For the Gambia, we look at the fake news ecosystem through the eyes of Sait Matty Jaw, who doubles as the co-founder and executive director of the Center for Research and Policy Development and political science lecturer at the University of the Gambia.
Sait’s Center for Research and Policy Development is a partner of CDD and one of the earliest organisations to take up fact-checking in the Gambia.
The study highlights how misinformation and disinformation are shaping the post-Jammeh era in Gambia and obfuscating the transition from dictatorship to democracy. It links fake news in the Gambia to politics and shows how political players leverage social media tools to shape public opinion by spreading disinformation.
Interestingly, the report places Gambia’s diaspora among the movers and shakers in the country’s fake news ecosystem. Leaning on propagandist antecedents honed during the activism of the Jammeh days, the diaspora has transitioned to more politically partisan views and are launching information campaigns from both sides of the political divide.
It is symbolic that we are releasing this report just ahead of the Gambia’s general election of December 4 2021. We understand that the timing of this research has increased the readiness of the Center for Research and Policy Development towards the important work of fact-checking election-related disinformation in the coming week.
This report is part of our ECOWAS Fake News Reports. Missed the other reports in the series? Catch up below: