The extensive impact of technologies on communication and the consequent transformative effects on African communities in recent years will be the major focus of this year’s Social Media Week Lagos.
The conference will be held between February 27 and March 3, 2017. First held in 2009 in New York and for the first time in Lagos in 2012, Social Media Week is a week-long annual event that provides platforms for the exploration and exchange of ideas and insights on how social media and technology impact business, society, and culture.
The reason for the theme of the 2017 edition is not far-fetched, says Ngozi Odita, co-founder and Executive Director of the Social Media Week Lagos.“Technology connects us as well as the machines we use across cities, countries and continents,” she says.
“Perhaps technologies biggest impact on Africa is how it’s radically changed how we communicate. The ease at which we can connect, collaborate and do business with our contemporaries anywhere across the continent and around the world has created endless opportunities.”
She says the 2017 edition of the conference will explore how technology is creating a “new language” and way of communicating and what this means for the future of communication in Africa.
“Conference programming and content will look at how this “new language,” through online video, messaging apps, voice interfaces, and the like allows us to share our stories, share our competencies and increase our efficiencies.
“Ultimately, enabling us to take our collective learnings and apply them locally for the betterment of our communities and the continent at large.” Over the next five years, the organisers of the conference say they would be leveraging of the increasing power of social media and technology to create jobs, increase access to quality education, facilitate investment in agritech, fintech, alternative energy etc., and to achieve gender balance.
As the exclusive print media partner for this year’s edition, The Guardian Newspapers would be hosting three different sessions on the opening day of the conference focusing on the theme: the future of digital publishing.
In 2016, Social Media Week Lagos welcomed over 12,000 attendees, more than 200 speakers from within and outside Nigeria, including Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki and a global online reach of 801 million.
Soure: Tonye Bakare