Lawyer Zakaria Tanko Musah called on the media to use advocacy, development and community journalism to change the discourse that Africa is a haven for cybercrime.
He explained that although the continent records crimes online, the attention it receives from foreign media is disproportionate.
Mr Musah, also a lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, addressed selected media staff members across Ghana at a two-day training workshop hosted by Internet4good Initiative and supported by the Bosch Alumni Network .
The aim was to empower practitioners to change the reporting of the stereotype of the “African crook” in the media.
Mr Musah said online criminal activity was more than financial fraud (sakawa), of which Africa had been accused, citing cyberterrorism, cyberextortion, cybersex, cyber trafficking, stalking and ponography as cyber attacks in other parts of the world.
He said that no African country was even among the top 20 countries for cybercrime in the world.
The world had become interconnected and there was a need to change the discourse of journalists in Africa, he said.
He called on the media to help create a new framework by projecting the positive aspects of Africa and urged young people to use the internet to improve their lot and not dwell on the negative aspects.
This, he said, had to be done consciously by not looking at the news from the perspective of the Western world and letting the positives make the headlines rather than the negatives.
Ms Mercy Mangwana, Project Team Member, Internet4Good, tasked participants to be innovative in redesigning the narrative on Africa’s image.
Oyindamola Adegboye, team leader, Internet4Good, said the days when people saw the internet as evil are over, adding that it has brought interconnectivity, making the world a global village with many benefits.
Ms. Caroline Anipah, Ghana Country Program Manager and Editor-in-Chief of Dubawa, advised the media to check the facts as they work to avoid misinformation, as the public views her information as “gospel truth” .