BudgIT, Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE Nigeria) and Paradigm Initiative (PIN) are putting collaborative efforts together to hold the fourth edition of the bi-annual pan-African New Media, Citizens, and Governance Conference (NMCG) virtually on October 20 and 21, 2020.

The organizers made this known in a press statement issued on Wednesday, August 20th, two months to the conference.

Africa’s civic space is evolving with the application of new technologies and methods to strengthen advocacy and foster active citizenship. The emergence of new media has also impacted on new organisations that are reaching out to citizens to demand accountability from the government with results and these three organizations have effectively used new media to drive social impact, creating societal change across different contexts.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, leveraging technology has become the norm and it’s appropriate that a conference focused on new media will be virtual this year. The two-day virtual conference will hold from Tuesday, October 20 – Wednesday, October 21 with the theme New Media & Voice:  Hashtags, Action & People. The conference will have 3 breakout sessions focused on freedom of speech, the digital economy, virtual public hearings, #StateOfEmergencyGBV and others.

According to BudgIT’s Director, Oluseun Onigbinde, “Our reality is changing, and the pandemic has led to the emergence of a new culture of engagement in all spheres of life including civic and political matters. There are other salient issues that are spin-offs from the pandemic.

One of these includes the recent gag on freedom of speech and expression by governments across the world, the rising cases of sexual and gender-based violence across Africa have also become a ‘shadow’ pandemic. The conference will provide a platform for analysts, policymakers, and citizens to discuss these issues from various perspectives with the purpose of proffering solutions and strategizing pathways to mitigate some of the challenges posed by the new normal.” he added.

Speaking on the development, Gbenga Sesan, the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative (PIN) said, “Although the pandemic has forced a new way of life for everyone, we must not lose sight of critical issues that affect how we engage in the digital age. Clampdowns and violations of citizen’s digital rights  heightened during the lockdowns. The only way to preserve the rights and ability of citizens to use digital platforms for either activism or economic survival is to continue to assert the importance of these rights as a precondition to the desired gains of a digital economy for most Africa nations.”

For more information about the forthcoming conference as well as the reports from the 2012 Conference {Tools and Trends}; #NMCG2016 Conference {Rights and Responsibilities} and 2018 Conference {Government, New Media and Civic Space} all can be viewed on the website Here

By Dotun Roy

DotunRoy.com is a development driven news website with the overall goal of amplifying, promoting and advocating for positive societal change through Sustainable Development advocacy in line with UN SDGs components such as education, environmental sustainability and Climate Change, Human Rights, health, finance, housing, good governance as well as security in Nigeria and across the world.

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