180 Degrees: What People Are Saying!

180 Degrees

Following the registration process for the 180 Degrees seminar, some of the comments speak of the expectation of intending participants. Hear some of them:

“Can we do this seminar today?”

“It took .09 sec for me to decide that this seminar is a must buy. I look forward to meeting you.”

“This is one of the greatest things that I think will happen next week. This is purely a good innovation. Highly motivating for young people that are just coming up.”

“Can’t wait till this date”

“This is an initiative worth commending… thanks for choosing to give to Nigeria”

“I am truly tired of my present level… someday I hope I will be able to ask, “who pushed me”. Thanks for this offer”

“I am serving currently but I don’t want to join the labour market so I need to hear what will probably change my fortune.”

“I was highly inspired when I saw the antecedents of the facilitators (‘Gbenga and Deolu). I said if they can, I can. Well done! ”

“Oppotunity is what makes a man to stand among others. So I want to use every opportunity I get. I choose to believe that my ability to be in this meeting will mark a turning point in my career and also incite in me a new drive for personal development”

“I’m really thrilled by this opportunity you are offering. I hope the seminar will answer the question: is it too late for someone over 30 years have a career turn-around?”

“I believe in this noble idea, having attended the PIN Youth Programme in Lagos and also having been interviewed by Adeolu both in P&G and in Virgin Nigeria, I believe in what they can do and I fully subscribe to this seminar. I am definitely in.”

“I really want to make use of this opportunity to improve my marketability and skills, because I just got a new job.”

“I’ve been searching for people of like minds. I saw Deolu last Saturday in Ibadan and I knew I have found one of them .Checking the site another one surfaced. Now i know is time to start the race because its multidisciplinary but can be achieved with like minds. I see a new Nigeria that start from now.”

“Will like to be a part of this for 180 degree career turn around. Bravo!!!”

“Good stuff guys… creating and developing the “future” is a great passion for me. Ride on guys, and see you there!”

So, there are people who feel the way you do about career growth and personal development. What are you waiting for? Click here to register! And if you wish to read more comments, click here. Remember, there are no strings attached: the seminar is FREE.

Register for 180 Degrees Seminar!

Turn Around Your 2006 Workers' Day!

How would you like to be gainfully engaged in less than 7 days? No kidding, this is real, your life can be better than it is today!

The idea…
Attend a
FREE seminar
and change your fate and fortune forever! Two young men will lift the lid on what has been working for them, so others can learn and start or re-energise for the journey.

How will this work?
Simple, go to www.generissolutions.com/may1 and register for the timeslot that suits you. Monday, May 1, 2006. 9am, 12 noon or 3pm. A maximum of 1,200 slots will be allowed per session. Then prepare to attend a two-hour seminar will set you moving in the right course. Entrance will be granted by showing N1,000 at the gate. Venue is Etal Hotel and Halls, Oregun, Lagos (Opposite First Bank, behind Oando Filling Station).

Who are the facilitators?
aDeolu Akinyemi: Executive Director, Generis Solutions 2006. Human Resource Specialist. HR Manager, Talent and Learning Virgin Nigeria 2006. Customer Business Development. HR Manager P&G 2005. Talent Supply, Learning and Development Manager 2004. Public speaker extraordinaire. Over 400 Speaking Engagements in 7 countries. Author, Career Guide 2006 and How To Get Your Dream Job 2001. Trainer, People & Communication Skills, Customer Service, Interviewing, Sales Skills, Project Management, Strategy. Career Coach. Business Development Consultant. Educative Games Developer. Blogger! Corporate/Professional Nigerian Award 2006. Global Innovation Recognition Award 2004. Global HR Peak Performance Award 2003. Husband. Father.

‘Gbenga Sesan: Nigeria’s First Information Technology Youth Ambassador. Over 400 Speaking Engagements in 13 Countries. “One of the 35 Icons of ICT in Nigeria”. TV Personality. Author. Vice Chair, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s African Technical Advisory Committee. Program Manager, Lagos Digital Village. Trainer and Career Coach. Information Society Researcher. 2006 Best Use of Technology award. 2005 Stockholm Challenge Champion honour. 2004 Excellence in Information Technology award. 2003 Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Nigeria award. 2002 Frontier of Technology in Nigeria award. 2001 International Telecommunication Union’s African Youth Fellowship award. Blogger.

