“At least 250 delegates, including journalists, media experts, technologists, academics, and policymakers drawn from within and outside Nigeria are expected for the in-person event,” the CJID said.
The Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) says at least 250 delegates across West Africa have confirmed their participation in its forthcoming inaugural Media and Development Conference (MDC) in Abuja.
The Centre made this known in a statement issued by its Communication Manager, Hillary Nwoziri, on Tuesday in Abuja.
“At least 250 delegates, including journalists, media experts, technologists, academics, and policymakers drawn from within and outside Nigeria are expected for the in-person event,” the statement said.
It said hundreds of other participants are expected to join virtually.
Founded in 2014, the CJID is a West African media innovation and development think tank headquartered in Nigeria.
Over the past decade of its establishment, the Centre has championed capacity building for investigative journalists, media innovation, open data, verification, the promotion of journalist welfare and safety, elections and the freedom of information and expression.
In 2020, the CJID expanded its footprints beyond Nigeria and moved into specific niches in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia.
About the conference
According to the organisers, the MDC, themed “Bridging Democracy, Development, Innovation, and Media Sustainability” is billed to hold between 13 and 15 November in Abuja.
The conference has received over 1,000 applications for attendance so far, the organisers said.
Commenting on the Conference, Akintunde Babatunde, the programme director at the CJID, said the primary objective of the conference is to create a robust platform for relevant media experts, donor agencies and policymakers to engage in a comprehensive dialogue on the state of media and democracy in West Africa.
“The Media and Development Conference (#MDC23) brings together experts and stakeholders from the fields of media, development, civil society, and digital innovation,” the CJID said.
According to the statement, the conference would serve as a platform for fostering discussions on emerging developmental challenges and the convergence of media and innovation in West Africa.
It said the conference will also delve into sustainable development strategies and emphasise the essential role of media in strengthening democracy and advancing sustainability.
“The media environment in West Africa faces a multitude of urgent challenges, including government censorship, financial constraints, and inadequate legal protections,” the CJID said, adding that these pressing issues require immediate attention and innovative solutions.
“CJID, through this conference, is committed to confronting these issues head-on and presenting innovative, actionable solutions,” the centre said.
The statement noted that Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, who is also the Co-Founder of Co-Creation Hub (CCHub), will be delivering the keynote address at MDC23.
“His address titled “Accelerating Collective Prosperity through Technical Efficiency: The Roles of Media and Civil Society in Implementing Nigeria’s Strategic Plan” will delve into the multifaceted dimensions of how emerging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital disruption offer both opportunities and challenges for Africa’s future development, setting the stage for an engaging and insightful conference,” the CJID said.
Similarly, several other experts are expected to feature in top-level panel discussions focused on newsroom sustainability, Africa’s digital economy, climate justice, among others, the organisers said.
“The conference will also feature a legislative advocacy dialogue to explore critical issues around journalists’ safety and press freedom, a media development hackathon, aimed at supporting and fostering creative solutions for issues that impact the media landscape in Africa and the 2023 Kwame Karikari Fellowship Dinner to honour journalists who have successfully completed the 2023 edition of DUBAWA fellowship,” the statement said.