The Nigerian Youth Roundtable: 2007 Elections

Theme: “Articulating Youths Issues for the Emerging Nigeria”

Fellow Nigerian Youths, its 2007 and elections are here again. Something historic is about to happen, power will move from one democratic government to another! Different sectors are positioning strategically for the emerging Nigeria. What about us the youths? Who will articulate our issues for us? How do we get more space and visibility in the next government? Can we position ourselves to get a better deal in the emerging Nigeria? Yes, Yes and Yes we can! How?

The Youth Roundtable where youths from all over Nigeria shall meet to interact on the Manifestos and Agenda of Political Parties and their candidate, to ensure that their Manifestos have addressed the issues we consider as major youth development needs. Moreso, Presidentail
Candidates are expected to come and interact with youths on their development programs when they assume office. Our voice must be heard! you must be there ……Live!!

DATE: Wednesday, 4th – Friday, 6th April, 2007
VENUE: Royalton Hotel, Plot 1907, Gongola St. Area 2 Garki, Abuja
TIME: 9:00am – 5:00pm daily

Who can attend?
Young people and youth leaders below 35 years

To Attend
Send an application with a one page article title, “Our Issues in the Emerging Nigeria”, to the organizers to receive an invitation

Please note that participants are responsible for their accommodation in Abuja and transportation to and from Abuja . Only tea break and lunch is provided for participants.

To donate or support the Youth Roundtable?… Join Group 100 and make a
donation today!

The Nigerian Youth Roundtable… negotiating our space in the emerging Nigeria.

Organisers: Youngstars Foundation with support from Group100
Hotlines: Kingsley, 0803 586 85 86; ‘Gbenga 0802 345 60 76; Rapheal 0803 090 84 00

Technology Mentoring Opportunity for Young Nigerian Women Community Activists – The Networking for Success Project

Please read, act and distribute widely. The announcement that follow is from a fellow blogger and inspiring young ICT enthusiast.

  • Are you a young Nigerian woman who is a founder or leader within a community-based programme or NGO?
  • Are you between the ages of 17 and 26?
  • Are you looking to use technology to work more efficiently or to publicise the work of your program?
  • Would you like to become a part of a network of young women leaders who are supporting each other’s work through knowledge-building and sharing?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to the above questions, the Networking for Success project might be an ideal opportunity for you. The project is aimed at teaching women how to work more efficiently using technology-supported collaboration techniques. The tools used will include (but not limited to) a combination of Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, podcasts and tags.

Goals of the Networking for Success Project
The goals of the project are to:

  1. Develop an online network of young Nigerian female community leaders who will support each other in their social activism by sharing information and lessons learnt from their projects with each other
  2. Develop a web-based repository of useful NGO resources related to setting-up an NGO / social program, implementing and managing projects, sustaining the vision of the organisation, securing and maintaining funding and using technology effectively

How this will work
For a period of 3 months, participants will be guided in discussions on topics pertaining to their collective areas of interest. During this time, they will also be mentored in their use of the technologies.

Contact Information
Many of the places in the program have been filled, but there are a few more spaces available. If you are interested in this project or would like further information, please send a paragraph describing your organisation’s work to oreblogging [at] by Friday, March 31, 2007.

The Networking for Success project is part of the Blogs for African Women (BAWo) initiative, a technology mentoring initiative working to encourage African women to become more active users of technology. BAWo is supported by Fahamu, an organisation using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to serve the needs of organisations that aspire to progressive social change.

Oreoluwa Somolu
Coordinator, Networking for Success

Back to the Oil City

(c) Google Images

If life is lived twice at a time, then I must be in the second phase. Or how do I explain the nostalgia that came with my Kano-Port Harcourt trips of 2003 and 2007, both of them for ICT-related assignments. I arrived in Port Harcourt with the Computer Aid team at about 7pm on March 16, having completed the Owerri-Port Harcourt segment of the trip with a very passionate driver who didn’t spare any words in expressing his concerns over the April elections — and I’m glad he agreed with me that it was high time Nigerians translated political frustration into practical change through the power of the ballot (participation, voting and the defence of our collective desire for change!)

