FUTURE LAGOS | Tweetchat Review – Lagos, the online city

“If government isn’t interested in listening to citizens in the 1st place, internet, open data, etc. won’t change this.”


How does an online city influence what is happening on the ground? Can the internet connect citizens with decision makers? And, can this connection result in an improved city and quality of life for citizens? We review responses from our participants who participated in July’s #OCLchat.

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by Olamide Udoma

Recently Lagos has seen itself manifested online through the voices and images of city dwellers and visitors alike. It is therefore pertinent to discuss if and how an online city can affect what is happening on the ground. As part of the #OpenCityLagos project, in July we held #OCLchat on Twitter, to discuss the effects social media can have on a city. (Read the preview here).

Within the hour discussion six questions, with a focus as Lagos as an online city, were asked and answers came from all over the globe with opinions and examples of technology, citizenship, and the urban development of Lagos.

The one hour tweetchat lead to break away discussion on technology being an enhancer and not a solution. Therefore the emphasis should be on creating a sustainable and people centred governance and administrative system that is supplemented by technology. Other conversation included a discussion on online governance where decisions are made within 140 characters, if this is effective or not.

One of the highlights of the chat was the realisation that the majority of Nigerians are not tech savy. Therefore, even though with technology advances and the growth of affordable smartphones there is still a majority of the population offline.

Below are some tweets that spurred on the conversation (For more read the Storify or search for #OCLchat on Twitter and do not forget you can still join the conversation using #OCLchat).


About FutureLagos

Olamide Udoma is a researcher, writer and filmmaker holding degrees in BSc Architecture, MA Design and MPhil Infrastructure Management. Olamide has worked in London, South Africa and Nigeria with various organisations focusing on transport management, slum upgrading and housing rights in urbanising African cities. At Our Future Cities NPO, she is the Lagos manager and editor.