Three West African countries, namely Ghana, Guinea, and Cote d‘Ivoire, will organize elections this year and 2009. Access to timely, factual and unbiased information on elections is still a key problem in these countries.
The problem is compounded by the lack of skills required by the media to navigate the sometimes difficult terrain of elections. Again, some media professionals in these countries lack information and knowledge resources required to perform their functions effectively. Furthermore the use and availability of ICT tools for journalism is problematic.
In order to tackle some of these challenges, the International Institute for ICT Journalism (www.penplusbytes.org), in partnership with and with funding from, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and other partners, is embarking on West African Election Information and Knowledge Project.
The flagship of this project is our online portal which provides country specific relevant elections information contributed by journalists and ordinary citizens. The project will also integrate SMS as broadcast, monitoring and citizen journalism tool as mobile phones have become increasingly preferred means of communication in the sub region due to their convenience and relatively low cost of deployment.
The project which covers Ghana, Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire has six key components:
1. Training of senior editors, journalists and reporters;
2. Developing and disseminating an Election Reporting Guide for the Media;
3. SMS/ Mobile phone application in election coverage and monitoring, using FrontlineSMS; short code 1927 on all networks
4. Development of Information and Knowledge Online Portal; and
5. Provision of Knowledge products for the media
6. Media Content Monitoring
Please visit the elections portal at http://www.africanelections.org for up to the minute election news, features, live results, analysis and more. The portal adopts the respective lingua franca of the countries i.e. French for Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire and English for Ghana.
See our web 2.0 applications at http://www.ghanaelectionshotline.com/ghana/blogs/?post=60
For more information contact:
COTE D' IVOIRE - firstname.lastname@example.org