The city hasn’t changed much — many streets are still named Roumu-something; traffic situation is still predictably frustrating; the sharp contrast between the city’s potentials (as an oil city) and it’s present outlook still amazes every visitor; etc. My October 10 2003 visit for the Policy Train was with Tope Soremi, but unlike Kano, I have been back here a number of times. This 2007 visit started with a meeting with NGOs at the Aldgate Congress Hotel and was spiced with the meeting with Fela Durotoye, who is doing what he does best with one of his many clients in the same hotel. FD (as he is fondly called) has been an inspiration to me and I always remember his words during our earlier discussion: “… it begins with passion, and then it grows to the level of influence, after which the next natural thing is affluence.E se egbon, your words ring so true!

In the report of my 2003 trip to Port harcourt (written by Tope Soremi), the following stand out:

We arrived Port Harcourt at about 2:30pm on Friday, October 10, 2003 … Dominic, an official of Anpez Centre gave us a brief tour of facilities and conducted us round the
administrative office(s). Together, we ran through arrangements made for the event proper the next day…. At the Policy train, twenty-one (21) participants were present with representation both from the private sector and the civil society. The event started at about 10:05am with ‘Gbenga Sesan giving a brief welcome address. Thereafter, the first presentation on ICT & Policy was made by ‘Tope Soremi.

A second presentation by ‘Gbenga Sesan on Youth @ WSIS … was to give an overview of what the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is all about and how Nigerian youths have participated in it so far. The WSIS would hold in two phases with Phase one scheduled for December 10-12, 2003 in Geneva and Phase two would hold in Tunis, Tunisia in 2005….In a bid to identify with the objectives of the WSIS, Nigeria also held a PrepCom meeting on Lagos on Thursday, July 10, 2003 where multi-sector stakeholders were present and an analysis of the Draft documents as prepared from the Global PrepCom II was done with several inputs made. Thereafter, we had a break where participants took light refreshments and met with each other to further network and discuss ideas around regional co-operation especially for the Niger Delta.

Participants spoke about best practices where they shared experiences and gave some insight into what they had been able to use in their various projects and how things had worked for them. It was evident that most of the people present were not aware of the WSIS process neither did they know that Nigeria has an IT policy. A complete analysis of the questionnaires administered to participants will be made available at the end of the entire consultative process. The event ended at about 3:30pm and we headed for the Port Harcourt International Airport… We arrived Lagos at about 7:30pm signaling the end of the Eastern region phase; next on the train is Kano where the Northern region phase will hold on Saturday October 18, 2003 at Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD).

I’m back to the Oil city on the same mission: contributing to the connection of this section of Nigeria to ICT opportunities so that we can look beyond the resources below the ground and consider grooming a new generation of youth who can compete favourably with their peers in other parts of the world. This generation will discover the true meaning of resource control when they realise that resources above the soil (intellectual capital) hold more value in the New Economy! The truth is that most African nations at war over natural resources today will naturally move from war to warmth if we can discover this truth. natural resources are a blessing, and should not be an excuse for laziness towards developing our intellectual prowess — and should never be a basis for the many unprintable acts that exist in such regions of our continent. Work continues in Port Harcourt until Tuesday, and the rest of my week will be spent in Abuja (where work continues with the Presidential Task Force on ICT Restructuring) and Addis Ababa (where African ICT professionals will meet to discuss the African regional node of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development, GAID).

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Breakfast with Segun Odegbami

(c) BBC    (c) BBC    (c) BBC

I should start by making it clear that I did not have breakfast with Mathematical (as he is often called) in terms of sitting with him, but I had breakfast in the same hotel and at about the same time — and had the opportunity of spending a few seconds picking his brain.

Segun Odegbami needs no introduction. Let me allow Wikipedia and to speak about him:

Patrick Olusegun Odegbami, often shortened to Segun Odegbami (born August 27, 1952 in Lagos) was a Nigerian football forward, who was brought up in the northern city of Jos. He won 46 caps and scored 23 goals for his country, and guided Nigeria to its first African Nations title at the 1980 African Nations Cup.

