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Patanmi, Danbatta and Other Stakeholders to Discuss Strategy of Achieving Inclusive Digital Economic Development post-COVID19 Era

Key stakeholders in the ICT ecosystem will meet to discuss how to achieve inclusive digital economic development post-coronavirus pandemic.

The meeting, which will include the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami and the EVC of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta and other key players would examine the ICT sector at the 2020 virtual Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (vNIGF).

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A statement signed by Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs of NCC indicated that the forum, themed “Achieving Inclusive Digital Economic Development in the Post-COVID19 Era”, would hold from September 23-24, 2020.

The 9th edition of the annual event will hold virtually due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and would be chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Istifanus Musa.

The outburst of 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 chart the way forward, “as a community of Nigeria’s Internet ecosystem”.

According to the statement, the theme has amplified 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.

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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.

Outside of Pantami and Danbatta, other key stakeholders who will participate at high-level panel discussions on the thematic focus of “2020 to 2030 Digital Economy Strategy” include founder and CEO, 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.

Other speakers 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 https://2020.igf.ng and across its social media platforms, @NigeriaIGF.

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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 Nigeria Chapter (ISOC NG), DigitalSENSE Africa Media (DSA), in partnership with other local Internet stakeholders.