Call for Applications: Mentorship Roundtable for Young ICT Enthusiasts

Chris Uwaje, mentoring Tope, myself and more...

I have just sent out this news item (below), and thought I should share in this blog space since I once talked about this here. Please forward to people that you know would benefit from the experience. In a few hours (less than 28), I’ll say more about some amazing tools that I’m presently downloading and testing! For now, make someone’s career dream come true by forwarding this announcement (or the blog permalink, www.gbengasesan.com/blog/?p=79) to them:

“While government policies and policy instruments may not be lacking for the Nigerian ICT sector, there is the concern that majority of policy instruments (regardless of sector) are often high-sounding but may lack visible expression if care is not taken. From the robust Information Technology policy to the policy that describes the need for ICT education, it is gradually becoming clear that it is necessary to build bridges between policy and action. Fortunately, the WSIS process has revealed that young people stand as one of such bridges: capacity building for youth is a sure way of securing the future of any enterprise. This then highlights the need to introduce aspiring ICT professionals to mentorship opportunities within the sector — which is what the Bridges Roundtable seeks to address.

“In Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology sector, role models abound. From the CEO of Lagos based corporations to lecturers in the Diaspora, young Nigerians have a lot of people to look up to. There are Nigerians whose names cause positive stirs in international fora, and there are those whom young only see on the television or read about in the dailies. This roundtable seeks to build bridges between these aspiring professionals and the existing role models, in order to build staying power for the industry. The roundtable will bring together seasoned ICT professionals (spanning government, private sector and civil society) and aspiring professionals (who will be selected based on interest and previous participation) to discuss how the next generation can stand on the shoulders of elders in order to see farther ahead. With the theme, “Equipping the Next Generation: The Role of Mentorship in ICT Development in Nigeria”, we hope to create continuous communication that can reduce the learning curve for intending ICT professionals in Nigeria, and thus bridge the gap between policy and sustainable action.

Lagos Digital Village is proud to announce that applications are open for the Bridges Roundtable. Twenty young people with passionate interest in ICTs are expected to meet with identified mentors whose experiences include government, private sector and civil society. The Bridges Roundtable will hold at the Heinrich Boll Foundation office on the 17th of May, 2006, and additional details will be made available to successful applicants. To apply, please send your detailed resume and a cover letter (upper limit of 500 words) — detailing your area of interest in the ICT sector and what your future plans are — to bridges@lagosdigitalvillage.org.ng. Applications must be received by 11:59pm, April 27, 2006.”

Listen to My (or Your) Blog Posts

Listen, don't just read

You can now listen to all my blog posts — by simply clicking the link that says  Listen to this podcast (computer-generated voice). You may wish to scroll to the end of the message to check out the cool tool! When I read Andy Carvin’s eMail about Talkr, I made my eWay immediately to the website to check it out myself and after a few minutes (fortunately, its easier to set up if you use WordPress), I was listening away. 🙂

I think its a really cool tool for bloggers (and media houses that have compatible websites) to use because we can now conveniently rest, assured that those who may be visually impaired can still have access to news and informative/educative/entertainment (someone tongue-twisted this to read “edu-info-tainment”) resources. I tested the tool with my last post on Tired of Talking and even though the computer-generated voice (feminine) was obviously not perfect (especially as it pronounced my blog name — which means “word” — as another word with the same spelling — but with another meaning entirely). Ask me to rate the tool, and I’ll say it does too much good to hurt when my name is pronounced as Gee-bayn-ga!

See the Listen to this podcast (computer-generated voice) below… I can imagine how much fun it is to listen to the last part of this blog, and how does the 🙂 icon sound? How about a “text” laughter, hahahahahaha! Interested in installing Talkr for your blog? Click on the Listen to ANY blog link to the right of this post, or just follow this link.

Tired of Talking

Speaking at the JCI-Eko Chapter April 2006 Business Meeting

My presentation at the April edition of the JCI-Nigeria Eko Chapter’s Business Meeting was interesting — not only because of the obvious right-timing and the immediate response, but for the discussions that followed the presentation a few hours after the venue was empty. The discussions held downstairs, while everyone assumed that the other person was on his/her way home. The topic, noting its relevance to the future of Nigeria, made for a lot of input from various sectors but what was more interesting to me was the passion with which some of the youth described the little action they are taking in their respective domains.

While it takes a long time for little drops of water to make a mighty ocean, drops that pools together around the same source (networking) will make for better speed –and the ripples will spread faster. Slowly, but surely, young Nigerians are preparing themselves for the future. Governance (we need to use that word more than politics), law enforcement/regulatory agencies, businesses, civil society organisations, and every other sector of the economy should expect some bright minds making major inroads into the sector as we continue. In the secrecy of their abode without news reports and cameras), these young men and women — who are tired of talking are taking action in their circles of influence.

Another major highlight of the meeting was the reconnection with the chairperson of the JCI-Nigeria Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) in Nigeria committee in 2003 (when I was honoured as a TOYP honouree for the Science and Technology category). Her input into the discussions after my presentation gave me reasons to smile, and I guess a natural follow up to that is an invitation to speak at the April (30th) Business Meeting of the JCI-Nigeria chapter where she’s now President. I’m still thinking of the topic that will best suit the audience (which seems to be quite different from the April 3 chapter), but you can be sure that we will also be challenging ourselves to get Tired of Talking! If all the energy we spend complaining or talking (without taking action) is directed towards national development, we will bring forward the completion date for Project New Nigeria!