Nicknamed Mathematical, he was famous for his skill on the ball, speed and precision of his crosses from the right wing. He played for IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan his entire career, from 1970 to 1984. His last game was the 1984 African Champions Cup final defeat to Zamalek of Egypt. His younger brother, Wole Odegbami, is also a former national team player.

Probably the greatest winger Nigeria has ever produced and tall for a winger, he was always deadly with his head when he went up for crosses, but he is best remembered for his sublime dribbling ability. Segun combined a career as a football player with his Engineering studies at the Ibadan Polytechnic. He retired in 1984, and became a member of the IICC coaching crew whilst also maintaining a weekly column with The Guardian, which earned him the nickmane Grammatical. He was a TV sports commentator…

I skipped breakfast over the last few days but stepped into the Tahir Guest Palace restaurant in Kano this morning to tell my colleagues that it was about time for our first appointment. After a few words of persuasion, I agreed to grab a bite and was also particularly attracted to the dodo that was starring at me from the plate pushed towards me. I sat down and could not help noticing him. Looking harmless and having a friendly conversation with two gentlemen, you could not have guessed that it was Segun Odegbami. Though I hardly give special attention to popular faces, I couldn’t help explaining to my two Kenyan colleagues that the person on the adjacent table was a star — actually a shinning star!

I stopped at the door and returned to his table. He is obviously used to such gestures because when the words escaped from my mouth, he smiled and said something that my brain interpreted as thanks. I caught myself saying, “I’m such a big fan and I must thank you for providing inspiration for young Nigerians, at least.” He smiled as if to say he had more inspiration to give… I asked him a simple question: “What one thing helped you as a young person to prepare for the amazing career and life that you now enjoy.” He didn’t wait for me to finish speaking when he said, belief. I sighed. He hit the nail on the head! Belief helps sum up the various values and indices that can make a young man whose football career was too promising to combine the same with such an evident intellectual balance — you need to read his articles to appreciate his depth and ability to connect ideas with reality.

I asked him that question because I knew it was a one-time opportunity with a man whose name certainly opens doors for him — and commands respect too! Belief: belief in one’s self, in your cause of choice, belief in the system where you are planted, belief in others, even belief in the power of belief! In it’s African Legends report of August 12, 2003, the BBC said: Nicknamed ‘Mathematical’ for his exquisite skills, pace and accuracy in front of goal, Nigeria’s Segun Odegbami is one of Africa’s all-time greats. When such a man tells you that something is important, then you should at least take note. Thanks, mathematical for the time and wise word!

Back to Kano

(c) Friends of Nigeria

My first visit to the ancient city of Kano was on October 17, 2003. The second visit is coming about 4 years later, having arrived Kano on March 12, 2007. Though almost 4 years apart, both visits revolve around the same theme: ICTs for Development. The first was fuelled by the passion of an energetic young team that would make a difference regardless of what obstacles stood on their path, and this second visit comes with passion (increased and focused passion), skills (grown over those few years) and economic opportunity (reward for skilled labour). On that first visit, Titi Akinsanmi was my team mate (with support from Tope Soremi who was taking care of administrative work in Lagos); and for this second visit, I arrived Kano with Anne Musyoki and Gladys of Computer Aid International. In 2003, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) was a youth-led online volunteer team trying to connect Nigerian youth with ICT opportunities; and now in 2007, its an institution that has chosen to spearhead appropriate ICT4D opportunities for Africa’s youth.

The 2003 visit was tagged WSIS Youth Nigeria Policy Train and it was organized by the Nigerian Youth Coalition on ICTs (led by PIN) and hosted by the Center for Information Technology Awareness and Development (CITAD, the same institution facilitating these 2007 meetings between the Computer Aid team and relevant institutions in Kano). Today, I return to the Kano office of the British Council, the same place where we held a meeting with young ICT enthusiasts on October 18 2003. Today’s meeting will introduce Computer Aid International to a wider audience — non-profit institutions and heads of Kano’s secondary schools.

