The Next Thirty Years…

With Pasuma, KWAM 1 and the 4 KIVs

My phone rang at 12:03am and the caller said, “I’ve been trying to get through to you so I could be the first to wish you a happy birthday.” I turned 30 on July 27 and I can’t but look back and thank God for His many mercies and for the endless opportunities that I have had in what I believe is the first phase of my life. It wasn’t planned to be an exceptional day because I had decided (owing to many factors) to spend the day in a different way. While all the gifts, text messages, calls and eMails are very much appreciated, I wanted to use the 30th birthday to spend time with select people who could benefit from the input that has been made into my life by various people and through various opportunities.

My day started — after the calls, some sleep and calling my two other birthday mates: Tosin Sesan (my younger sister) and Funmi Iyanda — with a Korean birthday song (the group of 4 volunteers who are working with us on the project presented me with a Korean-style reading lamp and birthday song to match) and continued on to the two groups I decided to spend the day with. I spent some time with 25 selected young people who will be the first beneficiaries of our relay training (in ICTs and entrepreneurship) program at Ajegunle. Please see for more details. It was then the turn of the National Association of Computer Science Students at the Yaba College of Technology, where I spent some time giving out my 2007 birthday gift — the challenge to students in the area of ICT-enabled entrepreneurship.

Little did I know that my day would involve a quick mentorship opportunity! I got a call to meet with the Vice Chancellor of the Open University (please see and thought it was okay since we (the Korean Internet Volunteers and myself) had a meeting with the Korean Embassy in Nigeria in the evening. Traffic into Victoria Island did not disappoint me and we made our way to the 11th Floor office of Prof. Olugbemiro J. Jegede. After a few minutes, he walked out to welcome us and by the time we were through with the discussions, my heart was glad for Nigeria because of the eLearning opportunities that the Open University provides. I just hope that the school’s leadership isn’t subject to political interference because the present VC combined the ease of an ICT-friendly young mind with the sharpness of an agile mature administrative mind!

We were joined by Ayo, Tope, Ugo and Temilade before making our way to the Koream Embassy where we met with the Consellor/Head of Lagos Office. It was then time to end the day with an unplanned birthday dinner and celebrity photo opportunity. 🙂 We had dinner at the popular Golden Gate restaurant and discovered that it was also celebration time for KWAM 1 (one of Nigeria’s music icons). While dinner was being enjoyed, KWAM 1 and Pasuma (another popular musician) made their way to the other half of the 6th floor and my Korean guests though it would be great to catch a photograph with the duo. I walked past the protocol officers and asked the two music icons for a photo opportunity with my friends and I was impressed that Paso actually offered his seat.

The entire day was dotted with calls and messages (and my sincere apologies to those whose calls I couldn’t take) but another birthday gift was an eMail message from the British Council — the announcement of my selection as one of the 30 Fellows who will be part of the 2007 British Council InterAction program. With another leadership program opportunity, I am increasingly glad at the opportunity to contribute to the development of Nigeria and Africa — especially through the use of ICTs. The entire day also came with the reflections on What Next, at least for the first part of the next 30 years. Fortunately, the plans did not have to be scripted on the 27th of July since this has been a continuous process in my life.

What’s next? Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, my PhD program, my Fellowship involvements, my book (the project manager has told me the delivery date is circa September 1, 2007!) and impact through seminars. And for those who asked if the next birthday would be celebrated with a Mrs. sesan by my side, the answer is no, but the elegant lady who I intend to marry a few days after my 31st birthday has finally had mercy on me! With her support, I believe that my ability to impact my generation is now on the increase, and that the good news of her own PhD scholarship comes as an all-important birthday gift. Thanks Temilade!

