On 11th July 2019, stakeholders from the Nigeria Internet ecosystem convened at Muson Center, Lagos for the annual Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) themed, “Enabling Digital Commonwealth for Development”.
The event commenced with opening remarks by the President of Internet Society Nigeria Chapter (ISOC NG), Mr. Dewole Ajao and was followed by a welcome address by the NIGF Coordinator, Mrs. Mary Uduma. Mrs. Uduma spoke on the need to have all voices audible for leveraging the resources provided by the Internet and ICT in developing our country’s economy. Among the lineup of prestigious individuals invited to share goodwill messages was the Vice President of the Nigeria Internet Registry Association (NIRA), Mr. Toba Obaniyi who appreciated NIGF for organizing the forum and encouraged the Government to continuously empower the youth. Representatives from organizations such as the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), West and Central Africa Research and Education Network (WACREN) and Paradigm Initiative also delivered goodwill messages at the event.
In a theme paper presented by the Chairman of the event, Akinwale Akinbade, he explained how digital commonwealth is at the forefront of platform technology and emphasized the need for all stakeholders to think about how we could:
- Manage the collection and use of private data
- Prevent online monopoly
- Make public sector data more available and accessible to citizens
- Promote the integration of online platforms and services
- Foster innovation online
The highlight of the event was the breakout session which saw the participants separate into workshops to discuss and make recommendations regarding six core areas of internet governance: Access, Inclusion and Diversity, Internet Economy, Cybersecurity & Trust, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Critical Internet Resource and Emerging Issues. At the end of the breakout sessions, the outcomes and recommendations from each of the workshops were presented to all the event participants by a volunteer representative from each workshop.
The NIGF was preceded by the first Nigerian School of Internet Governance, so certificates of participation were issued to the participants from the school, during NIGF. The school also presented awards in appreciation for the support she received from her sponsors.
The event concluded with a wrap-up session by Mr Dewole Ajao. He summarized all the recommendations received from the various workshops and encouraged the conversations to continue in each of the internet interest groups represented.
The vote of thanks was given by the President NiRA, Mr Muhammed Rudman. He thanked all the sponsors and participants, while reiterating the importance of the event.