I read the 2003 report again this morning and can’t help smiling having read especially the following:

On arrival in Kano at about 7:30pm, communication became a major issue. We had phones, numbers and all that we needed but the calls would just not be completed. After several attempts, we were able to contact our hosts, CITAD, after which we proceeded to the Mambayya House which would be our office, home and secretariat for the two days we would spend working in the beautiful ancient city of Kano. Not long after we checked in, it was the next day: Saturday October 18 2003.

The program had two segments — the consultation with 44 participants (which included very few dynamic non-youths) and the visit to Zaura Babba which was a Rural Internet Penetration program that enjoyed the support of the National Information Technology Development Agency’s (NITDA) Mobile Internet Unit (MIU) and dynamic staff. Beginning with a welcome address by CITAD’s Garba Idris and followed by an opening remark by the Customer Service Manager of the British Council, the day’s high tone was set. A presentation on “ICT and Policy” was then delivered by ‘Gbenga Sesan while Titi Akinsanmi continued with an update on “Youth @ WSIS”. After the two presentations, an interactive session followed and it was centred around the need to involve the less privileged in the use and bountiful opportunities that ICTs offer. This came as a wonderful discussion because our planned visit to a rural community in Kano came in handy.

The prolonged and insightful questions and comments (well captured on video) moved naturally into an impromptu but effective and timely 5-minute presentation on the use of the Internet by NITDA’s Garba Mohammed who lectured in English an also added the local flavour, being an indigene of Kano himself.

The team (NITDA, CITAD, Titi Akinsanmi and ‘Gbenga Sesan) proceeded to Zaura Babba for the rural internet awareness program but it was not without some good drama. About 15 participants from the first segment showed interest in joining us at the village, and the Emir’s convoy lightened up our transition as captured in one of the three 3-hour tapes where the Kano Policy Train has been archived. Arriving Zaura Babba after a minor “lost in Kano” experience (due to the hired driver’s expertise), we were greatly surprised by the presence of about 100 young people aged between 2 and their mid twenties. The greater surprise was the pre-arranged welcome by the Village Head, his chiefs and the entire Zaura Babba community. It was most sentimental as the ill (but obviously learned) village head welcomed us in his local language and with only two or three words in English. He could actually have spoken in English but tradition would have him address visitors only in his mother tongue! He apologised for not slaughtering a ram or chicken and asked us to return for a taste of the Zaura Babba hospitality!

‘Gbenga Sesan spoke on behalf of the coalition and thanked the community for being so receptive to the dynamic opportunities that ICTs would offer them and also urged the youth and elders to embrace the use of ICTs in development. The Village Head thanked the visiting resource persons (‘Gbenga Sesan and Titi Akinsanmi) and “cut the tape” for the Computer/Internet Training for Zaura Babba community. Beginning with an open air address, the entire community, especially the youth, were urged to learn from the day’s training and to make sure they passed the same on to the other members of the community, especially the women. We noticed that there were no young ladies in their teens present at the “village square address” and Titi Akinsanmi urged the men to involve their sisters, mothers and wives in the use of ICTs.

We proceeded to a classroom in the Government School, Zaura Babba, where about 40 community members (including the state’s Press Secretary) were introduced to computing. The training on, “What is a Computer?”, “How does a Computer work?” and “What can a Computer do?” was led by ‘Gbenga Sesan and enjoyed interpretation in the local language. You need to see this on video as words would not capture the excitement and thrill in that classroom for over thirty minutes! Physical demonstrations with a laptop which we got courtesy of Tokunbo Fagbamigbe of MTN added colour to the classroom segment of the training. Surprise was written all over the faces of the participants as they saw their own pictures that were taken with a digital camera only a few minutes before then, on the computer — which is referred to as inji mai kwakwalwa (a machine that has a brain) in Hausa.

