Communication, Human Rights Take Centre Stage as #ICA24 Kicks Off in Calabar, June 20

The 74th International Communication Association (ICA24) annual conference, and its Regional Hub in Calabar kicks off Thursday, June 20 through Monday, June 24, 2024

The five day event, which holds at Calabar, Cross River State, and Nigeria’s first federal capital will convene concurrently with the (ICA24) holding in Gold Coast, Australia.

The hybrid conference is open to ICA members globally as well as the general public.

At the centre of discourse in this year’s ICA annual conference is communication and global human rights.

Given human rights as a global imperative in light of its universal attributes and serving as a horizon for creating a humane and just society, the theme is said to aim among others, at taking stock of contributions of communication scholarship to the study of human rights, and to outline promising directions for communication studies.

The Calabar Regional Hub is the second ICA regional hub in Nigeria since the creation and formal inauguration of ICA Nigeria Chapter in March 2023. The University of Port Harcourt hosted the first ICA Regional Hub upon the creation of ICA Nigeria Chapter.

Among several topics of discussion by seasoned communication scholars lined up for the ICA24 in Calabar include: Communication and human rights in Africa for Day One (Friday, June 21), featuring Emmanuel Maduneme of University of Oregon, USA, Dr. Ngozi Comfort Omojunikanbi of University of Port Harcourt and Dr. Desmond Onyemechi Okocha of Bingham University.

Same Friday, June 21, Mercy Tartsea-Anshase of Bingham University, Karu, Dr. Emmanuel Inyang of University of Cross River State, Nigeria, and Mopelola Oke of the University of Port Harcourt will be speaking on Interactions on social media: Revisiting the social media regulation debate in Nigeria, while Godswill John of University of Cross River, Nigeria, Theodora Dame Adjin-Tettey of Durban University of Technology, South Africa, and Ekaete George of University of Port Harcourt will be brainstorming on Development communication in the age of AI: Frontiers for media studies in West Africa.

Wrapping it up on Monday, June 24, is a critical discourse on Environment and climate justice communication: Bridging the gap in public understanding.

Billed to lead other discussants on the topic include: Prof. Barigbon Nsereka of the Rivers State University, Nigeria, Mina Ogbanga of same University, Odoh Okenyodo, Nassarawa State University, Nigeria, and Bassey Ibiang Okon of Institute of Technology Kaduna, Nigeria.

In a media chat with newsmen in Port Harcourt, the ICA Nigeria Chapter Chair, Ekaete George said all is set for another historic ICA outing in the ancient Canann city of Calabar, given the ever increasing number of ICA members in the country since the official inauguration of Nigeria Chapter a year ago.

According to the ICA Nigeria Chapter Chair, Ekaete George, the Calabar regional hub which will be held alongside ICA Nigeria Quarterly Seminar Series (QSS) titled Communication and human rights in Nigeria: Matters Arising which holds at Mini Theatre, Department of Mass Communication, University of Calabar has the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Florence Obi as chief host, the Head of Department of Mass Communication of same University, Dr Lawrence Ekwok as host and Dr John I.Ukam Head, Mass Communication Department, University of Cross River State as Chairman.

Obo Effanga, Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC, Bayelsa State will present the keynote address while Betty Abah, a journalist and human rights activist, and Njah Bassey, a lecturer at the University of Cross River State are guest speakers to mark the formal opening of the five day event beginning on Thursday, June 20, 2024. The choice of Calabar as the host of this year’s ICA Regional Hub in Nigeria is deliberate, to serve as a big bolster to the #ICA Community in Nigeria, and allow attendees to have a great time touring Calabar, Ekaete George further stressed.

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