How will this benefit me?
Wow… you get clear directions on Job Acquisition, eBusiness Opportunities with minimal capital, Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities, etc. Nett; you will learn the ropes on being fully engaged!

What do I do next?
www.generissolutions.com/may1 and spread the word (you may be inviting your potential business partners). Please note that the registration site will be taken down as soon as all the seats are taken. Please note that gate crashers will pay a fine of N2,000

Turn Around Your 2006 Workers’ Day!

For further enquiries:
Generis Solutions
5th Floor, L’Monarch Plaza, Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
(234) 1 794 16 02
www.deoluakinyemi.com | www.gbengasesan.com

Unemployed? Unhappy with Your Job? Not Sure About Career Growth?

Something is about to happen to you!

Unemployed? Unhappy with Your Job? Not Sure About Career Growth?

If any (or all) of those three describe what you are experiencing at the moment, then there’s still one more question. Otherwise, you might as well stop reading this…

And the question is: are you ready for change? Will you be willing to trade your present position for a 180-degree turnaround to a better life? We could have suggested 360 degrees (as is often said) but this is not some form of motivational cliche! And by the way, if you turn around 360 degrees, you will be back to where you were before you started in the first place. So, what is your response to the question? If your answer is YES! and you are ready for the journey (yes, its a journey that begins on a special day) then you will be spending your Workers’ Day in a different way this year…

How would you like to be gainfully engaged in less than 7 days? No kidding, this is real, your life can be better than it is today! The idea… Attend a FREE seminar and change your fate and fortune forever! Two young men will lift the lid on what has been working for them, so others can learn and start or re-energise for the journey.

How will this work? More information will be provided shortly (from April 25)… Watch Out! Where? www.deoluakinyemi.com, www.gbengasesan.com and Nigerian dailies… And one more thing, if you won’t be in Nigeria on that day, or this does not apply to you, please forward this to someone who will remain eternally grateful!

Adeolu Akinyemi (www.deoluakinyemi.com) & ‘Gbenga Sesan (www.gbengasesan.com)

Yahoo’s Response to Google

The new look of Yahoo!

I used to maintain a Yahoo account, and logged in today to try tracing an old eMail message … but was greeted by an intreresting development. In what apparently is some form of response to GMail’s never delete and don’t create a folder user-friendly offers, Yahoo! is now testing a new look Yahoo! Mail. The new look gives you a feel of MS Outlook and the search prowess of Gmail. In what Yahoo! describes as features by the trcukload, it says: “Enjoy a fast, familiar and intuitive new interface that makes it so much easier to stay in touch and organise messages. You can drag & drop email here and there, and have lots of messages open at once. You also get email automatically (no need to keep checking), and it’s easy to preview messages.”

So, for those who use Yahoo! (and any other free eMail service provider — except maybe the conservative three-letter eMail service provider :)), enjoy the competition.

Keeping Local Internet Traffic Local

Internet Cafe in Owerri, Nigeria

It is interesting that many of us don’t care about eMail traffic , but if you live in Lagos, you will appreciate how much time and money can be saved if traffic conditions are improved. The last time you clicked on send, and got a reply within minutes, your eMail actually ran thousands of miles before coming back to your neighbour. For Nigeria (and other countries where Internet Exchange Points, or IXP’s) are absent, each data packet sent online travels through foreign highways: for example, when I send an eMail message from my desk to my colleague, the eMail is routed through foreign exchange points — and this has cost implications. But here’s the good news for Nigerians: very soon, our local Internet traffic will be local.

