School of Information and Communication Studies hosts 2nd Biennial Africa Regional Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA)

The School of Information and Communication Studies (SICS) of the University of Ghana, in collaboration with the International Communication Association (ICA) has hosted the 2018 Africa Regional ICA conference (ICAfrica) on the theme African Digital Cultures: Emerging research, practices and innovations. The conference brought together scholars from within and outside the continent to share their research and perspectives on the cultures forming around conceptualizations, production and consumption of the digital space in Africa.

Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo addressing participants


Welcoming participants, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Dean of the School of Information and Communication Studies and chair of the Local Organising Committee for the conference, said that the University of Ghana was honoured to have been chosen to host the second biennial ICA conference and the opportunity to contribute to making ICAfrica an important academic meeting on the continent.

Professor Gadzekpo noted that there was a clear need for such gatherings of academics, to promote communication research and scholarship in Africa, and to provide scholars the opportunity to network and dialogue with other stakeholders in the field.

A cross section of participants

Sister Professor Agnes Lando, coordinator of ICAfrica and ICA Board member at large, was glad that ICAfrica had brought together so many academics and communications practitioners, and was hopeful that participants would use the to explore individual and institutional collaborations with one another and with external bodies.

Sister Professor Agnes Lando

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, the Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, of Ghana, highlighted various government-led initiatives that aim at capitalizing on the digital technological advancement of the 21st century to better the lives of Ghanaians.

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia


The opening ceremony was chaired by Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, who challenged participants to come up with innovative ways of adopting technology to solve everyday problems, and thus accelerate the continent’s development goals.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ebenezer Owusu Oduro

Professor Paula Gardener, former President of ICA

The conference featured more than 200 presentations, five panel sessions, a policy lab on Digital Empowerment on Access, Literacy and Safety, and a special panel on Revisiting the Foundations of African Communication Scholarship. Another important segment of the conference was the one-on-one guidance and mentoring sessions for students and early career scholars, which was facilitated by senior academics.

There was also a pre-conference engagement on media freedoms hosted jointly with the Center for Democratic Development (CDD- Ghana) and the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).