As preparations for the 2020 virtual Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (vNIGF) reach final stages, 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) have declared their readiness to grace the event.
Scheduled for September 23-24, 2020, with the theme: “Achieving Inclusive Digital Economic Development in the Post-COVID19 Era,” this year’s edition, which is the 9th in the series, will, according to the organisers, hold virtually due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The vNIGF 2020 will be chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Istifanus Musa.
The organisers said in a statement that they 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 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.
This year’s theme 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 youths.
While assuring of a good virtual experience at the programme, the NIGF-MAG said 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.
It is not only Pantami and Danbatta that will be gracing the event, the 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 include 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; and Coordinator, YouthIGF-NG, Uffa Modey, among others.
A statement by the organisers urged members of the public from the private sector, government, civil society organisations and inter-governmental organisations, academia as well as Internet end-users to register and attend the event live on the NIGF event website on https://2020.igf.ng and across its social media platforms, @NigeriaIGF.
The organisers said registration and attendance is free, assuring that 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), the NCC, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Internet Society Nigeria Chapter (ISOC NG), DigitalSENSE Africa Media (DSA), in partnership with other local Internet stakeholders. DigitalTimes