Just like you sigh at the sight of the Idowu Taylor traffic warden who has a way of taking the sweat from your forehead, the news report quoted below should make you discover a smile in the corner of your lips:

Nigeria: FG Set to Establish Nigerian IXP
April 19, 2006
Frances Ovia, This Day Newspapers

The Board of Nigerian Communications Commission has approved a proposal to fund the setting up of Internet eXchange Points (IXPs) in Nigeria. The proposed IXPs which will operate on a not-for-profit basis, will be done by NCC in collaboration with the ISP community under the umbrella of Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN) to achieve this objective.

The Internet is a network of interconnected computer networks and IXPs are the points at which multiple networks interconnect. In the absence of domestic IXP, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) must send all outbound traffic through its international links, most commonly satellite. The aim of building a Nigerian IXP is to keep and interchange Nigerian internet traffic of e-mail, download of local website content, file transfers via ftp, etc within Nigeria and allow only international traffic to be exchanged at points outside Nigeria.

At present, local internet traffic is exchanged outside the country, often across several hops with the attendant high cost of service delivery which limits internet penetration & local-content distribution, associated security risks, and the potential increase in congestion of international access circuits which could negatively affect Quality of Service. Following the conclusion of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis last year, the need for IXP/Internet Gateway for Nigeria became apparent. On this note, Mr. President became resolutely committed to encouraging the establishment of an IXP for Nigeria.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in a consultative meeting held on 28th February 2006 with the key industry stake-holders after deliberations, set up an industry committee to discuss and agree a way forward for the rapid establishment of the IXP for Nigeria. The members of the committee recommended that the IXPs be built with 7 branches in Phases; these branches are to be located in Lagos (with Main-branch at NECOM House, and additional 2 sites at Ikeja and Victoria Island), Ibadan, Port-Harcourt, Enugu, Abuja, Kano and Maiduguri, after which further sites will be built as may be required. All sites are to be link using high Capacity IP back-bone of over 100Mbs.

To this end, the NCC has also approved the appointment of Digitek TeeVee Engineering Co. Ltd to manage the implementation of the first phase of the IXP project in Lagos.

Between Excuses and Your Response

The Easter Holiday Session with Oru Refugees

My first day during the easter holiday was spent speaking with refugees at the popular Oru camp in Ogun State, Nigeria. With a population of a bout 5,000 refugees from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo and Sudan, you can be sure that there’s an evident please help us for we cannot ehlp ourselves attitude within the camp.

I was invited to speak about ICTs (and suspect that the hosts wanted me to be quite technical and share thoughts with them on new ICT trends) but my few minutes around the camp just before the commencement of the meeting influenced my discussion (no longer a presentation, but a discussion that could allow me get to the people where it mattered). I walked a few meters and saw a unique structure, the 842 Computer Center. The computer center attracted my attention and I asked obvious questions: “who built this?” Eric Wowoh was incidentally in the car with me on our way to Oru but no one had introduced him to me then. Quiet and almost silent throughout the entire 90-minute trip, I came to learn that he was the brain behind the center.

Someone donated a computer to him and he played around, got used to the system, and at some point that he realised how his life was being changed, he worked towards training others. After a few years, the center was completed and now had ten (10) computers — and a standby generator. There, refugees — and some students of the nearby Olabisi Onabanjo University are trained at no cost! Eric’s life helped my presentation as I was able to present one of them to them. At the end of the discussion, post-discussions (informal talks with a few people who walked up) centered around their discovery of the fact that you decide what your life becomes. Being a refugee, being out of job, having the feeling of being in the wrong nation, any other situation will only remain an excuse if you decide not to elevate your life above the condition.

Between excuses (in the immediate) and our future, there is a choice of being able to respond. My response to an early embarrassment with computers ended up forming a major part of my career choice, and you may ask others who are not as much a work in progress as I am and they will sure tell you that your response to the seeming excuses that you could always give form part of their success stories. That even formed part of the discussion we had this evening during a recording for Patito’s Gang: you can keep blaming the employment market for your woe but at the end of the day, it is true that if you fail in the days of adversity, your strength is small.

Word of Command: When “Oro” Meets “Ase”!

Images from the eWeek 2001 website

We’ve been discussing for a while now, but I stumbled upon a website that brought memories of how long we’ve been discussing the development of young Nigerians.