After another meeting with young people yesterday, I got into a discussion with a young man who wanted to know where he could get the chance to listen to more of my thoughts about the various issues I am passionate about. I asked him to check this page today, and here are the confirmed meetings I will be contributing to over the next 2 months:
– August 4: International Youth Networking Day by PIN/NiPRO (7pm-9pm @ The Triangle, 28 Kodesoh Street, Ikeja Bus Stop, Beside Cash ‘n’ Carry, Ikeja, Lagos; NOTE: All guests will bear refreshment costs)
– August 8: ICT & Entrepreneurship Seminar by JCI UNILAG (1pm @ UNILAG Conference Centre, Lagos — RSVP: 0802 814 73 20)
– August 10-12: Youth ICT Seminar (Peggy Hotel Hall, Opp Delta Careers College, Along Airport Rd — RSVP: 0805 063 72 52)
– August 12: Alliance of Change Empowerment Speakers’ Monthly meeting (2pm @ Banquet Hall, Tamarin Hotels, Lagos)
– August 12: International Youth Day Cocktail (Lagos — RSVP: 0803 74 74 312)
– August 18: Youth ICT Seminar by Covenant University/UNILAG/YabaTech (11am on 8th August 2007 @ Main Auditorium, Lagos — RSVP: akinstuctome[at]
– August 19: Mentorship Session with Adeolu Akinyemi & ‘Gbenga Sesan (2pm @ Generis Solutions, 3rd Floor, Oluwatobi House, 71 Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos — RSVP: omosolatola[at] — Ticket: NGN 1,000)
– August 16 -24: Entrepreneurship Training
– August 25: Speakers’ Empowerment Academy 2007 (Lagos: Contact Leo Thomas @ 0802 717 15 60 for registration)
– August 26-31: Youth Employment Summit 2007 (Alexandria)
– September 1-4: International Youth Forum by Suzane Mubarak Foundation (Cairo)
– September 5-6: British Council InterAction Workshop (Abuja)
– September 6-13: Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellows’ Workshop (London)
– September 15: Nigerian by Choice Conference — A gathering of young Nigerians in the UK, to discuss the future of Nigeria (London)
– September 17-18: SatWiBB and VOIP Conference by AITEC Africa (MUSON Centre, Lagos — RSVP: info[at] — Conference Fee: GBP 270)
– September 19: NYSC Conference by NCCF (NYSC Camp, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos)
– September 20: CareerFirst Workshop (Lagos — RSVP: 01 895 46 11)
– September 23-27: Global Forum on ICTs and Development by GAID/ITU (Switzerland)

If you’ll be in any of these cities on the said dates, write to ugo.nwosu[at] for additional details on participation. Thanks for being part of the first 30, let’s walk together for the next. The whole world stands aside for us if we know where we are going, let’s walk the talk!

AITEC & XL Announce Extensive ICT Events for Nigeria

18 July 2007

AITEC Africa & XL Management Services announce extensive ICT conference programme for Nigeria

AITEC Africa, the leading organiser of ICT conferences and exhibitions in Africa, and XL Management Services of Nigeria, which provides high-quality outsourcing and travel services in West Africa, have announced a programme of specialised ICT exhibitions and conferences.

In September they will hold the West African Satellite, Wireless Broadband & VoIP Conference. “This will provide a valuable platform for Nigeria’s ICT community to share knowledge with each other and with international experts on the latest best practices in these rapidly evolving areas of ICT,” said Sean Moroney, AITEC chairman, when announcing the programme at a press conference today. “We are working closely with Nigeria’s professional bodies to identify the key topics to be covered in the conference programme.” Supporting organisations for the event include the Nigeria Chapter of the Society for Satellite Professionals International, the Nigerian Internet Group, the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators in Nigeria (ALTON), the ISP Association of Nigeria (ISPAN) and Paradigm Initiative Nigeria. The theme of the conference is: ”Broadband Bridges across Africa – First Mile and Last Mile Solutions”.

This event will be followed in October by the Nigerian Outsourcing & Contact Centre Conference, which will be held in Abuja under the auspices of NITDA (the Nigerian IT Development Agency). This conference is intended to kick-start Nigeria’s nascent outsourcing industry, and will attract a wide range of international experts in this field – as well as identify the country’s rapidly emerging outsourcing enterprises and entrepreneurs – providing them a platform to showcase the existing services they can offer to domestic and international clients – as well as to learn about best practices and technology from international speakers and exhibitors.

Then in November AITEC is introducing to Nigeria its highly successful African Banking Technology Conference, which it last held in Kenya in February. With the theme, “Deploying ICT for World Class and Inclusive Banking Services”, this event will bring expert speakers on ICT deployment in the banking sector – a vital area of focus for the country’s rapidly expanding banking sector.

The first event to be held in 2008 will be the ICT in Oil & Gas conference in March, with the theme, “Securing a digital future for Africa’s hydrocarbons industry”. Tara Systems, through its ISP Metro Nigeria, is the Internet sponsor for all AITEC’s Lagos events.

