New Telegraph

ICA 72nd Annual Conference opens in Port Harcourt

The International Communication Association (ICA) 72nd Annual Conference began on Thursday, in the French capital, Paris and ends on Monday. In Nigeria, Port Harcourt is hosting the only Regional Hub in West Africa, with the University of Port Harcourt, as West Africa’s regional hub headquarters. The conference took off in a hybrid format, at the University of Port Harcourt, on Thursday, with combined activities of the main conference in Paris with local ones peculiar to the hub’s environment to give attendees great experience.

The ICA Hub event began with a guest panel session, titled; Media Coverage of Nigerian Elections: Recurring Themes from 2015 and 2019 Presidential Elections with the 2023 Campaign in View. The session has as speakers scholars such as Dr. Charles C. Okigbo of North Dakota State University, U.S.; Dr. Bala Musa of Azusa Pacific University; Dr. Muhammad Musa of UAE University, Abu Dhabi, UAE; and Dr. Gregory Ugbo of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State. Also on the panel were communications and media professionals like the Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC Rivers State, Obo Effanga; the CEO of Infographics Nigeria, Chinenye Mba- Uzoukwu; broadcast journalist, Chioma Ezenwafor; and the Manager of Today FM, Port Harcourt, Anni Abdulsalaam. Special guests at the event included global communications scholar and ICA President, Mary Beth Oliver; Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof Owunari Georgewill; and Dean, Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Walter Ihejirika.

Yesterday, participants joined delegates in Paris and across the world in panel sessions on the conference schedule, including two sessions from the Port Harcourt Regional Hub. The Port Harcourt sessions viewed by the global conference audience are Communicating Social Justice and Artivism in Nigeria: The Nexus between theory and practice; and One World, One Network: Celebrating and/or Problematizing Situated Differences of Feminist Issues.’ Port Harcourt Regional Hub will also be joining virtual sessions today and tomorrow.

Two panel sessions from the hub to be featured on those days are; Emerging issues on mass media and global security; and Despoliation, Power and Redress: Issues in Communicating the Environment. According to the organisers, as a semi-social event on the sidelines of the ICA conference regional hub programme, Port Harcourt Hub is also hosting three evenings (May 27-29) of cultural fiesta tagged; Communicating Culture. This hybrid cultural event will weave communication and culture into an engaging but relaxed atmosphere in the vibrant Garden City of Port Harcourt. Commenting on activities of Port Harcourt Regional Hub, lead organiser of the hub, Ekaete George, said: “I hope that the efforts put into the organisation of the ICA conference Regional Hub translates to a delightful experience for attendees of the Port Harcourt Hub. We are building a community of interdisciplinary communication lovers that I have high hopes for.’’

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