The International Communication Association (ICA) Nigeria Chapter has formally been inaugurated and issued with a Certificate of Establishment.
The epoch-making event which took place at the Emerald Energy Institute Auditorium, University of Port Harcourt, Friday, March 24, 2023 had in attendance the ICA President, Professor Noshir Contractor and Professors, Associate Professors and other senior faculty members in Universities, ICA members, graduate and undergraduate communication scholars – across the world.
While inaugurating the first Chapter in Africa, the ICA President, Prof. Noshir Contractor who expressed joy for the organizing skills of the organizing team and enthusiasm of the members of the ICA Nigeria, said the establishment of Regional Chapters is part of the quest for the internationalization of the ICA which debuted in 1950 as National Society for the Study of Communication, USA.
The internationalization process he noted, started with the hosting of annual conferences and regional conferences outside the USA some years back, and since 2020, the ICA has hosted over 10 Regional Hubs mainly in the global South each year, that convened to coincide with the annual conference.
The formation of the ICA Regional Chapters considered as the height of the internationalization of the association -beginning with ICAIndonesia as first, followed by ICA Nigeria as only the second globally – according to Prof. Contractor, started this year (2023) after approval by ICA’s Executive Committee.
The aim according to him, is to bolster engagement globally with ICA conference and communication research, and facilitate development of regional communication research networks and infrastructure among others.
The Regional Chapters are however, expected to create their own mechanisms by which local and regional communities can have sustained engagement with the goals of ICA to advance scholarly study of communication and facilitate excellence in academic research worldwide.
In his opening remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Owunari Georgewill said the establishment of ICA in Nigeria was apt in light of the rapidly changing world where global interconnectedness and technological advancements have reshaped the landscape of higher education, and would bolster the responsibility of the University to prepare its students for this ever- changing world by providing them with the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to succeed both as individuals and professionals.
Prof. Georgewill thanked the ICA for the interest and choice of the University as the host for the ICA Regional Hub in 2022 which according to the VC, reflected the University of Port Harcourt culture of excellence in character and learning, and which also motivated its continued commitment to creating a vibrant and creative community where different perspectives and ideas are embraced and celebrated.
The Uniport VC, Owunari Georgewill expressed hope that ICA Nigeria Chapter will, by holding its kick-off event in the University of Port Harcourt, build a foundational base with the University community.
Earlier, the ICA Nigeria Chair, Ekaete George lauded and thanked the ICA for their initiatives in Nigeria.
She promised to highly esteem the confidence bestowed on her, a PhD student, by passionate commitment to pursuing the ideals of the ICA for excellence in communications research and scholarship in Nigeria.
Ekaete George was also full of praises for the University of Port Harcourt, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Georgewill, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Admin), Professor Ofurum, as well as senior faculty members, and students for the astounding support that was pivotal to the establishment of ICA Nigeria.
The ICA Nigeria Chapter Chair further encouraged new members to be tenacious in their quest for opportunities in ICA that will enable them to makean impact locally, while staying globally oriented. She informed the participants that the Chapter will provide regular updates on programs and activities, via their website: icanigeriachp.org.
The climax of the kick-off event was the ICA Nigeria Inaugural Quarterly Seminar Series (QSS) with the theme: Communication scholarship as bridge across global sustainability solutions.
Paper presentations were delivered on “Fostering inclusion and equality though development communication scholarship” by Dr. Titilayo Osugawu of the University of Port Harcourt; and “Communication networks for enabling globally sustainable solutions” by Prof. Noshir Contractor, ICA president, Northwestern University, USA.
Three ICA Nigeria Quarterly Seminars will be held in June, September, and December 2003, at on-site locations across Nigeria. Details of these will be announced in due course on icanigeriachp.org.