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Monday, March 12, 2012

Successful Internet Governance requires multi-stakeholders approach - Johnson

Opening session of NDSF for IG4D 2012 in Lagos

The honourable minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson has reiterated that the continued success of Internet Governance requires multi-stakeholder approach.

Mrs. Johnson who was represented by the acting director, Spectrum Management at the ministry, Engr. Festus Daudu, in her address to the 2012 edition of the Nigeria DigitalSENSE Africa forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D), organised by DigitalSENSE Africa Media in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) applauded the event which has a broad range of stakeholders representation including government, the private sector, civil society as well as the academia and members of the media.

“The successful governance of the Internet requires the coming together of exactly the range of stakeholders present here today,” she declared, applauding the forum.

Also, she noted that the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)’s had defined Internet Governance as the development of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that go on to shape the evolution and use of the Internet.

“We all know how challenging it is to come up with shared positions etcetera, when each stakeholder group comes with its own priorities and has roles that can at times conflict which one another,” she said.

According to her, for this reason, she would like to start congratulated DigitalSENSE Africa and collaborators for the 4th year of organising such an important event, thus wished participant every success during deliberations.

She recalled that this year’s theme “Internet Governance and Mobile Economy in Nigeria” is of particular importance as we all seek to develop and implement a shared vision for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in Nigeria, as well as increase its contribution towards the development of the country. 

Mrs. Johnson pointed out that in less than 24-hours after this address, she presided over the Public Forum at which the Harmonized Draft National ICT Policy took centre stage.

This Policy, she said, is in line with transforming Nigeria into a knowledge-based economy in which ICTs are key- drivers of the way social services are delivered, including educating the children, healthcare, and ensures public safety.

As said by her, ICTs would also drive how the populace engage with government and increase our productivity through better access, organisation and dissemination of information and knowledge.

Further, she said, the Policy is a statement of intent and steps have been taken to involve fine-turning the intent into action via the development of detailed implementation and action plans.

Similarly, she noted that Internet governance deals with the digital world and the mobile economy is not yet accessible to the majority of the Nigerian population, hence the role of each of stakeholders over the two days of discussions is therefore critically important.

“We rely on you to sift through the many subtleties and shades of meaning and perception that cover a wide spectrum of options and compromises to bring us into this digital and mobile world; and also to help us function effectively within it,” she solicited.

She emphasised that the DigitalSENSE Africa Forum is a recognised platform for the discussion of ICT issues with particular reference to Internet Governance and an important channel for the emergence of recommendations towards implementation cum action plans for the future development of the Internet and mobile economy in Nigeria.

“I therefore urge you all to take active part in this forum towards the achievement of our national objectives,” she asserted and later declared the forum formally open, in the company of the chairman, House of Representative Committee on ICT. Hon. Ibrahim Shehu Gusua, who cut the tape, alongside the chairman, Engr. Lanre Ajayi, representative of the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka as well as Mr. Dele from Microsoft.

The 2012 edition of Nigeria DigitalSENSE forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) was also supported by Microsoft West Africa, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Teledom Group, Omatek Computer plc, Joint Action Committee on ICT Awareness and Development (JACITAD) among others.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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