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Nigeria showcases digital social investments at APRA 2024

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At the recently concluded 35th annual conference of the African Public Relations Association (APRA) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria showcased its innovative digital social investments through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The event, held from May 13th to 17th, 2024, saw the NCC’s Head of Media Management Relations, Omoniyi Ibietan, present a comprehensive overview of Nigeria’s digital advancements. Following his presentation, Dr. Ibietan was elected Secretary-General of APRA.

In his presentation, titled “Digital Inclusion as Arbiter of Accessible PR: A Case of the Nigerian Communications Commission,” Ibietan detailed 36 key initiatives spearheaded by the NCC.

These initiatives aim to promote infrastructure expansion, support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), empower educational institutions, foster innovation, and enhance digital skills among Nigerian youths.

Highlighted projects included:

  • Advanced Digital Awareness Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI)
  • Campus Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIEP) Programme
  • E-PAD Project for 232 Institutions
  • Digital Appreciation Project (DAP) for 247 Secondary Schools
  • Digital Literacy Training for Teachers (DLT)
  • Digital Integration Programme (DIP) for MSMEs
  • E-Accessibility Programme for Persons with Disabilities
  • Nigerian Girls Can Code Competition
  • Build A-Thon for Young Innovators
  • Tertiary Institutions Digital Centre (TIDC) for 250 Institutions
  • 2,291 Digital Nigeria Centers (DNC) Offering Online/Offline Educational Resources
  • Local Application and Content Deployment Programme
  • 72 Rural Broadband Initiative Projects

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Ibietan noted that these interventions have significantly improved digital literacy, reduced the digital divide, and fostered greater participation in political, economic, and social processes. These efforts have also enabled accessible digital public relations in Nigeria.

The presentation underscored the importance of digital inclusion, which allows individuals and groups to fully engage in the digital society through access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) like the internet, computers, and mobile devices.

Digital inclusion also involves equipping people with the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to effectively use these technologies.

“Digital inclusion promotes social and economic opportunities, enhances civic engagement, supports education and lifelong learning, fosters innovation and entrepreneurship, and helps bridge the digital divide, reducing inequalities,” Ibietan emphasized.

He pointed out that Nigeria’s investment in broadband infrastructure proved crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling individuals, businesses, and the government to continue their activities digitally.

This resilience highlighted the essential role of digital infrastructure in mitigating the pandemic’s impacts.

Ibietan concluded by advocating for continuous and seamless communication among stakeholders to ensure efficient management and maximization of the benefits derived from social investments and infrastructural projects.

The APRA conference, themed “One Africa, One Voice: Bridging Africa’s Communication Divide,” featured over 20 papers.

However, Ibietan’s presentation uniquely showcased an African country’s digital infrastructure investments, emphasizing the critical role of broadband infrastructure in advancing the continent’s digital culture.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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