UGANDA SOCIAL MEDIA CONFERENCE
How Social Media is transforming Uganda’s political and social landscape
The second annual KAS Social Media Conference took place on 19th July at the Kampala Serena Hotel. It brought together key stakeholders from academia, government, civil society and the media to have a constructive exchange on the opportunities and challenges of the growing social media sphere and to assess how it is shaping the political and social landscape in the country.
THE CONFERENCE IS ONE OF OUR ANNUAL EVENTS. THE 2017 EDITION WILL TAKE PLACE IN JULY
Here's a summary clip of the 2016 Social Media Conference:|
Check out the 2016 event report and pictures here
THE 2016 EVENT WAS LIVESTREAMED: Click here for the recorded video.
The Uganda Social Media Conference is an annual KAS-Uganda programme that aims to bring together key stakeholders from government, civil society and the media to have a constructive exchange on the opportunities and risks of the growing social media sphere and to assess the impact it has on citizen-state engagement. Started in 2015, the conference provides a unique platform for theorizing, dialoguing and engaging on how this unique media tool can be harnessed to promote democratic consolidation and good governance.
The media evolution from print to radio, to TV and now online media has continued to inform and shape mass opinions and perceptions in society. Social media connects people in many ways and voices that were previously unheard burst to the limelight and stories of individuals are harder to suppress than ever before. The emergence of social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube that bypass the traditional gatekeeping role of media means many citizens are able to access and share information before even the media gets to the scene. The power of social media to democratize communication and remove controls is putting to test some of the long held roles of the media. Social media now enables the opinions, perception and actions of the majority who previously relied on traditional and mainstream media, to freely flow among groups.
In Uganda the last years have seen a rise in social media. Millions of Ugandans access the internet - many of them through their mobile phones - and are joining social media platforms in ever increasing numbers. With such masses of people using Facebook, Twitter and messaging apps like WhatsApp the ways we communicate and share information are fast changing. A news statement can advance from zero to a million viewers overnight. The viral nature of this highly social, user-driven environment enables complete strangers to connect over common beliefs, desires or interests.
In its global engagement in the promotion of democracy and good governance, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) has a long history of promoting free and professional media through journalism trainings and scholarship programmes as well as facilitating networking and dialogue platforms. Through the Media Programme for Subsahara Africa based in Johannesburg, KAS supports journalists, bloggers and political communicators across the continent, for example by facilitating the online platform Africa Blogging.
In Uganda, KAS in July 2015 organized the first ever platform meant to focus on the political dimension of social media in the country. The 2015 Social Media Conference brought together a host of experts and professionals from civil society, media practitioners and scholars, political activists, and government officials to assess the impact of social media on political communication and civic engagement.
To further strengthen and understand the scientific perspectives on social media and political communication, KAS dedicated volume 9 of the publication series Reality Check to synthesize this new digital opportunity. Launched in January 2016, the publication unearths the theoretical underpinnings, new emancipatory potentials, the contribution of social media in the 2016 presidential election campaigns and the NGO/Civil Society perspective of social media.
The 2016 conference will continue and deepen the discussion and provide an opportunity to explore the topic in many more facettes. A great number of carefully selected experts will enrich the highly interactive panels with diverse perspectives that will stimulate participants' engagement.
Mathias Kamp, Country Representative, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung
Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, Minister for ICT, Information and Communication
Daniel Kalinaki, Managing Editor, Nation Media Group, Nairobi
OPENING PANEL: Social Media redefining democratic space in Uganda: Building bridges or building walls?
Nicholas Opiyo, Executive Director, Chapter Four Uganda
Rosebell Kagumire, Chief Executive, Kweeta Consulting
Patience Akumu, Policy and Research Coordinator, Oxfam Uganda
MODERATOR: Solomon Serwanjja, News Anchor and Reporter, NBS
BREAK-AWAY PANEL 1: Women and social media in Uganda: breaking barriers - but at what cost?
Henry Nickson Ogwal, Fundraising Director, Action Aid Uganda
Godiva Akullo, Feminist lawyer
Dr. Sarah Ssali, Makerere School of Gender and Women Studies
Lindsey Kukunda, Blogger and Freelance Writer
Moses Owiny, Information Officer, Women of Uganda Network
CHAIR: Rebecca Rwakabukoza, Author and Blogger
BREAK-AWAY PANEL 2: Contemporary culture and social media: Big opportunities - tough questions
Violet Nantume, Artist & curator of eroticism and intimacy exhibition
Harriet Anena, Author of a Nation in Labor
Kyomuhendo Ateenyi, Arts Curator and Co-Founder, CACE
Andrew Salema Ludigo, Visual Artist, Mandela Washington Fellow 2015
CHAIR: Donnas Ojok, Programme Officer, KAS
BREAK-AWAY PANEL 3: Traditional media in the age of social media: challenges and opportunities for a Ugandan journalist today
Catherine Byaruhanga, BBC Uganda Correspondent
Remmy Bahati, News Reporter, NBS
Gerald Bareebe, PhD Candidate, University of Toronto
Giles Muhame, Managing Editor, Chimp Reports
Edward Sekyewa, Executive Director, Hub for Investigative Media
CHAIR: Joy Doreen Biira, Journalist and News Anchor, KTN
BREAK-AWAY PANEL 4: Advancing good governance and service delivery through social media
Prossy Kawala, Journalist & Media Literacy Advocate, CEMCOD
Patrick Kayemba, Iganga District LC5 Chairman
Eshban Kwesiga, Programme Manager, Parliament Watch
Peter Kaujju, Spokesperson, KCCA
Maureen Agena, ICT4D Consultant
CHAIR: Gawaya Tegulle, Media Consultant
CLOSING PANEL & PLENARY DISCUSSION: Challenges and Opportunities of Social Media – Where are we heading?
Ruth Aine, Blogger
Daniel Kalinaki, Managing Editor, Nation Media Group
Joy Doreen Biira, Journalist and News Anchor, KTN
Donnas Ojok, Programme Officer, KAS
Julius Mucunguzi, Communications Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister
MODERATOR: Sheila Nduhukire, Political Reporter and Anchor, NTV
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