Images from the eWeek 2001 website

Adeolu Akinyemi, the curator of the blog titled Ase (which translates to mean command) used to be my classmate at the Electronic & Electrical Engineering department of Great Ife. We grew to be friends and then, as soon as we returned to school for our final year, he had this weird idea of running for the post of president of the departmental association — and he thought my once entertained idea of contesting for the position of Electronic Club chairman was great so we could work together, along with other friends who had started their campaigns for various positions. The story would get longer if I don’t quickly say that we both won the elections and worked together in a year that was quite unique to me — having been inactive in the department for over four years.

Images from the eWeek 2001 website

The major event that would probably remind us of the many meetings and schemes would be Electronic Week 2001, whose website I have captured in the different images on this page. The event held between February 12 and 17, 2001 — and had a lot of input (in terms of presentations) from both within and outside the school. Mr. Chris Uwaje literally set the roof on fire with his challenge to young people while speaking on the theme, The Future of Nigeria — a strange topic at that time for such a technical departmental association. 🙂 We even had a website for the program, even though it was for students within the department — talk of planning for global impact. 😉 The week ended with a dinner whose pictures would make anyone laugh — considering how much Deolu and myself have changed (see picture below, and compare with what’s on Ase)…

Deolu Akinyemi, 'Gbenga Sesan and a guest from UI at the eWeek 2001 dinner

Five years later, myself and Deolu were honoured at The Future Awards and we have been discussing possible collaboration (actually, resumed discussions as we have always mentioned various possible joint efforts) — and a few days ago, online chat sessions and a final phone call put an end to the seeming delays. In the next few days, we’ll be putting together some developmental project to help young Nigerians who are presently having issues with employment — and this runs deep, if you consider the fact that the number of jobs are reducing while the number of graduates are getting quite astronomical. I joked earlier that looking at the title of our blogs, a joint project would be powerful — my blog title, “Oro,” means “word” and his blog title, “Ase,” means command. So, we trust that the project will bring a word of command that will empower young Nigerians to bridge the gap between their dreams and reality (especially in the area of building a career). Watch this space — and Ase too!.

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My First Major Presentation

Front page or cover of my first public paper

I had to look through some of my ageing files (articles, presentations, etc) today — and one caught my attention. Dated December 6 – 9, 2000, it brought memories as I saw the cover, and a smile escaped from the corner of my lips. eCommerce, Nigeria and the Next Generation was my first major presentation (outside the confines of school) and was facilitated by Mr. Chris Uwaje (often referred to as the Oracle of IT in Nigeria) following a response to the eMail I sent to Phillip Emeagwali, inviting him to come to speak at a meeting I was putting together 🙂

Back in the days...

What I find most interesting about the article is the freshness of the thoughs, noting that they are supposed to be about six years old. Second 3.0 (actually, there was an error — I had two section 3’s) 🙂 was titled, Quo Vadis, and it reads as follows:


It is not only enough to highlight the high points of employing the powers of our youthful populace in the present eCommerce revolution in relation to Nigeria, we should also consider what should be done in order to arrive at our destination, A New Nigeria.

I have a dream. I believe that one day, the nation we have all invested in building would be unveiled before our very eyes, and the words of the not-too-often-sung second stanza of our National Anthe:m would be true:

“O GOD of creation
Direct our NOBLE course
Guide our LEADERS right
Help our YOUTHS the truth to know
In LOVE and HONESTY to show
And living JUST and TRUE
Great lofty HEIGHTS attain
Where PEACE and JUSTICE shall reign.”