It was then time to proceed to the Mobile Internet Unit, where community members had the opportunity of touching a computer, using it and connecting to the vast space of the World Wide Web for an historic first time for the majority of them! Ranging from mere admiration to reading news on the BBC Hausa service, creating email accounts and surfing the Zaura Babba website that was quickly put up by ‘Gbenga Sesan as a Coalition donation to the Zaura Babba community. Titi Akinsanmi urged the community to complete the design of which presently has a simple welcome page with a picture taken during the Village Head’s address. The younger generation trooped out of their evening religious lessons and proceeded towards the MIU. We welcomed them and enjoyed the thrilling song from the ladies while the gentle men treated us to a local “survival of the fittest and last man standing” game! We showed them a laptop and asked questions about their desire to go to school. A young lady said she hoped to become a school teacher and many more expressed their desire in becoming doctors, lawyers and more!

While this report, pictures, 3 video tapes and the Nigeria Youth Caucus website will keep the memories of the Kano Policy Train alive, the excitement and challenge etched on my, nay our minds would linger beyond the lifespan of any of these media! I will never forget the moment that tears almost dropped from my eyes as I saw Aisha and other young people in Zaura Babba trying to enter the classroom but had to be kept outside so that the whole event would be orderly. “Can’t our fat leaders and overfed political opportunists see the depravity in the community and act?” Well, let it be known that very soon, Zaura Babba will produce ICT experts that will touch the heart of the global Information Society! This Policy Train has planted at least one seed, and we look forward to more opportunities for Nigeria¡¦s youth to give back to their community!

It is not all about what the country can do for us but what we can give back to the communities where we find ourselves.

For this 2007 visit, I’m completing a consulting assignment for Computer Aid International. We have held meetings with library experts, academics, government officials and other stakeholders; and the primary objective of this visit is to equip the different institutions with ICT4D equipment which can help all of us bridge the digital divide faster. It looks to me like this is a follow-up to the 2003 visit because while in 2003 we travelled to Zaura Babba with a Mobile Internet Unit, the 2007 visit presents CAI-assisted computer acquisition opportunities to institutions that qualify.

It won’t take another 4 years before I return to Kano, but I am excited at the opportunity of playing a role in the ICT4D growth of Kano, and any other developing city in any nation of the world. It is not about what the world can offer me, it is about what I can do to change the world, our world!

Nigerians in Ghana — and the $100 Laptop

I joined the celebration of Ghana’s 50th anniversary from Winneba, at least through the live television broadcast that was in the background in the meeting room – and the evening dinner with the team and my friend’s family. But don’t be deceived, the celebration is still very much in the air — with every call beginning or ending with Happy 50th anniversary. The holidays ended yesterday and the meeting with the vice Chancellor of the Winneba University of Education was to hold before 12 noon. We arrived on time and then my Ghanaian colleague said, “by the way, some Nigerians are visiting the university today”. I smiled, and thought to myself, “Nigerians sure know how to show up just anywhere”. While thinking to myself, we saw the bus marked University of Lagos.

We were on our way to the VC’s office when we were pulled into a meeting, which ended up being the meeting with the visiting Nigerians! I recognized a few faces from the shock I read on the faces when I walked in, and almost jumped off my seat when Bobb Bright (who has been a great part of the Lagos Digital Village success story) walked in. The group is the United Nations Information Technology Service Nigeria and those who shared their projects with the meeting made national pride well up in me! From traffic issues to lead poisoning and child rights, each presenter proved that they could maximize ICT opportunities to change the nation. I was asked to speak, and though I hardly remember what I said, I recall commending the visiting students and challenging them about the need to execute projects that “solve problems and live beyond us”. The post-meeting greetings went on as usual and after a few contact detail exchanges, a lady walked up and said, “you should come back home to Nigeria because we need people like you at home”.

