has been in a long-drawn battle with violent terror organisations for over a decade. These groups break up, expand, contract, and form new alliances as their strength either intensifies or wanes. Whatever happens, they have remained a threat to the safety of lives and property, and one key reason is their access to funding.  …

She Lost Three Children Before The War, And Then It Took All That Was Left

Yagana Mamanaye’s life was complete, and then it wasn’t.  She had everything she wanted. A home that embraced her. A husband who loved her. Children who brought her a garden of joy. A stable source of income. But, one by one, all those pleasures got sucked out and she was left with nothing.  First, it …

Using Tech, A Group Of Young People Is Restoring Care To Nigeria’s Healthcare

Elizabeth* and her inhaler were inseparable at the start of the year. The 22-year-old would fall asleep holding it and wake up gasping for air. She used the inhaler as many as eight times a day and had to buy a new one every other week. It was both stressful and expensive. When she heard …