The AITEC programme line-up is as follows:

· The West African Satellite, Wireless Broadband & VoIP Conference & Exhibition (SatWiBB & VoIP West), Muson Centre, Lagos, 17-18 September
· The Nigerian Outsourcing & Contact Centre Conference & Exhibition, 17-19 October
· The African Banking Technology Conference & Exhibition, Muson Centre, 13-14 November
· ICT in Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition, Muson Centre, Lagos, 13-14 March 2008

About AITEC Africa
AITEC has been holding ICT exhibitions, conferences and training courses in Africa since 1990 in a wide range of countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Mauritius, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda and Botswana. AITEC also publishes the continent’s longest established ICT magazine, Computing & Communications Africa, launched in 1987.

About XL Management Services Limited
XL Management Services Ltd is a major diversified outsourcing company providing a wide range of support services covering HR outsourcing, courier and logistics support, travels, tours and event management; security, escort and protocol services; project and facilities management, and cash management services. XL Management Services has over the years leveraged on cutting-edge IT to deliver value to clients in the financial services and oil and gas sectors in Nigeria and the West African sub-region.

In Nigeria: XL Management Services Limited, Tel +234(0)1-461-2077,

International: AITEC Africa, Tel +44(0)1480-880774,\

Onosode, Amina Oyagbola, John Momoh and Chris Asoluka advocate for a New Nigeria at GOTNI Leadership Summit 2007

Press Release:

No doubt, history will be made when four main speakers engage about 400 aspiring young leaders at the 8th leadership summit of the Guardians of the nation international [GOTNI] tagged, “New thinking for a new Nigeria”. The speakers billed to tackle poignant leadership issues include: Gamaliel Onasode, Pro-Chancellor, University of Ibadan; Amina Oyagbola, Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria; John Momoh, Chairman, Channels Television; and Hon. Chris Asoluka, Managing Consultant, FM&T Consulting amongst many others. Special guest of honour will be the Executive Governor of Imo State, Sir Ikedi Ohakim.

Guardians of the nation International, GOTNI is a non-profit organization whose primary target is to raise a new generation of leaders in Nigeria. The organization boasts of a fast-growing membership which is empowered through leadership development programmes, seminars and summits.

The 2007 summit, which is the 8th in the series, is specifically designed for Nigerian youths who are passionate about making a difference in our beloved country. In clear terms, the President of GOTNI, Linus Okorie explains, “…at this stage of our national life when the lack of leadership values has become so glaring to a crisis situation, the obvious need to begin to nurture a new generation of servant leaders has become imperative. This summit is therefore a deliberate effort by GOTNI to begin to create opportunities or platforms that will guarantee the safety of the future of our great country…”

The summit will hold on Saturday, August 11th 2007 at the Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos at 2pm PROMPT. Limited tickets for non-members are available for =N= 1,500 naira only at Nu Metro Media Store, Silverbird Galleria, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, The Fountain of Life Church Bookshop and Alpha Christian Bookshop, 19a, Maitama Sule Street, off Awolowo Road, Ikoyi.

As Nigeria enters a new political dispensation, the hopes and aspirations of Nigerian youths have become equivocal. Nigerian youths will be empowered by the speakers to facilitate change in their respective environments. There will be ample time for networking in a inspirationally charged environment for the participants to rub minds. Other activities will include a special role model panel comprising: Ms. Sam Harvey, Director, British Council; Ms. Celine Loader, Head, Corporate Communications, UBA; Mrs. Chichi Anyalogu, Senior Policy Officer, European Union; Mrs. Nkechi Ali – Balogun, Chairperson, Institute for Public Relations; Afolabi Adetola, Winner Bank PHB Intern show; Ms. Modupe Adefeso, Associate Director, Youth Dynamix Nigeria; Ms. Abigail Longe, Miss Tourism Nigeria 2005; and personal development coach, Joshua Awesome.

‘A special song for Nigeria’ by Ego Iheanacho, poems and piano renditions as well as comedy by Owen Gee will be injected as special attractions to ensure that there are no dull moments.

Proudly supported by United Bank for Africa, [UBA Plc], MTN Nigeria Communications and Computer Warehouse Ltd, this summit promises to be one of a kind. After all, “Any nation that does not take it upon herself to invest in youth development to secure her future is doomed!” the GOTNI President added passionately.

