Nigerians, and indeed the world, are collectively holding their breath in anticipation of the 2011 presidential election. Indeed this election’s importance to the citizens of Nigeria and the good functioning of the government cannot be overstated. And no longer is there doubt as to the tremendous promise – and associated risks – of using information and communication technologies to enhance the effectiveness of both electoral activities and new approaches to reform, monitoring, and civic participation in the democratic process.
This upcoming symposium and workshop emerged from a July 2009 conference in which diverse non-governmental organizations (NGOs) made plain the requirements of robust state accountability and transparency for civil society to succeed with its missions – and the concomitant potential of ICTs to support these goals of participatory, inclusive and deliberative processes of decision-making. What became eminently clear from these NGO participants was that Nigeria now sits at a critical juncture with respect to this civic engagement, with all eyes focused upon the upcoming election.
The symposium is co-organized by the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology (USA) and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University (USA), the National Democratic Institute (USA), and the Digital Bridge Institute (Nigeria), and sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The daylong public symposium will be held at the Yar’ Adua Centre in Abuja on July 19, 2010. Facilitators are leading researchers, activists and organizations in the field and will come from Nigeria, across Africa and around the world. Participants will be drawn from across sectors, including NGOs, donors, academics, activists, policymakers, technologists, and entrepreneurs.
The public symposium will introduce the big picture making the issues widely accessible and compelling to a diverse public audience. It will include a small number of plenary talks from eminent personalities designed to give framing overviews to the topics. However, most of the day will consist of panel discussions that will combine case studies and critical analysis with policy engagements including next-step provocations.
Date: Monday, July 19, 2010
Time: 9:00am – 5:30pm
Location: Yar’Adua Center, Abuja, Nigeria
Event URL: http://www.e-nigeria.org
Official event hashtag: #enigeria