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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tribute to Komla Afeke Dumor by Kwami Ahiabenu II

Komla was my course mate at University of Ghana, Legon and we stayed on the same floor of P Block, Legon Hall during our freshman year.

Komla understood journalism very deeply, more importantly recognized that technology is driving story-telling in a revolutionary manner. He took to Facebook, twitter and other social media tools in a creative manner, positioning him as a great journalist with impeccable repute.

Komla invested significantly in learning online skills and this is evidenced in how he perfected audience engagement online in a manner which can serve as a best case study for a New Media class.

The best tribute we can pay to him as journalists is to follow his example, serving our audience better using all available tools including New Media offerings as we hold truth to power.

Komla Afeke Dumor, you have run the race to a successful end and we have bytes of prayers in our hearts for your final journey to the abode of our heavenly father.

Rest in Peace, our dear friend Komla.

Kwami Ahiabenu,II President,

International Institute for ICT Journalism (www.penplusbytes.org) 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Penplusbytes showcase innovative projects in fighting corruption @CoCo2014

Penplusbytes the leading Pan-African media and ICT organisation in mining oil and gas, new media and innovations and transparency and accountability is participating in the ongoing inaugural edition of the Coalition against Corruption (CoCo) conference in Bangalore, India and will show case some of the organisations' projects using new digital tools to interact and engage with citizens, CSOs and  Parliaments across Africa to fight corruption and promote transparency and accountability in the extractive sector as well as democratic governance. 

The CoCo2014 brings together participants from 16 countries and across a wide spectrum comprising researchers and academics, elected representatives, government officials, practitioners, civil society organisations, technologists and citizens.

In his presentation, Jeremiah Sam from Penplusbytes gave practical examples of the organisations work and shed light on Penplusbytes work in empowering the media to play an active watchdog role over mining, oil and gas revenues and resources and also enabling citizens through the use of new digital technologies to hold duty bearers to account.

Mr. Sam said "Penplusbytes said relies on its highly versatile ICT platforms to facilitate citizen engagement not only in the identification of national problems but also in policy formulation as well as implementation which is often saddled with numerous bottlenecks.

"Online tools provide the platform to enable citizens' voice to be heard on national issues and provide the avenue to monitor the activities of public officials in order to improve public service delivery, and ultimately improve the quality of lives of the citizenry." He added.

The three day conference which will run from 13-15 January 2014 is co co-hosted by The Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, Stanford University, Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, Bangalore and Sunlight Foundation, Washington DC.

"Over the next three days, we hope to engage participants in conversations on a wide range of issues on the following corruption-types: Corruption in Public Resource Allocation, Political Financing and Lobbying; Corruption in Public Procurement and Contracting and Retail Corruption in Public Services for Citizens" Srikanth Viswanathan, Coordinator- Advocacy, Research and Capacity Building from Janaagraha.