The International Press Institute (IPI) announced today that it will hold its 2018 annual World Congress in Abuja, Nigeria from June 21 – 23, 2018.

Under the theme “Why Good Journalism Matters”, the World Congress will affirm the indispensable role of quality media in building strong societies, showcasing investigative stories and projects that bring positive change to individuals and communities in Africa and around the world. It comes as media outlets everywhere face tremendous challenges not only in terms of economic survival, but also from a loss of public trust driven by governmental hostility to critical journalism and the rise of “fake news” and propaganda.

“IPI is thrilled to hold its 2018 World Congress in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, which boasts a vibrant and highly innovative media scene,” IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi said, after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Nigerian Host Committee during an IPI Executive Board meeting in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Oct. 7.

Mallam Ismaila Isa, a former IPI Executive Board member from Nigeria who signed the memorandum on behalf of the Nigerian Host Committee, added: “Nigeria is prepared and looking forward to receiving the world’s media in June 2018. We hope to make this the most successful World Congress in the history of IPI.”

“I’m very much looking forward to the World Congress in Nigeria,” said John Yearwood, Chair of IPI’s Executive Board. “Much like the Congress in South Africa a few years ago, this will give us an opportunity to focus on some of the issues confronting African journalists and learn from their successes.”

The Nigeria Host Committee is headed by Prince Nduka Obaigbena, president of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN). In addition to Isa, other members of the Host Committee include Mallam Kabiru Yusuf, chairman of the Daily Trust Newspaper; Mallam Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the President of Nigeria on media and publicity; Mrs. Funke Egbemode, president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE); Mr. Waheed Odusile, president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists; and Mr. Raheem Adedoyin, secretary of IPI’s Nigeria National Committee.

2018 will also mark the 55th anniversary of IPI’s Africa Initiative, a comprehensive journalist training programme established in 1963 in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria with a grant from the Ford Foundation. The Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), which was born out of the Initiative, still exists today as one of the leading communication and journalism training institutions in Africa.

The Congress will start with an opening ceremony on the afternoon of Thursday, June 21, 2018 and will run until the evening of Saturday, June 23, 2018. Registration will open soon at with discounted rates for IPI members.