It is a season of migration to Kano in Northwest of Nigeria for social influencers in Nigeria. Throughout July 30th and 31st, 2009, they will be exploring and reflecting on diverse concerns in the realm of use of the social media to shape popular consciousness and actions on certain social problems.
Actors and heads of diverse platforms in the information and communications arena will be at the conference. Specific speakers and panels will focus on specific themes such as the importance and security of .ng domain names; the social media as tool for promoting social accountability; wining the battle against harmful content; the African Declaration on Internet rights and freedoms; the lesson learning from some specific campaigns.
Others are engaging the public on accountability and anti-corruption issues on Radio and TV programmes; the Role of Online Newspapers in Promoting Transparency and Accountability as well as Online advocacy tools; media, conflicts and corruption; Learning from some experiences of social media based electioneering campaigns; Digital inclusion of marginalized groups as well as Facebook’s content policies and community standards.
These are just some of the many topics and themes that will be explored by what is being reported as the largest gathering of its kind in the ancient city. Organised by the Kano based Centre for Information Technology and Development, (CITAD), the jaw-jawing will be taking place at the Mambayya House, the residence of the late Mallam Aminu Kano, the legendary radical politician now made into a research centre attached to the Department of Political Science of the Bayero University, Kano.
The event comes to a close with the second Plenary Lecture to be delivered by Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim on “Democratic Struggles and the Social Media”. Dr. Kole Shettima of MacArthur Foundation is scheduled to chair the session. The first Plenary Lecture on July 30th, 2019 is on “What Does Local Content Policy Means in the Context of Social Media?” It is to be delivered by Dr. Isah Pantami, the out-going DG of NITDA.
It remains to be seen what the outcome of such a large gathering is. It could be seen as part of the ambition of the Kano-Jigawa axis in Nigeria to be a force in modernisation through information technology. This started at the onset of the Fourth Republic with the Jigawa State Government making waves with IT, including a school for Information Technology. Now, an NGO is seizing the high ground in constituting the social influencers in Nigeria into a self-aware constituency with particular reference to acting as catalysts in social mobilisation.