WPRF: Recognition of NITDA Social Media Code in India | The Guardian Nigeria News

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Managing Director/CEO of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi

The World Public Relations Forum 2023 (WPRF), organized by the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management, is taking place in Chennai, India. Global Alliance is the confederation of the world’s leading public relations and communications management associations and institutions, representing practitioners and academics, whose mission is to unify the public relations profession, raise standards, share knowledge with its members and to be the global voice of public relations.

“The Global Public Relations Forum is an open and diverse platform for public relations and communications professionals from around the world to meet, discuss, brainstorm and advance the profession,” said Justin Green, President and CEO. from the management of Global Alliance.

The WPRF theme, “Building Goodwill for Greater Good,” provides high-value learning and networking opportunities for delegates from around the world in inspiring sessions. The event also includes the World Public Relations & Communication Awards, a competition to celebrate the most outstanding national and international programs and case studies in public relations and communication management.

The National Information Technology Development Agency of Nigeria (NITDA) is selected as a finalist in the Ethics, Integrity and Compliance category in recognition of its campaigns that demonstrate the highest levels of strategic planning, creativity and business results in the organization’s relationships with its stakeholders.

NITDA won the African SABER PR award for the same campaign in Zambia and was selected as a finalist for the Golden World Award by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) in Barcelona, ​​Spain. The technology agency executed the campaign in collaboration with the multi-award-winning Image Merchants Promotion Limited (IMPR), the publishers of PRNigeria, Economic Confidential, Spokesperson’s Digest and Tech Digest.

Nigeria’s IT regulator has been credited with using social and mainstream media platforms to counter criticism and misconceptions after social critics and the public raised concerns that its ” Draft Code of Practice for Social Media and Online Platforms” was an attempt to muzzle the media. and restrict freedom of the press and expression.

During Twitter’s suspension in Nigeria, Inuwa led the technical team whose robust engagement boosted global digital diplomacy and established a new model for the operation of big tech companies inside and outside the country . Nigeria’s days of holding the short end of the stick ended when the country negotiated from a position of strength and forced Twitter to abide by certain rules intended to protect the national interest.

By using effective public relations tools to provide concrete facts highlighting the benefits of the code, sufficiently informed stakeholders and the public ultimately welcomed the guidelines. Some of the benefits of the campaign include changing the perspective of critics, increased stakeholder engagement, easing tensions, activating a crisis team, and supporting stakeholders and tech giants.

The campaign began in June 2022 after NITDA unveiled a Code of Best Practices for Interactive IT/Internet Intermediary Services Platforms (Online Platforms) that it developed in collaboration with regulatory agencies and parties stakeholders concerned. The code aimed to protect the fundamental human rights of Nigerians and non-Nigerians living in the country, as well as set out guidelines for interacting in the digital ecosystem in line with international best practices.

The document was developed in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), expert groups, with input from IT service platforms interactive sites such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google, and TikTok. The results have been duly integrated into the draft code of practice.

The code sets out procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of Nigerians while interacting on these platforms. It aims to hold online platforms accountable for illegal and harmful content, and establish a robust framework for collaborative efforts to protect Nigerians from online harms such as hate speech, cyberbullying, as well as disinformation and/or misinformation.

This week’s WPRF 2023 will take place days after NITDA Director General Kashifu Inuwa met MM Tripathi, Director General of Indian National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT). He also visited the headquarters of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Nigeria.

Inuwa, who represented Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy Bosun Tijani, highlighted the importance of leveraging India’s vast expertise in digital technologies to strengthen the digital economy from Nigeria. The meetings, aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of India’s digital economy and exploring avenues for knowledge sharing and collaboration, covered topics ranging from digital skills development to cybersecurity and innovation.

In addition to the Social Media Code, the implementation of the 64 strategic initiatives of the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP), launched by Inuwa a few years ago, has contributed significantly to the impact of ICT on the economy, making Nigeria the first destination. for foreign direct investment (FDI) into Africa and attracting approximately US$3.8 billion, constituting approximately 35% of all FDI into African startups as of 2019.

NITDA’s TECH4COVID project has helped maintain over 100,000 ICT jobs and 30,000 new jobs in the post-COVID-19 era, while the drive to comply with Nigeria’s data protection regulations data (NDPR) created 7,680 jobs and a market valued at 1.2 billion yen. Additionally, the implementation of the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) has mobilized 900 farmers and created over 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. NAVSA targets 10 million farmers across the agricultural value chain by 2030.

To promote emerging technologies in Nigeria, NITDA, under the leadership of Inuwa, established the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), which trained 1,250 youths in high-end cutting-edge technologies. The Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI) was also established as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to incubate ideas and develop an enabling environment for startups to thrive. Through ONDI, the agency has supported more than 200 startups with grants and seed funding.

Over 100 startups were sponsored to attend the GITEX Global Event, LEAP Tech Conference, Intra-African Trade Show and several local events. Additionally, they benefited from the capacity building programs of Bridge to MassChallenge (B2MC), iHatch Incubation, Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support (TIES) and North-East Start-up Training (NEST).

NITDA is committed to conducting an IT talent gap assessment among Nigeria’s youth population to accelerate technology talent and position Nigeria as a global IT talent factory. In line with the FG initiative on social investment, the Agency launched the one (1) million software developers initiative and various multi-sectoral capacity building programs to promote digital literacy, where more than One million Nigerians have so far been trained.

Other NITDA achievements under Inuwa include the design and implementation of IT authorization for government MDAs which authorized 866 projects of 336 Federal Public Institutions (FPIs), thereby saving the government ₦305.96 billion from 2019 to date; obtaining ISO 27001:2013 certification for NITDA (the first government organization to have obtained it); the launch of the National Adopted School for Smart Education (NASSE) to promote digital culture and skills.

NITDA has changed the information technology landscape, as evidenced by the numerous awards and nominations that the DG has attracted in the country. The agency that champions the dynamics of the digital economy in Nigeria is expected to continue to record remarkable achievements. There is every reason to believe that President Bola Tinubu’s plan to create one million digital jobs in the first two years of his term is achievable. Nigeria hopes that borrowing from the Indian model will help achieve this goal.

Abbas Badmus, editor at Tech Digest, writes from Abuja.

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