Wednesday, July 14, 2010

DBI, GIT partner Berkman Center on e-Nigeria

Plans have been concluded for the hosting of a public symposium tagged e-Nigeria in Abuja on Monday at the Musa Yar’ Adua International Conference Centre.

ITRealms Online gathered that the symposium is being put together through partnership of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT), National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and the Berkman Center, with the objective of stimulating discussion on the role and uses of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in civic engagement.

“We will specifically examine and advocate around the upcoming 2011 Nigerian presidential election, exploring ICTs as environments to educate, discuss, deliberate, choose, and act,” the organisers said, noting that the meeting would draw on relevant experiences from Nigeria, the rest of Africa, and elsewhere around the world.

This, would be done via bringing together thought leaders, practitioners, activists, and citizens, with a particular focus on civil society actors.
Of particular interest, they said, are the various ways in which ICTs could be enabling key functions of democracy, including how they help people to access and share relevant news and information, organize and coordinate activity, and generate and utilize data.

“While these endeavors are always important in the drive to create transparent and accountable government and rich civic engagement, they are perhaps never more essential as in the period around (and including) elections, where they represent a unique resource,” they said.

According to them, Nigerians, and indeed the world, are collectively holding their breath in anticipation of the 2011 presidential election.

Indeed this election is important to the citizens and the good functioning of the government cannot be overstated, hence, there are 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.


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