I almost laughed my head off while telling her that I still live and work in Nigeria and would even be back before their Sunday return — to which someone else responded by saying, “I knew we’d meet you here in Ghana since this was an ICT trip”. While I was laughing at the second joke, he dropped a very serious question: “What’s happening to the $100 laptops?” My answer was simple: “They’re already in Nigeria.” A major milestone was reached in the life of the project last week when about 100 laptops were handed out to children in the Nigerian test school. The OLPC community news sated that, “[t]he laptops were received with smiles, curiosity, and giggles. The most popular feature in the first hour the children spent with their laptops was the mesh view. As of this moment, 100 families in the Nigerian Galadima community will have spent part of their family time around the laptops, with the children proudly explaining how they work.”

Computer Aid Visits Nigeria Again

(c) CAI website

Computer Aid International is visiting Nigeria again, and this working visit — which includes visits to Lagos, Kano, Jigawa, Port Harcourt and Owerri — is being facilitated by Paradigm Initiative Nigeria.

Computer Aid International (CAI) is the world’s largest supplier of non-profit computers to the developing world. CAI provides only the highest-quality, professionally refurbished computers for reuse in education, health and not-for-profit organisations in developing countries. Computer Aid has shipped over 80,000 PCs to where they are most needed in more than 100 countries, making us the world’s largest and most experienced not-for-profit supplier of ICT 4 Development equipment.

The West Africa Program Officer, Anne Musyoki, and the Africa Program Manager, Gladys Muhunyo, will be visiting Nigeria from March 12 to 21, 2007 to explore opportunities to expand provision to Nigeria by establishing partnership with a distribution channel and identify schools, universities, and NGOs in need of affordable high quality refurbished computers. For more information about Computer Aid’s work in other countries, please visit

Majority of Computer Aid PCs have gone to schools and community organisations in sub-Saharan African countries including Ethiopia, Rwanda, Swaziland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Cameroun, Kenya and Nigeria. The 2007 visit schedule includes:

  • March 12, Lagos: Visit to media institutions
  • March 13-15, Kano: Meeting with NGOs and Schools at Mumbayya (March 14); Visit to schools and Meeting with Kano/Jigawa state officials
  • March 16-20, Port Harcourt: Meeting with NGOs at Aldgate Congress Hotel (March 17); Visit to schools and ICT4D projetcs and Meeting with Owerri NGOs (20th)
  • March 21, Lagos: Visit to media institutions

To attend any of the meetings, or to schedule a meeting with the Computer Aid team, write to gbenga.sesan [at] or call 0803 844 50 11.

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The Burden of Freedom


I don’t remember where exactly I saw that title, but it must have been a book I read during an earlier part of my ongoing lifelong learning experience. And that title comes across as the exact wrap on my thoughts this morning…

From the moment a child is born to the last moments of any individual, one burden we carry is that of the need for freedom – freedom from fear, freedom to do what we consider important, freedom of choice, freedom to disagree, freedom to express freedom, etc. And as we move from childhood to those thoughtful years of adulthood – when career, family and responsibility are more frequently used words than toys, teachers and curfews – the burden gets heavier. At this point, we begin to consider anything that holds our freedom back as an enemy. It could be a job we don’t enjoy, a lifestyle that gets us into trouble or even relationships or environments that tend to limit what we consider a grand vision for our lives.

I have spent the last few days responding to various questions that point in the direction of that serious yearn for freedom, and think its high time I addressed that issue on this blog so I can always refer people to this page when they ask very similar questions. One of the questions was more like a threat, it ended with: “… you need to help me, otherwise a good boy with a lot of potentials for [his nation] will be forced to join hands with the bad boys”. In an apparent reference to his temptation to pursue the path of cybercrime, an innocent young man had written to ask me if there was a solution to his lack of freedom – financial and career alike. What he failed to acknowledge was the fact that my inbox had so many similar eMails, and that life itself is about meeting challenges.

