On December 15th, in partnership with the Lonergan Institute, ISF once again brought together a great panel of bright minds in a forum that served as a platform that built upon the previous year’s theme – Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), Spirit, and African Culture“. The 2018 theme was “ICT and Good Governance: Networking and Communicating Beyond Social Media“, dedicated more time to ICT and Social Media because of the duo’s increasing impact on most human transactions, decisions and actions.
In an era of WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and You Tube, many experts have written off radio as a viable medium of educating, informing and entertainment. We believe this is an erroneous assumption and we are determined to prove that their insight is rather biased, lacking. In a way, for us, this is a return to the roots. Last year’s in-depth look at social media is part of the larger effort to see how we can harness ICT to educate more Africans. As has been the case for the last three years, the attendance, first on November 25th, then on December 15th, was FREE! And the venue is still at Boston College, sponsored by the Boston College Lonergan Institute and The Intercontinental Science Foundation.
Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago was the honored main speaker at the ICT and Good Governance Annual Conference. This was a Conference for selected leaders and academicians and it attracted extraordinary submissions from; Prof. Aloysious Lugira, Dr. David Nyanzi, Dr. Festo Lugolobi, Dr. Michael Kisembo, Mathias Ssekanjako, Damali Sserabira and the President of the Africans in Boston (AiB) Mr. Voury Ignegongba from Chad. AiB offers socioeconomic and educational development to its members by offering a platform that connects Africans in diaspora and the state of Massachusetts; purposely to bridge the gap between Africans and the World.
In his speech, the Lord Mayor expressed concern about the African leaders entrenching personal rule through maneuvers to tinker with the constitutions in their land. He noted that Uganda is at cross roads as a country by sharing his practical experience ever since 1999 when he was chosen by Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere and a team of other lawyers to pursue public interest litigation cases.
He said it amuses him to see that Ibrahim Mo’s monetary award to leaders who retire voluntarily from office has remained redundant and this explains the crisis of greedy African leaders. He agreed that Uganda needs a national conversation to get out of the current gridlock but who should constitute the same raises questions about its feasibility and whether its tenable? He said IPOD would have been a good platform but it is narrow and the regime has reduced it to the DGF monetary attachment whereas NCF which is premised in the constitution is unpopular yet its a statutory body.
Lukwago commended the Waltham team for actions expressing the deteriorating security and political situation in Uganda and called for reciprocity in the struggle by everyone feeling a clarion call to get a solution for our nation, lest posterity will never exonerate anyone.
About the new political dynamics in the country and whether they are offering opportunity for genuine alliance, he asked all democracy seeking forces or forces of change to define what they want from the onset. Should it be a coalition, merger, electoral alliance or movement/crusade? He concluded that he will be waiting for the contribution of the diaspora pursuant to the same. His submissions attracted a standing ovation from an excited audience.
Africans In Boston (AiB) President Voury was among those who participated as a presenter at the “Information and Communications Technology and Good Governance in Africa: Communicating and Networking Beyond Social Media” conference at Boston College. At the event, Mr. Ignegongba introduced Africans in Boston to the attendees; he highlighted its initiatives, objectives, methods and impact, and once again strongly called upon the diaspora to unite. The conference was attended by a full house, over 80 members of the Boston Community including the honored guest and Lord Mayor of the City of Kampala, Mr. Erias Lukwago who was also the main speaker.
The Intercontinental Science Foundation Inc. (ISF) and the Lonergan Institute at Boston College jointly sponsored the annual conference. Herbert Kibuuka, director of the Intercontinental Science Foundation, welcomed the attendees and gave the opening remarks.
The conference covered an overview of information and communications technology interact with governance in Africa. The presenters took a critical look at how Africans can best network and communicate with and beyond social media. The following are the spectrum of featured topics and the respective presenters:
1.The Rule of Law in Context of Reconciliation, by Prof. Aloysius Lugira
2.Communication & Networking as tools for Governance, by Dr. David Nnyanzi
3.Good Governance and Democracy, by Dr. Michael Kisembo
4.Grassroots Action: Challenges & Opportunities, by Ms. Damali O Sserabira
5.Managing Social Media: News vs Fake News, by Mr. Mathias O Ssekanjako
6.IT and Decision Making, by Dr. Festo Lugolobi
7.Africans in Boston, by Mr. Voury Ignegongba
8.The Role of the Diaspora in the Social Economic Transformation of the City of Kampala Mr. Erias Lukwago Lord Mayor
a) History of Uganda’s Political Independence. The key players in Uganda’s Leadership history and the outline of the still open wounds caused to the Rule of Law in Uganda
b) Good Governance and the major characteristics of Good Governance
c) Difficulty in communication and interpreting the message in todays society
d) Impact on International donations – Encourage training societies to understand productivity
e) Managing Social Media: News vs Fake News
f) Developing a “GPS”- Developing countries need to invest in an information system to begin to collect data that gives them knowledge
A group of current and former international African students and faculty who have graduated from various universities in the United States, and more especially Boston College founded the Intercontinental Science Foundation Inc. in 2008. ISF is a nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts that “seeks to better communities both locally and internationally through knowledge application”. They “enable participants to initiate, develop, incubate, and eventually use and share original ideas in all fields of learning.”
The conference had all the major ingredients on said subject matter, expertise, business networking, and a story fresh from the Mayor of Kampala and his political viewpoint. It was a great success, a highly recommendable event for all Africans in the diaspora.