In 2012, Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria partnered with the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation to host the 1st edition of the New Media and Governance Conference, which focused on tools and trends. Paradigm Initiative and BudgIT provided resource persons.
For the 2nd edition of the conference, “citizens” was added as a key element of the conversation. Paradigm Initiative and BudgIT also fully came onboard as co-organisers, to host a two-day conference in October 2016, where discussions included rights (and responsibilities) of citizens and government to use new media in a mutually beneficial way. The conference served as a follow up to several discussions on the use of new media in elections, and as a tool for holding government officials and institutions accountable.
The 3rd edition of the conference will hold four months before the first set of Nigeria’s 2019 general elections, therefore providing a vibrant platform to dissect issues likely to impact the elections and citizens’ engagement in the digital space. There would be sessions or panels on the theme, “Government, Civic Spaces and the Role of New Media” alongside special focus on the elections itself, and preparations for it.
Conversation will, however, not be limited to elections or Nigeria. We will take a look at other issues including, but not limited to, the war on the new media, accountability of public officials, understanding the constitution, and using media as a sex education tool. Focus will also be extended to other African countries as we bring in speakers from these countries in a bid to have a more inclusive and pan-African conversation.
As New Media leverages technology and platforms to connect, curate and share information in ways that have never been done before, NMCG will continue to provide a platform to take stock of the intersectionality of new media, citizens and governance. Furthermore, a subset of new media, “social media,” requires interaction, including the areas of risk such as security and privacy challenges.
The New Media and Citizens Governance conference will remain a platform to discuss these – and other challenges – while, in addition to exploring new frontiers, providing an opportunity to explore opportunities in citizen-government interaction in the digital age. The partners, Enough is Enough Nigeria, Paradigm Initiative and BudgIT, remain grateful to partners, speakers and participants for making NMCG a vehicle for action, and not just debate.