The validation and launch of the ‘Tackling Extremist Narratives’– a UNDP Mobile Application took place on 18th – 19th April 2018 in Accra, Ghana. Sh. Ibrahim Asmani Lethome, one of Arigatou International’s Advisory Group Member, joined other 60 participants from different countries across Africa to witness the launch. The event was graced by the Minister of Interior, Ghana, Mr. Ambrose Dery, Japan’s Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Tsutomu Himeno, and Director, United Nations Development Programme Regional Service Centre for Africa Mr. Lamin Momodou Manneh, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,.
The initial idea of the App emerged from a CVE workshop, organized by the GNRC Secretary General in Uganda, in November 2017. After months of preparation, the App was created, and presented to religious leaders, professionals and youth to validate and launch at the follow up workshop in Accra from 18th – 19th April 2018.
The App was designed to help create and implement campaigns against extremist narratives. This App’s resource is vast ranging from information, checklists, tips, case studies, procedures and protocols to help develop effective communication strategies and interventions to tackle violent extremist narratives.
In his remarks, the Minister of Interior, applauded UNDP’s efforts in designing the App noting that it was an opportunity for Ghana and the entire Africa to use the tool to enhance their approach towards peace building.
“It is my hope that the Civil Society groups who have proved key partners in Ghana’s development will collaborate with the appropriate stakeholders such as religious and traditional leaders, the media, youth groups and Security experts among others to change the narrative around violent extremism.” – Mr. Ambrose Dery, Minister of Interior of Ghana.
Japan’s Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Tsutomu Himeno, noted that the mobile App was a personal achievement to him and his country since it brought hope to the world and revolutionized the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. He encouraged peace practitioners to strive in building sustainable structures that promote peace and cohesion.
Mr Lamin Momodou Manneh, Director, United Nations Development Programme Regional Service Centre for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said the toolkit would be disseminated throughout UNDP country offices and regional hubs, UN sister entities and other partners, including outside the UN system.
Sh. Ibrahim Asmani Lethome, Arigatou International Advisory Group Member, shared the staggering statistics that every five minutes, a child is killed in a violent act; and about 1 billion of the 2.2 billion children around the world endure different forms of physical and sexual violence, irrespective of ethnicity, nationality, race, religion or income levels. He called upon peace practitioners to use the UNDP Toolkit to promote peace and protect the children and youth. Sh. Lethome added that the toolkit presents various techniques and methods that can help achieve global peace, more so counter violent extremism.
The toolkit, whose development was funded by the Government of Japan, provides mobile resources to CSOs, development professionals and interfaith and inter-ethnic institutions working on sustainable conflict resolution in Africa. The tool also creates opportunities for users to tackle violent extremism through developing effective communication strategies and interventions to prevent and counter prevalent narratives propagated by violent extremists. The mobile App is available in Google and Apple online stores for free and in French and English languages.