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Friday, July 09, 2010

ICT for Civic Engagement in Nigeria

Participating in ICT for Civic Engagement in Nigeria taking place in Abuja from July 19th to 20th

Nigerians, and indeed the world, are collectively holding their breath in anticipation of the 2011 presidential election. Indeed this election's importance to the citizens of Nigeria and the good functioning of the government cannot be overstated. And no longer is there doubt as to the 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.

This upcoming symposium and workshop emerged from a July 2009 conference in which diverse non-governmental organizations (NGOs) made plain the requirements of robust state accountability and transparency for civil society to succeed with its missions – and the concomitant potential of ICTs to support these goals of participatory, inclusive and deliberative processes of decision-making. What became eminently clear from these NGO participants was that Nigeria now sits at a critical juncture with respect to this civic engagement, with all eyes focused upon the upcoming election.