By Etuka Sunday
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, and other key players in the country’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector are set for the 2020 virtual Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (vNIGF).
The 9th edition of the annual event, which will hold virtually this year due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, is scheduled for September 23-24, 2020 with the theme “Achieving Inclusive Digital Economic Development in the Post-COVID19 Era.”
The vNIGF 2020 will be chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Istifanus Musa.
In a statement, the organisers observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the critical importance of digital technologies in fostering inclusive national development and this has necessitated the thematic focus of the conference, where the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (NIGF-MAG), the body of organisers of the event, will come together to chat the way forward, as a community of Nigeria’s Internet ecosystem.
The theme of this year’s event amplifies how the focus of the NIGF-MAG, from both the business and policy communities, is shifting from shaping a resilient Internet for societal sustainability to understanding the effect and impact of COVID-19 on individual and corporate lives and activities, especially with regard to women and the youths.
While the NIGF-MAG has assured of a good virtual experience at the programme, it said that that the virtual conference will be preceded by the Youth Internet Governance Forum (YIGF) and Women IGF (WIGF) on September 23, 2020, while the main event at which Dr. Pantami will deliver a keynote address on the theme holds on September 24, 2020.
The Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde in a statement said, aside Pantami and Danbatta, organisers have also confirmed a lineup of eminent speakers for the vNIGF 2020 who will participate at high-level panel discussions on the thematic focus of “2020 to 2030 Digital Economy Strategy.”
The speakers are Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, Ms Funke Opeke; Chair of the Global IGF MAG, Anriette Esterhuysen; Coordinator, West
Africa IGF, Mrs. Mary Uduma; Prof. Adenike Osofisan of University of Ibadan; and Dr. Nnenna Ifeanyi-Ajufo of Swansea University.
Others include a digital policy expert at Google, Mrs. Titi Akinsanmi; President and Chief Executive Officer, High Tech Centre for Nigerian Women and Youths, Dr. Wunmi Hassan; Coordinator, YouthIGF-NG, Uffa Modey, among others.
Members of the public from the private sector, government, civil society organisations and inter-governmental organisations, academia as well as Internet end-users are encouraged to register and attend the event live on the NIGF event website on htts://2020.igf.ng and across its social media platforms, @NigeriaIGF.
According to the organisers, registration and attendance is free. Upon registration, participants will receive the event notifications and updates, free access to the digital edition of the event’s report and more.
The NIGF-MAG comprises stakeholders from the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE), NCC, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Internet Society DigitalSENSE Africa Media (DSA), in partnership with other local Internet stakeholders.