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Digital Connectivity: Nigeria hosts 54 countries, others to AfIGF 2023

*The Nigerian Communications Commission announces the 2023 Africa Internet Governance Forum, holding September 18-21, in Abuja, is a platform for meaningful dialogue and collaboration to advance digital connectivity, address Internet governance challenges, and empower the African continent through digital transformation

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the West African country is set to play host to 54 African nations and other continental Internet governance stakeholder blocs at the 2023 Africa Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF 2023).

The telecoms sector regulatory Commission Tuesday, September 5, 2023, stated the coming transnational event would hold September 18-21 this year.

The NCC also disclosed the Commission, on behalf of the Federal Government, would host the 2023 Internet governance conference taking place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

ConsumerConnect reports the theme of the 12th Edition of the annual forum is, “Transforming Africa’s Digital Landscape: Empowering Inclusion, Security, and Innovation”.

The Commission further said: “The Forum will serve as a platform for meaningful dialogue and collaboration on Internet Governance among various sectors and regional initiatives to advance digital connectivity, address Internet Governance challenges, and empower Africa through digital transformation.

According to NCC, the event will be preceded by the African Youth Internet Governance Forum, which holds September 13-18.

The series of events at this year’s programme will commence with the Parliamentarian Symposium, scheduled to take place September 18-19, during which members of the Parliament from all participating countries will take the opportunity to consult and network with one another at a roundtable designed to better understanding of the roles of the legislature, and nudge deeper synergy with parliaments on Internet Governance in Africa.

As a crucial gathering of stakeholders and investors in Africa’s digital future, the Commission said the AfIGF 2023 promises to be a rare assemblage of key stakeholders from government, civil society, academia, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, and a broad spectrum of actors in the private sector intentionally rallied to discuss important matters focused on the development, access, and governance of the Internet in Africa.

It stated: “The Forum, structured in a variety of gatherings, including dialogues, workshops, panel sessions, symposia, and roundtables, is a vibrant and inclusive platform that brings together stakeholders from across the African continent and other international partners, to engage in discussions that will shape the future of Internet Governance.”

Other focal sessions at the event, the NCC disclosed, will include plenary discussions, interactive workshops, and expert panels focusing on Digital Inclusion and Connectivity; Cyber Security and Data Protection; Digital Rights and Freedom of Expression; Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Emerging Technologies; E-Commence and Digital Economy; and Data Governance and Trust, among others.

Participants are also expected to discuss the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the context of digital literacy and internet access in a manner that can accelerate development for the continent, noted the Commission.

The event also will feature high-ranking speakers, policymakers, industry experts, and thought leaders from across Africa and beyond.

The statement said through participants’ expertise and insights, the forum would generate actionable recommendations that could inform policymaking, drive investments, and shape the future of Internet Governance in Africa, by reshaping the trajectory of the continent’s digital landscape and paving the way for a more inclusive and prosperous digital future.

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