A workshop on developing effective communication strategies and interventions to alter the impact of prevalent narratives encouraging violent extremism in Sub Saharan Africa has ended in Accra-Ghana assembling Civil Society Organisation CSOs from the sub region. 
UNDP Mobile App Launch Accra Ghana
 Organised by the United Nations Development Programme UNDP in partnership with Albany Associates, the workshop from the 16 - 21st of April had the approval and launching of a Mobile Application to help design campaigns to prevent violent extremism as the major outcome. 
Speaking at the workshop, Lamin Manneh, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, stated, “We contribute to the prevention of violent extremism by supporting development solutions that target the root causes and structural drivers of violent extremism. From 2011 to 2016, it caused 33,300 fatalities as well as widespread displacement, creating situations of pronounced and critical humanitarian need.”
On his part Jem Thomas, Albany’s Director of Training & Research said, “We are delighted to work together with UNDP to produce such an innovative toolkit and App for countering violent extremism.  We look forward to seeing the app being used and feel privileged to be part of such an important cause”.
According to the Mobile App, tackling extremist narratives should ensure local voices are captured in developing counter narratives. With funding from the Japanese government, the mobile app provides guidance to development practitioners like Civil Society Organisations to develop effective communication strategies and interventions in Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE).
The Executive Director of Hope for the Needy Association HOFNA Cameroon - Christelle Bay C who participated in the regional workshop told The Guardian Post in Bamenda upon return from Ghana that “is was a timely regional workshop which is a continuation of the work HOFNA and other CSO's from over 15 other countries in Sub Saharan Africa started in Uganda in 2016.” She admitted that during the various workshops around the subject of violent extremism she learned targeted and focused campaigns, planning, messaging and narratives.
Appraising her organization’s participation in the workshop and the development of the mobile app she added “HOFNA is truly privileged to have contributed to the development of the content of this app and look forward to working with CSOs and other related stakeholders and engaging them in using this app in planning and running more sustainable and effective Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism P/CVE campaigns and spreading counter narratives.”
Being the first of its kind, the app provides a practical, step-by-step, guide on strategic and communications elements – from basic concepts of narrative to campaign planning; and incorporates a number of case studies, tips, templates and online resources.
This mobile app intends to serve as a resource base for stakeholders intending to use communication means in an effort to counter and prevent violent extremism. At the launch, participants discussed the challenges and different contexts in which extremism occurs and the approaches taken by national and international actors in developing tools suitable to their country context. They all acknowledged that the app is designed to close this gap.
The Mobile App is available for download, free of charge at: Google Play https://goo.gl/ZiKVDf or Apple https://apple.co/2H374KG
Derick BAKAH

Derick BAKAH

Bakah Derick is a Broadcast Presenter and Multimedia specialist with focus on sharing with the rest of the world the daily happenings in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. You can contact us on +237 675460750 or debakah2004@gmail.com.

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