New media conference opens with Odinkalu, Noubremma, Itodo, others

Pictures from a New Media Conference
Pictures from a New Media Conference

Discussions around the growing impact of social media and its attendant challenges have brought communications experts and thought leaders to Abuja this week.

An estimated 250 participants from across the world would participate at this year’s edition of New Media, Citizens & Governance Conference which opened this morning at 9 a.m. and the closing programme would open at the same time tomorrow morning.

The conference has dissected issues around new media since 2012 when citizens’ advocacy think-tank, Enough Is Enough, and Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation partnered to host the first edition. The second held in 2016, with Oby Ezekwesili as one of the top speakers.

Chidi Odinkalu, a rights advocate who once led Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission in Abuja, would deliver the keynote once the event opens at the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre by 9:00 a.m.

A series of strategic engagements and panel discussions would follow until 3:30 p.m. when organisers planned to wrap up the first day.

Those expected to participate in different sessions include Farida Noubremma, outspoken Togolese political activist; Chris Ihidero, writer and filmmaker; Samson Itodo, the convener of #NotTooYoungToRun; Demola Olarewaju, a political strategist and Idayat Hassan of Centre for Democracy and Development West Africa.

Enough Is Enough, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria and BudgIT Nigeria — the major partners for the conference — plan to use this year’s edition to highlight the broadening function of new media platforms, especially social media, in facilitating discourse between government and the governed, with particular reference to Africa.

Programme Schedule: Day 1

Chidi Odinkalu —Keynote speaker (9:00.)

Collins Dike (Panelist) — Showcase & Marketplace – Tech Tools for Elections (11:00)

This session is a platform to showcase frontrunning tech-based solutions that have been deployed to create solutions on election-related matters.

Chioma Agwuegbo (Panel moderator) — Are Elections Won on the Timeline? (11:45)

This session will be an overview of actions, lessons learned and suggestions for better engagement as Nigeria approaches the 2019 general elections and the role new media plays during and after elections.Are Elections Won on the Timeline? This session will be an overview of actions, lessons learned and suggestions for better engagement as Nigeria approaches the 2019 general elections and the role new media plays during and after elections.

‘Gbenga Sesan (Panel moderator) — Who is Afraid of New Media? Fake News and Hate Speech (14:00)

Hamzat Lawal (Panel moderator) — Checks and Balances: Holding Our Elected Reps Accountable (15:30).

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