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‘Ghost Town’ protests cause exodus of Nigerian traders from Cameroon

The security crisis ravaging the English-speaking regions of Cameroon is driving away many of the biggest traders originally from neighbouring Nigeria who have traditionally run key markets in towns around the regions, a report by Quartz Africa said

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The security crisis ravaging the English-speaking regions of Cameroon is driving away many of the biggest traders originally from neighbouring Nigeria who have traditionally run key markets in towns around the regions, a report by Quartz Africa said.

The crises have not been helped by the ‘ghost town’ protests which lead to shut down of markets every Monday.

The crisis, which started as a modest industrial strike action by English-speaking lawyers and teachers against the imposition of French, has spiralled into an unprecedented internal armed conflict. There are fears the country could slide into civil war as the conflict persists. In recent months, frequent clashes between government forces and separatists seeking to establish a state they would call ‘Ambazonia’ has left scores of civilians dead, including women and children.

Read Also: 100 dead off Libya coast

The recurrent deadly confrontations have provoked mass movement of people.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that no fewer than 160,000 people have been internally displaced, while a further over 21,000 have crossed to next door Nigeria as refugees.

In a bid to express dissent activists have instituted a civil disobedience action called “ghost town”; which grounds daily activities every Monday, with extensions to some other key days. Traders who spoke to Quartz see the operation as economically damaging as at least one full business day is lost each week since late 2016. Those who dare defy the order risk facing the wrath of unknown arsonists who have burned down shops in nearby towns.

Metro

Sign language interpreter, Kunda, seeks inclusivity in media rights agenda (video)

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An inclusive society is crucial for a nation’s human and economic development in the modern era.

In this edition of Project Aliyense, we feature Paul Kunda, widely recognized as the face of sign language interpretation on national television, serving the deaf community.

Kunda, a dedicated sign language interpreter and educator with over four years of experience, sheds light on the significance of media freedom.

“As a sign language interpreter at Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and a teacher by profession, I advocate for media freedom,” he said.

Kunda emphasised the importance of the Access to Information (ATI) Act, recently assented to by President Hakainde Hichilema, which empowered citizens to demand information freely.

He stressed the need for unhindered access to information to foster a civil and prosperous society.

Regarding digital rights, Kunda highlighted their critical role for the deaf community, given the transformative impact of digital platforms, especially when mainstream media access is limited.

“As a representative of the deaf community, I believe digital rights should be inclusive. Everyone, including persons with disabilities, should enjoy these rights through various devices to express themselves and participate in national discourse,” he asserted.

He also called for the recognition of sign language as the eighth national language, aligning with United Nations conventions that mandate sign language interpreters at all events to promote inclusivity.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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Educationist challenges media freedom norms, cautions against misuse of freedom of expression

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Geshom Banda, Deputy Head Teacher at Hillside Primary School, presents a contrasting perspective amidst discussions on media freedom and digital rights.

Banda contested the prevalent notion suggesting limitations on expressing opinions regarding government affairs through media channels.

In an interview with Zambia Monitor in Chipata, Eastern Province, Banda emphasized Zambia’s democratic foundation, affirming that citizens possessed the liberty to voice their views on governmental matters via the media.

“Television broadcasts frequently feature discussions on political issues and government affairs, reflecting the freedom of expression prevailing in our nation,” he observed.

Furthermore, Banda highlighted the accessibility of media platforms for marginalized groups, including the disadvantaged and persons with disabilities, enabling them to articulate their voices effectively.

“Thanks to the readily available facilities, marginalized communities now have avenues to express themselves through various media channels,” he said.

Nevertheless, Banda cautioned against the misuse of freedom of expression and digital rights, particularly concerning the dissemination of inaccurate information, which could adversely affect consumers’ perceptions of cyberspace.

“The challenge lies in misinformation. Inaccurate information circulated through the media can distort the public’s understanding,” he cautioned.

Acknowledging the necessity of regulatory measures, Banda referenced the Cybersecurity Act, aimed at curbing the malicious distortion of media content, despite persistent efforts by some individuals to spread misinformation.

“Granting unrestricted freedom in media poses risks of information distortion. Hence, regulatory measures like the Cybersecurity Act are crucial in safeguarding digital rights and preventing abuse,” he emphasized.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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