In my few days on earth, I have come to see two major kinds of people on-the-job: those who are just there because the employer is helping solve their unemployment problem, and those who are actually there because the employer considers them a solution to his/her problems. Note that the employer could be anyone, including yourself (in the case of an entrepreneur) but these two categories still stand out clearly. The difference, however, between these two classes is the fact that while the former mostly consider themselves unlucky, the latter are proactive enough to arm themselves with appropriate skills that literally make them indispensable. Coupled with nice attitude and an appetite for learning, these people always end up as the cream of managers or entrepreneurs! Bottom-line, you need to be valuable… so valuable that the thought of not having you on board makes the employer consider a quick phone call to find out if you’re okay – not a query to ask where you were last night!

Regardless of how much value you hold on any job, it is also important to be sure that you do what you’re wired to do. I have always maintained that two of the most important considerations for a career choice is the evidence of appropriate skills and unmistakable passion — and I have learnt that the role of economic value can also not be compromised. It may be tough to achieve this through a job search, but in a nation where only 10% of graduates will get a job, I honestly think we have a big opportunity through entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship. It solves the major problem of unemployment, helps the entrepreneurs clients gain value/meet their needs, and gives young people the opportunity to use their skills and passion to earn economic benefit. For Nigeria and Africa, I am strongly convinced that social entrepreneurship is the answer to the number of annual jobs we need to create in order to catch up with percentage growth projections, meeting the numerous social needs that exist across the continent, and get Africa on the path of sustainable development.

It would be unfair to say this much about social entrepreneurship as an avenue through which we can earn through freedom without referring to an amazing platform that has not only changed the way we live, but provides unique opportunities that we cannot deny. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) hold a lot of promise for developing nations, and have proved to be trusted bridges with which individuals can connect their dreams with their desired destination. The Internet, for example, opens unique doors through which the entrepreneur can gain knowledge of the world of business and get exposure to the heights of his/her chosen enterprise path. For example, I have had to use online templates and sample documents in the design of proposals and consulting documents, and think that this is beyond mere campaign by an ICT expert.

Over the last few days, I redefined the man, ‘Gbenga Sesan, coming up with a new profile and resume (both available on my website, that I aptly nick-named ’Gbenga Sesan 2.0. This was made possible because of multiple ICT opportunities – from the simple to the complex. The burden of freedom is a necessary one, but when it ends on the path of true freedom and satisfaction, then we can sit back and smile. That smile can only come when we apply ourselves to the task of maximizing existing opportunities. Will you? At least, the butterfly does, moving from its trapped dwelling place to the heights of freedom.

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Restore Nigeria Fundraising Dinner

Pat Utomi Fundraising Dinner

Fellow Nigerian, have you wondered why our country is the way it is? Are you concerned about the state of the Nigerian state?

After 47 years of independence as a nation, we should be accomplished, established and fulfilled. The truth is we are NOT!

Are you willing to be one of the change agents that will bring Nigeria out of the woods and bring her to a place of destiny, glory and fame?

We believe in the candidature of Prof. Pat Utomi for president, because we see him as credible, transparent and able to birth a new Nigeria of our dreams!

We are young professionals concerned about the future of the Nigerian state. We desire that you join us in lending your support to the man with the vision and the passion for bringing about the new Nigeria.

You are therefore cordially invited to our fund raising dinner slated for the 10th of March 2007 at Golden Gate Restaurant Alfred Rewane Street, Ikoyi by 5pm prompt.

And if you are unable to attend the cocktail, please make a donation in favour of:
Restore Nigeria (Diamond Bank, account number 0262290001280). Your contribution and support are significant to the process of rebuilding our nation.

We thank you for being a part of this new Nigeria, together we will rebuild Nigeria.

Long live Nigeria!

Long live our fatherland!

