By Angeline Mgbele, Correspondent Abuja
The 9th edition of the annual Nigeria Internet Governance Forum, which will hold virtually this year due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, from September 23-24, 2020 with the theme “Achieving Inclusive Digital Economic Development in the Post-COVID19 Era,” will be highlighted by big wigs in the nation’s digital economy space led by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, shadowed closely by the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, among other key players. The forum is code-named vNIGF 2020.
A statement issued by the Director of Public Affairs(DPA) of the NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, says the vNIGF 2020 will be chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Istifanus Musa.
The organizers of the event, according to Dr. Adinde, observed that the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed the critical importance of digital technologies in fostering inclusive national development and which had 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, would come together to chat the way forward, as a community of Nigeria’s Internet ecosystem.
The theme of this year’s event, the DPA at the NCC, explained, amplified how the focus of the NIGF-MAG, from both the business and policy communities, was 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.
He added that while the NIGF-MAG had assured of a good virtual experience at the programme, it said that that the virtual conference would 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 would deliver a keynote address on the theme held on September 24, 2020.
Other than 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,”including, but not limited to : Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, Ms Funke Opeke; Chair of the Global IGF MAG, Anriette Esterhuysen; Coordinator, West Africa IGF, Mrs. Mary Uduma; University of Ibadan don, Prof. Adenike Osofisan and her counterpart from Swansea University, Dr. Nnenna Ifeanyi-Ajufo, 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.
Courtesy of the organizers, registration to the event is free and 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.
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.