THE International Communication Association (ICA) has approved a Regional Hub in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, for hosting its 72nd International Convention. Port Harcourt is one of 11 cities across the world – three in Africa: Cape Town and Nairobi – that have been designated to host the #ICA22 Conference Regional Hubs. The ICA conference which has as theme ‘One World, One Network’ will be held at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
According to the organizer of the Port Harcourt Regional Hub and Doctoral candidate in Communication Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Ekaete George, Port Harcourt will not only enjoy live-streaming of in-person sessions at the ICA conference that will take place in Paris, France, from May 26 – 30, 2022, but will also make a panel presentation which is to be viewed by the ICA global community. She added that she was working with a team of committed scholars and professionals, in close coordination with the ICA, to welcome attendees from Nigeria and West Africa, and to ensure a truly international conference experience for all attendees.
Interested scholars and professionals who intend to register for and participate in the international conference through the Port Harcourt hub are advised to email their applications to: The Organizer, ICA22 Port Harcourt Regional Hub, @firstname.lastname@example.org. Female scholars across Nigeria and West Africa, as well as people with disability are strongly encouraged to apply. George has also called on individuals and corporate bodies to sponsor and partner ICA Port Harcourt Regional Hub in the areas of accommodation and other logistical requirements for attendees. They are to call +234705850199.
George, who expressed excitement at the approval of Port Harcourt as ICA regional hub, said, ”International Communication Association (ICA) is a global organization that aims to advance the scholarly study of communication by encouraging and facilitating excellence in academic research worldwide. With more than 4,500 members in 80 countries, the approval of a Regional Hub for Port Harcourt will create an avenue to build a robust ICA community in Nigeria.”
An acknowledgement letter from ICA headquarters in Washington DC, U.S., signed by Laura Sawyer stated, ”I’m writing with the happy news that your application to host a Regional Hub for #ICA22 participants in your region has been approved. We received 11 applications overall, from as far-ranging locations as St. Petersburg, Santiago, Hefei, Beijing, Shanghai, Cairo, Cape Town, Nairobi, Port Harcourt, Jakarta, and Manipal. All have been approved, in hopes of creating a global network of hubs during this conference that may grow into their own robust ICA communities.”
George, who is a Doctoral Candidate in Communication Studies at the University of Port Harcourt, (UNIPORT), Port Harcourt, expressed excitement at the numerous opportunities hosting ICA hub promises and how the Vice Chancellor of her university is fully in support of the conference.
”So, the International Communication Association (ICA) is a professional home I stumbled across… out of curiosity for knowledge,” she said. ”When I began my journey as a graduate student many years ago, I wanted to find whatever was happening in communications and media. I decided to call the ICA home not only because of free access to journals and other resources, but also because of its global outlook. In 2020 when the pandemic happened, the ICA community became closer due to virtual events which connected the ICA community even more.
”Last year, a member got approval to host a Hub in Abuja. So, when the opening came, I seized the opportunity to write a proposal for a Port Harcourt Regional Hub, and the rest, as they say, is history. One of my motivation for applying for this Hub was to bring the ICA Conference home to UNIPORT, home to Nigeria and the Niger Delta region. Opportunities to attend international conferences do not come easily. Opportunities to attend and get others to also attend for free are rare.
”Interestingly, the Vice Chancellor of University of Port Harcourt, Professor Owunari Georgewill, who suppots the conference fully, will serve as chief host of Port Harcourt Regional Hub. This is very exciting debvelopment. My team and I were invited by the VC, who expressed enthusiasm about welcoming ICA and attendees of the hub to the university. What excites me most is the ICA community which will result from this hub. Like-minded scholars and professionals will not only enjoy the sessions, we will also be having homegrown three sessions. So Port Harcourt will contribute to the global conversations on communications. So, it will be an interesting and glocal intervention from Port Harcourt, Nigeria and indeed West Africa.”
She also said the U.S., Washington, DC-based ICA global body has been supportive of her efforts since she won the hosting right and started making preparations for the confenrence.
According to her, ”The ICA has been very supportive of my efforts to organize this Port Harcourt hub. All attendees at the hub are being given free registration for a virtual conference that goes for $575. That’s an amazing offer! My vision for what we are building and the Nigerian ICA community is to host a standalone ICA Regional Conference soon. Communication scholarship in Nigeria is robust. There is no reason why we should not be fully represented in every global platform. Not least a prestigious one like the ICA.”