The African Institute for Investigative Journalism pitches for collaboration at the AIIJ Conference 2021

The African Institute for Investigative Journalism pitches for collaboration at the AIIJ Conference 2021

By Rahim Nwali.
Investigative journalists from across Africa and beyond gathered in different cities across the continent to take part in this year’s investigative journalism conference. The conference organized by Witz University attracted over 1,000 delegates including journalists, academicians, donors, entrepreneurs, media organization to say the least. The hybrid
conference included both online and physical meeting sessions in Abuja Nigeria, Nairobi, Kenya, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Dakar, Senegal and Johannesburg, South Africa. The African institute for Investigative Journalism is proud to have been a part of the conference participating in two panel session. The Executive Director Solomon Serwanjja hosted a panel discussion on government driven mis/disinformation and social conflict in Africa.

The panelists including the Senior investigations manager for CODE FOR AFRICA Alan Cheboi, Peris Gachachi from Africa Uncensored and Kevin Rubio from the DT-Institute discussed in detail the role of collaboration in fighting against mis/disinformation online. The panel used a case study of the mis/disinformation which was displayed during Uganda’s elections as a baseline. Through collaboration with the CODE FOR AFRICA, Africa Uncensored, the team did an online data analysis which showed coordinated inauthentic behavior in Uganda’s elections. They later on raised a red flag to Facebook which conducted further investigations, later on closing over 30 accounts belonging to those who were pushing the agenda of president Yoweri Museveni.
The panel concluded that collaboration between tech companies and data companies with media organization cannot be over emphasized.
The Executive Director also spoke during a panel session that discussed investigating corruption and the power of collaboration. The panel which also comprised of investigative Journalists Dominic Wabala was moderated by Mary Mwendwa, the investigations editor for Talk Africa. The panel discussed the challenges in investigating corruption, the role of collaboration in executing transborder investigation and the need for credibility. The panel concluded with the discussion on safety and security of journalists who are investigating such cases. The three-day conference ended on Wednesday 13 th October 2021. A special thank you to Witz University, the partners and the sponsors of the conference who made this conference happen.