International cooperation is most urgently needed to achieve and sustain the goal of media and information literacy for all, said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
Motshekga was addressing the opening of the 10th World Media and Information Literacy Week of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), hosted by Africa du Sud from Monday to October 29, 2021.
This year’s MIL Week is organized under the theme “Media and Information Literacy for the Public Good”.
“Together, we must respond to the call of United Nations (UN) Resolution A/RES/75/267 for media and information literacy to be an urgent and imperative public matter,” said Motshekga. , who addressed the opening of Literacy Week on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa, said.
Motshekga said South Africa is proud to celebrate this historic moment as the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to host World Media and Information Literacy Week.
“This is an important step for the promotion of the culture of media and information literacy in sub-Saharan Africa and in Africa in general. We must change the trend of low use of media and information literacy. information in education in African countries.”
She said media and information literacy can support the strategic approach to building an inclusive and resilient African society and connecting the African continent to the rest of the world.
South Africa stands with the global community not only to strengthen the foundations of media and information literacy, but also to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals beyond the agenda Global Agenda 2030, the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa (2020-2030) and Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.
“Media and information literacy and digital skills should be mainstreamed into actions related to the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa (2020-2030) as a driver of human capabilities and empowerment,” she said.
She added that it was appropriate that the Nairobi Declaration and Call for Action on Bridging Continental and Global Education Frameworks for Africa recognized the importance of media and media literacy. information.
“Indeed, media and information literacy can provide the necessary skills, competencies, and attitudes that support digital skills, digital hygiene, critical thinking, and intercultural skills.”
She called on everyone to build the skills of African citizens as agents of change by enhancing media and information literacy in lifelong learning, online and offline spaces at all levels.
Confronting global misinformation
Motshekga said the global threat of misinformation is more pronounced today as the world battles the anti-vax lobby in the face of the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
She called on the conference to respond thoughtfully to the anti-vax lobby and disinformation entrepreneurs.
“As part of the international community, we are proud of the progress made in recent years in media and information literacy. Yet we now face a new threat of global disinformation via social media platforms. social,” said Motshekga.
She said it is an insidious threat that requires ingenuity in law-making, public education and transatlantic efforts to reverse emerging trends of disinformation entrepreneurs taking over.
“We need to consider new media and information literacy programs to help people understand the consequences of creating and sharing false and misleading content,” she said.