The Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) is collaborating with the Imo state government and Market Development for the Niger Delta (MADE) to stage the fifth edition of the Niger Delta Development Forum (NDDF) in Owerri, Imo state.
In a statement released by PIND and signed by Ese Emerhi, its advocacy programme manager, organisation said the forum is scheduled to take place from October 19 to 20, and it would help increase awareness and shared understanding among stakeholders on the critical steps needed to move the region towards a re-imaged Niger Delta.
The organisers of the programme stated that the Niger Delta states are experiencing crisis — politically, economically, socially, and environmentally.
They said the collapse of global oil prices had taken its toll the hardest on the nine states of the Niger Delta, resulting in the re-emergence of violence by new militancy groups.
“Despite numerous efforts by both independent organisations and the federal government in convening key stakeholders in the region to collectively explore the imperatives of inclusive economic growth in an environment of dwindling oil prices, little headway has been achieved or documented on a firm way forward for the region,” the statement read.
According to the organisers, the forum, tagged ‘Towards Self-Sustaining Development in the Niger Delta: Narrating and Showcasing a Re-Imagined Niger Delta’, will create a platform to increase actionable opportunities for sustainable development initiatives and activities in the Niger Delta region through evidence-based policy influence at the state and federal levels.
“We believe the forum will help facilitate commitment of key actors like the government, private sector, civil society and donor community through dialogue with stakeholders for more inclusive pro-poor development initiatives in the Niger Delta,” the statement read.
“The NDDF will promote multi-sector partnerships for development, investment and collaboration in the Niger Delta region, focusing on creation of national and regional platforms for reflection among development actors and interested stakeholders.”
Emerhi further said development is a complex and multi-disciplinary process, and the first step in articulating a way forward for the region is in re-imagining a possible future, beginning with changing the narrative of the Niger Delta.
The 2016 NDDF will tackle key questions in syndicate sessions, leveraging the tradition of a value-added space where interested and committed development actors — public, private sector, development practitioners, and international development actors alike — convene to take actions to promote growth while seizing the huge opportunity to influence the development agenda for the region.
Partners for NDDF include: Niger Delta Development Initiative (NDPI), United States Agency for International Development’s Maximizing Agricultural Revenue and Key Enterprises in Targeted Sites (MARKETS) II project, USAID Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) Project, NSRP, Market Development for the Niger Delta (DAI -MADE), Imo State Government, and the BRACED Commission.