Kinshasa, 28 June 2022 (TDI): Central African countries adopted a regional strategy to address hate speech following an official forum in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 21 to 24 June.
Moreover, there is also a comprehensive action plan to combat hate speech. Hate speech which is employed for discrimination and incitement of violence has long been a fault line in Central Africa.
The inundation has resulted in polarization among various ethnic and religious groups. Moreover, hate speech is not only a problem in Central Africa but also a problem around the world.
The international community’s concerns regarding these worsening divides have led to this addressing mechanism facilitated by the United Nations.
The UN has defined and differentiated between the two concepts of hate speech and inciting violence.
Additionally, it further outlines the implementational actor of the strategy, the priority areas, as well as the coordination mechanisms.
An Introduction to ECCAS and Annual Regulation Forum
The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) will also play a key role in facilitating the implementation of the strategy.
Meanwhile, the ECCAS will closely work with the United Nations on this issue. It’s worth noting that the slogan of the ECCAS is “Peace and prosperity for the peoples of Central Africa”.
The Minister to the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nana Manwanina Karumba, emphasized that the ECCAS needs to develop mechanisms to incorporate the strategy in member state policies.
Additionally, Nana underscored the significance of endorsing the regional strategy on the ECCAS forum which provides itself as a community tool to curb hate speech regionally.
There were two other declarations adopted by participants at the Kinshasa Forum. The declarations deal with the implementation of the regional hate speech strategy by primarily establishing an annual regulation forum.
The annual regulation forum will discuss pertinent issues regarding peace and security of the countries of the region as well as a forum for presenting governance solutions.
To achieve relevant goals, it’s necessary to partner up with sub-regional organizations such as the ECCAS.
However, the significance of other international development organizations operational in Central Africa also needs attention.