By Mustapha Salisu
The Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation, hosted its 4th annual Kano Social Influencers Summit, tagged #KanSIS23 – A Rendezvous of Ideas in Kano State.
This year’s event, which lasted for two days between 25th & 26th October, 2023, was held at Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano (YUMSUK) with a series of inspiring plenary sessions as well as educative parallel panel sessions.
Giving his welcome remarks, Executive Director of CITAD, Engr. Y.Z. Yau, explained that the event aims to provide a platform for social influencers to discuss and share ideas on how to use social media to promote social change and development.
During a parallel panel session on “Social Media in the Making of Visibility of People with Special Needs,” chaired by Abdurrahman Uba Daushe of the Spinal Cord Injury Association of Nigeria, panelists discussed the topic under three classifications: social media, visibility, and people with disabilities (PWDs).
By visibility, the moderator referred to creating rich and sustainable content with ethical morality on social media platforms. PWDs are a group of people who have lost some part of their body, thereby limiting or reducing their level of productivity in society.
On his part, CITAD’s PWDs Officer, Hamza Aminu Fagge, appreciated the emergence of social media, which has given an online presence to PWDs as compared to how they have been neglected on mainstream media like TV and radio.
He explained that social media has impacted the lives of PWDs, especially in terms of self-advocacy, disability rights, inclusion, and justice for PWDs.
Also speaking, Malam Ibrahim AbdulKareem said that PWDs are enjoying great visibility in terms of individuals by joining groups of like minds on WhatsApp groups. He also mentioned that the Nigerian Association of the Blind is among several clusters that PWDs can join.
According to him, a research captured by Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, revealed that over 590 million PWDs are on social media, which has continued to support them in participating in contemporary activities.
In his view, Muhammad Usman from JONAPWD, Jigawa, explained that with the coming of social media, PWDs have been able to access information with ease, especially exchanging information with like minds from different clusters of PWDs.
He also explained that the coming of social media has eased movement for PWDs to various programs as they can attend via Zoom.
Usman lamented the challenges faced by PWDs, such as digital devices not being visibly friendly for access, illiteracy in utilizing the devices, and economic hardship in purchasing data for use.
Other notable members of the panel who spoke during the session included Hamza Isa from Kanawa Educational Foundation, Amina Abubakar from Girls Gate Initiative, and Mariya Ishaga.
PRIME TIME NEWS reports that CITAD has been organizing the yearly event for 4 years now. The event is supported by so many development driven organization & initiative from the areas of Digital Economy, Media & Communication, Peace & Security, Good Governance as well as Human Rights.