Sierra Leone
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National peace marathon 2022 ends

By Ibrahim Kabba Turay

The Center for Research, Youth and Peace Affairs (CRPYA) and the Patriotic Advocacy Network Sierra Leone (PAN-SL), have ended the national peace marathon 2022 on the theme: “Run for Peace”.

The peace marathon started at Bus Halt, Brookfields, and ended at the Kallon Car Park, Aberdeen Beach in Freetown, where speeches were delivered and awards also given to participants and winners.

In his opening remarks, Executive Director of CRPYA, Abdul Kpaka, stated that the national peace marathon was introduced as a unique way to celebrate this year’s International Day of Peace.

He said the rationale behind the national peace marathon was to create an innovative way of bringing young people, citizens,and the international community together for a peace-oriented event and to reach out to many people as possible-including schools, universities, communities, youth-led organizations, and political parties with peace and nation-building messages.

Delivering his keynote address on “The Role of Social Media in Promoting Peace in Sierra Leone”, Dr. Francis Sowa, explains the concept of the new media and it effect.

He stated that social media can be used in both positive and negative ways, which in turn tends to promote growth and development or to cause unrest in the state.

He said there is huge information pollution and information disorder which take the form of misinformation and disinformation.

“Misinformation is when you share incorrect information on social media, whereas disinformation is when you share wrong information which you know is wrong and has the tendency to cause unrest in society, yet you share it,” he stated.

Dr. Sowa emphasised that social media is just a mere platform and channel that people use to pass on information.

“The Problem is not with social media, the problem is with the people using social media,” he noted.

Dr. Sowa rounded up his speech by calling on young people to be peaceful, law-abiding, and to use social media wisely and responsibly.

He stated that the Peace Marathon was not an event but a campaign that should continue until the 2023 elections.

The gold trophy was awarded to Abu Bakarr Conteh from the Sierra Leone Police who emerged as the champion for the 2022 National Peace Marathon.

Medals were given to the best three (3) athletes and certificates were awarded to all registered participants.