Nigeria 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).
NCC’s Director of Public Affairs (DPA) Dr Reuben Muoka, in a statement, said the three-day event is scheduled to hold in Abuja from 18 to 21 September, 2023.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the programme is: “Transforming Africa’s Digital Landscape: Empowering Inclusion, Security, and Innovation”.
According to him, this year’s event, being the 12th edition of the annual forum, is being hosted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on behalf of the Federal Government.
Mouka 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.
“The event will be preceded by the African Youth Internet Governance Forum, which will take place from 13 to18 September, 2023.
“The series of events at this year’s programme will commence with the Parliamentarian Symposium, scheduled to take place from 18-19 September 2023.
“Members of the Parliament from all participating countries will take the opportunity to consult and network with one another in a roundtable.
“This is designed to better understanding of the roles of the legislature, and nudge deeper synergy with parliaments on Internet Governance in Africa.”
He said that as a crucial gathering of stakeholders and investors in Africa’s digital future, the AfIGF 2023 promised to be a rare assemblage of key stakeholders from government, civil society, academia, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
Mouka said that 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.
He said: “The forum, structured in a variety of gatherings, including dialogues, workshops, panel sessions, symposia, and roundtables, is a vibrant and inclusive platform.”
Mouka said that it brings together stakeholders from across the African continent and other international partners to engage in discussions that would shape the future of Internet Governance.
He said other focal sessions at the event include plenary discussions, interactive workshops, and expert panels focusing on Digital Inclusion and Connectivity; Cyber Security and Data Protection.
The director said other sessions were Digital Rights and Freedom of Expression; Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Emerging Technologies; E-Commence and Digital Economy; and Data Governance and Trust, among others.
Mouka said participants were 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.
He added: “The event will feature high-ranking speakers, policymakers, industry experts, and thought leaders from across Africa and beyond.
“Through participants’ expertise and insights, the forum will generate actionable recommendations that can 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.