Here is my submission as to the way forward with eCommerce, Nigeria and the Next Generation:

  • That a strong awareness campaign be embarked upon by corporate bodies in the Information sector in order to conquer the looming digital divide,
  • That the organised private sector and non-governmental agencies, along with the Federal Government of Nigeria, contribute to the elimination of InfoTech illiteracy among Nigerian youths through training, recruitment and other incentives,
  • That Nigerian Universities should introduce courses in eCommerce and other Information Technology related truths either as special electives or during seminars,
  • That the students in our various Universities be exposed to eCommerce trends globally, particularly w:hen interest is shown,
  • That students be encouraged to attend seminars organised beyond the walls of their various institut:ions through rate subsidies. (I must at this point say an unequalled Thank you to the: Dr. Philip Emeagwali, Dr. Chris Uwaje and the Information Technology Association of Nigeria for believing in my project and particularly to the ITAN President for considering this paper for presentation.),
  • That students be given a forum to showcase their projects and knowledgebase for proper analysis and possible modifications,
  • That, in the next few years, courses would be offered by dynamic Nigerian Universities in such fields as eCommerce.

On a final note, I believe that there are individual projects of Nigerian youths in the field of eCommerce that can influence global standards if given expression. Such could be discovered, encouraged and channelled in the proper direction of creativity.

Thank you.

Front page or cover of my first public paper

As you would notice from the two pictures above (the first one was taken during the meeting where I made my first presentation in 2000, and the second picture was taken during one of the passionate moments while I was speaking to a group of National Youth Service Corp members in 2005), the man has changed — but his message is still the same. ICTs hold strong potentials for development, for Nigeria, Africa and other developing economies — and the reality of this opportunity is a calling many of us must answer.

Social Enterprise for Lunch

Josephine and Arisa at the LDV

Maybe I’ll step out for lunch immediately after this, but my real lunch time was donated to a greater cause — testing some online tools that can provide alternative income generating strategies (that work) to help combat the scam menace in Nigeria, and a meeting that centered on Social Enterprise.

When my phone rang yesterday afternoon, little did I know that the conversation would change the face of my day — today — and that I would be opening up my passion for the growth of the Social Enterprise model in Nigeria (and across Africa). Arisa introduced herself as from Axel, and that of course aroused my curiousity the more as I was sure that anyone from Axel would either be discussing a project or conducting research. 🙂 And of course she was. She’s doing some work on the Social Enterprise landscape in Nigeria …

She arrived with Josephine (who was eventually introduced as an Ashoka fellow) and we moved straight into discussions about Social Enterprise in Africa after exchanging cards and having her phone’s audio recorder activated (I hope I didn’t say anything about the hot OBJ/ATK Term_3 issue.) 😉 Following Arisa’s questioned, I talked about the Lagos Digital Village and why we are moving from traditional grant-seeking to building a social enterprise. Earlier (at the Social Enterprise Alliance Gathering in March 2006), I had stated that:

What we have noticed is that many projects are tagged pilot projects, and it is easier for civil society organisations to get grants for their execution in the pilot phase – but when the pilot phase is over, the issue of sustaining the projects becomes a major task. Countless laudable projects have gone the way of pilot burials only to be remembered by their once-beautiful website, or fliers that they produced when announcing the birth of the new project… many … have been caught asking questions about the possibility of finding alternatives to this age-long grant-seeking model that just does not work well considering the reality of donor saturation…

Our discussion was quite interesting as the usual twin issues of power supply and access featured prominently. We discussed solar power options, shared access opportunities, and will talk more in the days to come. I look forward to moments when projects will no longer live for as long as the grant-makers so wish — but that sustainability will be a key factor in the operation of non-profit ventures. At that point, traditional grant-makers can now become development partners and the real work of development will not just be about figures and great-looking annual reports — but authentic and long-lasting work in the true sense of the word work.

I think it’s time for that lunch…

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If those words mean anything to you, then we share something in common — the desire for better use of my time online. Just like life, many of us spend time trying to find out how to make the best use of the few minutes/hours you spend online daily. That is why those words jumped at you. Enters FireFox 1.5. And as most great things in life, it’s free — free as in availability. And just as most great things come with a price such as responsibility, the price you have to pay for this prize is to download and install. Using the image link below, make your way to a better experience on the web.

I’ll soon be back with some other cool tools that are making more sense than what we’ve always been used to. Make a change, get better… and talk to you soon — just ensure that you come back for the tips 😉