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UNDERSTANDING HOW CYBER/DIGITAL LAWS AND POLICIES, AI, ML, BIG DATA AND OTHER DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES IMPACT
September 8, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pmfree
PROJECT TITLE: ENHANCING THE DIGITAL RIGHTS OF NONPROFITS IN NIGERIA
The Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) took nonprofit leaders and civil society actors, across the country, on a resourceful exploration of digital rights, trends and techniques to engender a digitally robust future for the sector.
On Wednesday September 9, 2020, an hybrid (online and offline) workshop was organized in Ibadan, Oyo state by the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) with funding support from the International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) to discuss, share experience on the theme: “Cyber/Digital Laws and Policies, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data and other Digital Technologies, Impact Nonprofit operations in Nigeria”. The event was imperative as it provided a platform to create awareness and increase nonprofit knowledge about pertinent issues relating to technological use for civic space growth against the backdrop of technological advancements which impact all sectors in Nigeria.
The workshop which was attended by 20 offline and 52 online participants, in view of COVID-19 safety protocols featured presentations all delivered online by seasoned ICT experts and learned nonprofit colleagues across Nigeria and other Africa regions.
The keynote speaker for the event, Catherine Anite, Executive Director, Freedom of Expression Hub, Uganda and a member of the High Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom, illuminated current trends and realities of technological use in the world, noting the importance of localizing and mainstreaming technology in Africa in ways that bring these issues to the fore within the third sector. She said “As Artificial Intelligence (AI), and ML gain traction in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, shaping the enjoyment of digital rights, has been hindered by an arbitrary regime of policy, legislation and an overzealous regulatory framework. Censorship, surveillance, blockage of content, unnecessary persecution and prosecution are threatening the enjoyment of rights online and adversely affecting civil society organisations advocating for these rights”. She added that it is important for civil society organisations to have a clear understanding of the policy, legislative and regulatory framework of digital rights, including the opportunities and challenges that AI and machine learning may pose to the broader enjoyment of human rights. See Catherine Anite’s presentation here http://bit.ly/3aJdgFt
“AI, ML and big data will cause the most significant shift in the way nonprofits do their work as we have never seen in times past. If civil society organisations are to play a critical role in decades to come, they must adopt a more radical approach to how they understand and interpret the pros and cons of AI, ML and big data to civic space and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” said Oluseyi Oyebisi, Executive Director, Nigeria Network of NGOs. “This event has come at a time when we are seeing the need for technology now, more than ever, especially with the need to stay distant but connected during this global pandemic and it is vital that civil society adapts to technological advancements so as to remain relevant in resolving the many challenges we face.” he added. See Oluseyi Oyebisi’s presentation here http://bit.ly/37ATlXc
In the same vein, Oluwakorede Asuni, Co-convener of DotCivics affirmed the universality of data saying, “Data is everywhere and nonprofit beneficiaries, particularly those in rural and hard-to-reach communities in Nigeria will benefit from what AI, ML and big data can offer in different fields such as education, health care, medical imaging analysis and agriculture but must also understand and deal with the negatives it can bring from disinformation, misinformation, to fake news, among others, therefore, it is imperative to become aware”. See Oluwakorede Asuni’s presentation here http://bit.ly/38m9HSJ
For Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative, “There is the need for nonprofits to start thinking of interventions to curb the disadvantages that comes along with ICT related issues. As nonprofits, we must also become more conscious of how cyber regulations can either enable or hinder our work so that we can begin to seek for better accountability from our leaders”. See Gbenga Sesan’s presentation here http://gbengasesan.com/?p=1519
Participants also heard from Bukola Shonibare, a legal practitioner and nonprofit leader who spoke on technology accessibility and affordability stressed the importance of bridging the technology gap between the haves and the have-nots through awareness of extant laws and advocacy for better legislation. See Bukola Shonibare’s presentation here http://bit.ly/3pfoWDU
Along with Adam Talsma, Country Director, Reboot who provided insights on how nonprofits leaders can utilize their online presence and invest in innovation capacity to leverage technology and avoid wasted efforts, access to influence change and reach a wider audience across varying platforms. See Abraham Talsma’s presentation here http://bit.ly/3mDE24f