The Lagos IT Edge Convergence Forum

(c) IT Edge News

Lifelong learning has always been my response to questions that seek to unravel my apetite for, and comfort with, ICT issues. This Friday, in Lagos, another of such learning opportunities comes for those who have shown interest in either the Nigerian ICT space or the concept of convergence. I have had to discuss convergence a lot in the past (especially during the Presidential task Force meetings), and know that many of those who still believe that ICts is just a fad will still be tracing their footsteps when this generation negotiates the next technology corner. Details of the Friday meeting, put together by Knowledge Media International (publishers of IT Edge magazine) in association with the Nigerian Communications Commission, follow:

Theme: Engaging New Services in a Converging Market
Date: March 2, Friday, 2007
Venue: Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi
Time: 9am to 5pm

The welcome speech will be delivered by the President of Knowledge Media International, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem and there will be opening remarks by the Minister of Information and Communication, Mr. Frank Nweke (Jr). keynote addresses will be delivered by Engr. Ernest Ndukwe (Nigerian Communications Commission), the President of the Broadcast Organisation of Nigeria and Dr. Chris Nwannenna (Nigeria Computer Society). Sessions during the forum will include:

  • The Emergence of Convergence
    Lead Speaker: Eric Osiakwan (Secretary General: African Internet Service Providers Association – AfrISPA; CEO Internet Work, Accra, Ghana). Session Members/Discussants: Lanre Ajayi, (President, Nigeria Internet Group); Shina Badaru, Founder/Editor, Technology Times; Wale Ajisebutu, Executive Vice Chairman, 21st Century Technologies Ltd; Mr Chris Uwaje, CEO Connect Technologies, Nigeria, Olanrewaju Oke, GM, Marketing, Accelon. Session Chair: Professor Cleopas Angaye, Director General, NITDA
  • Will Convergence Work in Nigeria/Why Convergence Will Take Hold in West Africa
    Lead Speaker: Sunday Afolayan (CEO: Skannet ISP, Ibadan, Nigeria). Session Members/Discussants: Emmanuel Ekuwem, President of ATCON; Dr E. Kwame Boakye, CEO, BCN (infrastructure Company, Abuja) Nigeria; Evelyn Lewis (CEO, SBTS Group) S/Leone; Basil Udotai, Cybercrime Working Group, Nigeria; Mr. Ladi Lawal, DG, Daar Communications; C.K Bruce, CEO, CuttingEdge, Ghana, Jameel Mohammed, COO, Globacom. Session Chair: Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, Head, IT, IT unit, Ministry of Information and Communications, Nigeria
  • Convergence, Media, Professionalism, Content Delivery and the Wireless Revolution
    Lead Speaker: Dr Raymond Dokpesi (Chairman, DAAR Communications, Nigeria). Session Members/Discussants: Engr Titi Omo-Ettu, (Telecom Consultant & CEO, Telecom Answers Associates), Nigeria; Prof Raulf (University of Lagos) Nigeria; Dr Supo Ogunfemi (CEO, Digital Bridge Institute, Abuja), Nigeria; Ben Murray Bruce, CEO Silverbird; Dr. Adenike Osofisan, President of Computer Professional Registration Council (CPN). Session Chair: Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, President of ATCON
  • The Converged Consumer
    Lead Speaker: Mr. Igho Mrakpor (Chief Executive Officer of Hirest Africa Limited, Lagos, Nigeria). Session Members/Discussants: John Momoh, CEO Channels Television; Emelife Maduka, Country Manager, Cisco, Emeka Madubuike; Systemtech (System Integrators), Nigeria; Jide Awe, Jidaw Systems; Alhaji Ogunneye, former president, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS); Papa Yusupha Njie, CEO, Unique Solutions, Banjul, the Gambia, Austen Okere, Group Managing Director, Computer Warehouse Group. Session Chair: Dr Chris Nwannenna, President of NCS
  • Regulating in a Converged Market
    Lead Speaker: Major John Tandoh (Chief Regulator, National Communications Authority, Ghana). Session Members/Discussants: Professor Clement Dzidonu, ECA Consultant, Emmanuel Ekuwem, President of ATCON; Tonnie Iredia, DG, NTA, Dr Afolabi, the ECOWAS Secretariat, Nigeria, Dr Gabriel Obi, former chair, Computer Professional Registration Council (CPN), Mr. Nnamdi Nwokike, WATRA; Joe Jackson, CEO theSOFTtribe, Ghana, Engr Gbenga Adebayo, General Manger, VGCC. Session Chair: Engineer Ernest Ndukwe