Another Good Day…

Today was another major milestone in my quest for support for young Nigerians in the area of ICT Entrepreneurship. It was the launchig of the Nigeria Internet Group’s Internet for Jobs (I4J) Initiative, and also the announcement of the Youth ICT Entrepreneurs’ Roundtable (YIER). While I4J is a multistakeholder partnership that will connect young ICT entrepreneurs with business support (through a rigorous screening process after a soon-to-be-announced call for proposals), the YIER will build staying power for I4J. YIER provides an opportunity for youth to take advantage of the Internet (and allied tools) for value (and job) creation and it will hold up to twice weekly (with each session for about 20 young people who will share ideas, network and ask questions about ICT entrepreneurship). Anyone can walk into the NIG Secretariat (7, Olayinka Bamgbose Street, Off Toyin Street, Ikeja) to register at least one week ahead of the next YIER session and the monthly reports from the weekly sessions will be analyzed to answer questions, advise on opportunities, etc.

Today ended with a very promising discussion that may see me dedicating some of my next 2-3 months to providing in-house consulting support for a leading institution in Nigeria that believes in what I hold dearly — Youth ICT Entrepreneurship! Actually, the day is yet to end because I need to spend some time thinking through my presentation at the Undergraduate Business conference (UBC) in Enugu. I’m extremely excited about the two-part event (holding in Enugu on July 14 and Lagos on July 21) for many reasons: the fact that it touches on the entrepreneurship need, the fact that its outside Lagos (a lot of people have been asking for out-of-Lagos empowerment opportunities and here’s one — more to come), and the fact that I’ll escape Lagos for a few days. I love Lagos, I miss her when I’m away … but there are times I just want to breathe fresh air from another location 🙂

By the way, a copy of my presentation at the event (Another Road: Nigerian Youth and ICT Entrepreneurship) is available on request — until I’m able to upload it during my next website update.

Workplace 2.0: An Early Warning for Nigerian Corporations*

A few years ago, I would have scribbled a few lines of text before putting together anything longer than one paragraph. But things have changed: as for most people, it’s now directly from the brain to the keyboard – with immense support from the backspace key and other text editor tools such as Cut and Paste and Spelling and Grammar. Before you’re quick to argue, check your handwriting and that of most people around you: we’re writing less and less, in terms of pen and paper. Online search has also literally turned creative writing on its head, but that is not the only change that thrills me… It’s almost 1am in Lagos, Nigeria, and this will not be the last task to be completed. I’m in the office, and even though the present circumstances will make no sense within the context of a 19th century definition of an office, the realities of the workplace in a New Economy are self-evident. The bar has also been raised by the elimination of boundaries and inward-only policies that helped some nations hide behind workplace fingers.

Computers, mobile phones, in-flight eMail access, teleconferencing, blackberry, iPhones and other tools of the New Economy have changed the dynamics of the workplace. From our earlier factors of production (especially land and labour), we have moved on to new factors as represented by knowledge and technology. It is not unlikely to hear of regular Monday morning reports sent in a few minutes into the day, using a mobile device from remote locations. Neither is it strange to overhear conversations – a few seats away from your 22A window seat – such as, “I’m on my way to Mumbai but the CFO will send you the signed document in less than 7 minutes; I have just signed and returned the document to him.” Five years ago, if you had seen your colleague – through those glass walls that used to separate office spaces – jumping up and down after a few minutes of pacing and speaking with himself (and playing with a stress ball), you would have called the manager’s attention to a possible stress-related mental situation. But today, you would understand that he’s sealing the deal with the four-continents-away corporation, with the aid of his Bluetooth-enabled hands-free headset.

While this revolution hots up around us, it is important to note that at the centre of all this is the New Economy worker. (S)he used to walk in some minutes before 9am and clear up the table a few seconds after 5pm, but that was while talks about lasers were merely science fiction. Regardless of the high levels of investment in processes, platforms and equipment, the place of the employee cannot be ignored in the equation of corporations that wish to be efficient, productive and relevant in the New Economy. Equipped with appropriate tools and the right mindset, they complete tasks faster, need less supervision, collaborate better, enjoy work, deliver regardless of physical location and understand the multiple bottom line. They do not understand the usual employee-employer relationship that employs numerous cat-and-dog tactics but understand that, as intrapreneurs themselves, every completed assignment is a measured stride towards their own career growth.

