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Dubawa, West Africa’s fact-checking platform, launches in Sierra Leone

West Africa’s verification and fact-checking platform, Dubawa, has launched a new country office in Sierra Leone.

A project of the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) with a core mandate to restore the eroding trust of newsrooms, Dubawa’s mission is to establish a culture of truth and verification in public speech and journalism through strategic partnerships between the media, government, civil society organisations, technology giants and the public.

The government of Sierra Leone in Freetown gave a full support for expanded freedom of the media in the sub region, stressing that journalism is essential for democracy.

This view was put forward by the Minister of Information, Mohamed Swarray, while speaking at the official launch of Dubawa, West Africa’s leading fact-checking organisation for curbing the spread of misinformation and disinformation and for supporting true and reliable information in public policy, public health and the media.

As part of activities for the official launch, Dubawa will also train journalists and bloggers in fact-checking skills, digitals tools, right to information laws and data journalism.

Currently, Dubawa has been holding successful annual fellowships for journalists, fact checkers and researchers in The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone to equip fellows with skills in fact-checking and verification in combating the widespread regime of misinformation in the West African sub-region and to also contribute to knowledge around information disorder in the subregion.

First launched in Nigeria as the country’s first indigenous fact-checking platform in 2018, Dubawa expanded its programme to Ghana in 2019 and Sierra Leone in 2020 in a bid to promote accountability and democracy across the West African region. Dubawa currently also has a presence in Liberia and the Gambia.