In the face of this reality, a key question that comes to mind when thinking about developing economy corporations is their ability to compete favourably with the global competition (and there is a lot of it). With outsourcing and insourcing changing the face of tasks and projects, it is important for each corporation to achieve strategic positioning for its share of tomorrow’s economic pie. This is best achieved through the proper preparation of the workplace (especially the workforce) for the realities of the New Economy. By the time the history of Workplace 2.0 is being written, there will be only two kinds of corporations – those whose workforce were prepared and were able to ride the tides, and those whose corporations will be on the died-while-trying-to-survive category list. It is instructive for Nigerian corporations to note that beyond the daily provision of power, monthly salaries and annual bonuses, there is an urgent need to transform employees into New Economy Intrapreneurs.

‘Gbenga Sesan is an ICT consultant and social entrepreneur. A multiple award winner who has been described as “one of the icons of ICT in Nigeria” and recipient of the 2007 Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship, ‘Gbenga is willing to discuss Workplace 2.0 (especially how to ensure that employees and employers are both compliant and relevant) with your corporation. He can be reached at me(at) for discussions.

* This article first appeared in Technology Times Newspaper, Nigeria’s ICT Weekly

Global Competition for Young Social Entrepreneurs!

Spearhead the future!

Are you 30 years or younger ?
Are you leading a business or venture that creates revenue but also aims to make
the world a better place ?
Are internet, computer, mobile phones or other IT tools an integral part of your business or venture ?
Then, APPLY !

The Global Young Social Entrepreneurs’ Competition runs in all regions of the globe. Applications from Egypt are particularly encouraged, as country-specific funding has been made available in addition to the general Competition funds.

7 Reasons to apply :
1. Be one of 100 sponsored participants to attend the Young Social Entrepreneurs’ Forum @ GK3 and the 3rd Global Knowledge Conference (GK3), a GKP Event on the Future on ‘Emerging People, Emerging Markets, Emerging Technologies’ that will bring 2000 participants to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 11 to 13 December 2007
2. Be one of 10 to pitch for funding during the Forum and, if successful, fast-track your business with a fellowship under the Youth Social Enterprise Initiative or with scale-up funding
3. Meet various funding organisations such as development aid agencies, commercial banks, CSR investors and venture capitalists; mentors; experts and other stakeholders
4. Be part of a crowd of innovative and motivated young people who have chosen to put their skills and abilities into business with a social edge; take advantage of the dedicated networking session on 10 December 2007
5. Mingle and network with the 2000 general GK3 participants and showcase your social business with people who will take you seriously
6. Profile your social interests in a Global Competition that is fully web-based and transparent; application forms, jury evaluations and verification reports will be viewable to the public who will also be able to post comments
7. Contribute to the shaping of the Forum sessions through the content development process

For more information on the Global Competition contact

The Global Competition, the Young Social Entrepreneurs’ Forum and GK3 are organised by Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP), the world’s leading multi-stakeholder network promoting innovation and advancement in Knowledge for Development and Information and Communication Technologies for Development.

GKP runs the Youth Social Enterprise Initiative (YSEI), a programme dedicated to young social entrepreneurs that offers support in the four key areas of knowledge, networking, mentorship and financing.

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Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), in conjunction with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), wishes to invite you to participate at a one-day seminar on the Internet for Jobs (I4J) Initiative scheduled to hold as follows:

Theme: Internet for Jobs: Promoting Internet Entrepreneurship in Nigeria”
Date: Thursday July 12, 2007
Venue: Golden Gate Restaurant, 25B Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos
Time: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm

The objective of this seminar is to expose the potentials of the Internet as a platform for creating jobs in Nigeria through the establishment of online businesses. It is our intention to direct the attention of the teeming unemployed and under-employed populace to the potentials of The Internet as a platform for job creation by facilitating startup of online businesses in Nigeria through the Internet for Jobs (I4J) Initiative.

The Internet for Jobs (I4J) Initiative will be launched at the event by the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Engineer Ernest Ndukwe, the Director General of NITDA, Professor Angaye and the Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia. Other distinguished speakers will be examining topics cogent to the theme of the event. The topics to be discussed include:
– Internet for Jobs (I4J) Initiative–The concept and the Goals
– e-Payment: Pre-requisite to e-Economy
– Mainstreaming online businesses in the Nigerian economy
– Promoting Internet Entrepreneurship in Nigeria
– Leveraging the power of the Internet to create jobs in Nigeria
– Opportunities and challenges of starting sustainable online businesses in Nigeria
– Strategic marketing: A success factor for e-Bussiness

Attendance is FREE.