For Development Studies

With the release of, a unique cooperative initiative has been established between 28 organisations in the development arena. Practitioners, researchers and students in the area of global development studies are supplied with a new gateway to the Internet with regard to development matters. provides a content specific search engine in the area of global development studies. Other than generic search engines, indexes on one hand electronic resources selected by librarians, researchers and practitioners working in participating institutions, and on the other hand the bookmarks of individual researchers, students and practitioners. As an individual participant, you can easily share your bookmarks by using one of the many social bookmark platforms on the Internet, like More information can be found at currently indexes over 6,300 websites. Each site has been selected by information professionals working in one of the cooperating development institutes. In addition indexes sites that have been added by your peers and colleagues: active professionals, researchers and PhD-fellows in the sector. offers search functionality based on the powerful Google Customized Search Engine. The ease and speed of finding resources together with high qualitative subject matter make your access point on the Internet. makes it possible to add your resources to its content: become a contributor and mark them for inclusion. Your contribution will be highly appreciated by your peers. Check for details. is interoperable and with only a few keystrokes you can add the search bar to your website and become one of the many starting points for quality searching. More information at

For more information:
Skype: richard.focuss

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The New Nigeria…

A New Nigeria...

I have spent quite some time speaking about the New Nigeria, since my presentation on the role of ICTs in national development (Introduction to Web Development and Applications) at the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta on November 26, 2001. That was where I said:

I see a new Nigeria emerging, one that will be built on the labours of our heroes past, hewn out of the debris of the present waste and engineered by the strength of the future leaders: the youth. These young men and women will adopt Information Technology for the purpose of personal development, nation building, regional cooperation and global participation. They may be unknown today, but in the secrecy of their abode, they master the tool that will change their lives and that of their nation. They’re building the nation’s tomorrow today.

Between then and now, I have seen and heard various things that make my heart leap for joy as far as the dream of a New Nigeria is concerned. I am glad to let you know that the dream is now being lived by various people. I agree… there are still many reasons why one could look around in Nigeria and lose a ready smile. But… every nation that you envy today was not perfect from the beginning. And for Nigeria, what we’ve always lacked was an opportunity for the good to gather together and use positive peer pressure to reduce (and eventually make unpopular) the vicious efforts of a few — yes, a few among 140 million is a lot!

In the next few days (building on my 2006 and 2007 Independence Day presentations), I will be writing about a new online platform that combines the dream with the values we believe will extol the lifestyles required for that nation we all dream of. I will be making a few consultations to confirm that both technical and value-based ends of the project are intact and will go ahead to announce how you can be involved.

Watch this space…

MINE Calabar/Accra Tour 2007

Calabar!       (c) Jupiter Images

NiPRO, PIN & A Ray of Hope, UNESCO Youth Ambassador for the Culture of Peace


10 Days of great…


… in Calabar & Accra this yuletide!

The MINE TOUR will bring together thirty (30) young Nigerians for a life-time opportunity to experience the best of Nigerian culture in Calabar, and the best of Ghanaian culture in Accra.

Join us from December 22-26, 2007 in Calabar, Nigeria and December 27-31, 2007 in Accra, Ghana as the group enjoys a fun-filled Christmas season and learn new things for the New Year. You have the opportunity to mingle, unwind, learn and earn great networking contacts. This tour promises fun and learning as participants will have sessions with two award-winning young Nigerian change agents and Ghanaian professionals (including a former Ghanaian Minister of Information).

Exciting places to visit include:
o Tinapa
o Aptech
o Museum
o Vanguard Media Limited
o NTA Calabar

o UNESCO Ghana
o Independence Black Star Square
o Cultural Centre
o Kakum National Park
o Elmina Castle
o Labadi beach
o Cape Coast Castle
o Ovation

Choose your appropriate package below, and pay into the account with details below:
(a) Ghana Tour: N30,000 on, or before, December 10 2007 or N35,000 for late payment;
(b) Calabar Tour: N20,000 on, or before, December 10 2007 or N 25,000 for late payment;
(c) Ghana & Calabar Tour: N47,000 before December 10 2007 or N55,000 for late payment.

All payments must be made by December 15, 2007. For payment details please send an email to

Maximum Intake:
Thirty (30)

The Participation fee covers:
o Local transportation (within Calabar)
o Hotel accommodation (two persons in a room) & feeding
o An evening with Victor Gotevbe
o An evening with ‘Gbenga Sesan
o Calabar Carnival
o Networking session with Aptech
o Professional Night of Bliss
o MINE certificate of participation

o Road transportation to and from Ghana
o Hotel accommodation (two persons in a room) & feeding
o An unforgettable tourism experience
o An evening with Victor Gotevbe
o An evening with ‘Gbenga Sesan
o Networking session with Hon. Kojo Yankah, Sammy Abbey and other Ghanaian professionals
o MINE certificate of participation

Travel Schedule:
o December 22, 2007 (Arrival in Calabar)
o December 23-25, 2007 (Experience Calabar!)
o December 26, 2007 (Depart Calabar for Lagos)
o December 27, 2007 (Depart Lagos for Accra)
o December 28-30, 2007 (Experience Accra!)
o December 31, 2007 (Depart Accra for Lagos)

‘Gbenga Sesan: Multiple award winner and 2007 Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow!
Victor Gotevbe: General Manager of NiPRO Nigeria and networking guru!
Hon. Kojo Yankah: One of Africa’s finest and former Minister of Information in Ghana!
Sammy Abbey: Dynamic young Ghanaian professional with global reach!

Please see the full profiles of the speakers at!

Wake Up? It’s Not A Dream!

Jeff from the Newsweek report on his Book 2.0 idea

A few months ago, I wrote about the workplace of the future and quite a number of opinion leaders in Nigeria’s ICT industry commended the article. But beyond that, a few people wrote to express their concern about how Nigeria would compete favourably in this place I called “Workplace 2.0”! My answer was simple: “While the work towards Nigeria’s eReadiness continues, you should be very concerned about your own personal eReadiness. Get up from your lame corner and step up to the reality of a digital present — not even future.”

A few webpages after that article, I came across what may go on to be described as the greatest revolution of our lifetime. many have argued that the book is not a technology gadget and so can’t be replaced. The argument goes, “… we may have online editions of newspapers and eBooks, but the book has come to stay and can’t have a rival even with the best of technologies.” Really? I don’t think so. And my reason is not based on the fact that Jeff Bezos is now sounding the warning alarm on the end of books, but because anything that the mind of man can play on can be done. You would agree with me that a few years before the Wright brothers, anyone who was told about airplanes would smile (remember that smile that comes to your face along with the feeling of “impossible”?). And so would anyone who was told many years before the PC that we would one day have gadgets that can fit in your palms and do what only mainframes could attempt!

In a 7-page report on Newsweek with Reinventing the Book as its title, and an appropriate tagline, “A Man of Letters: Amazon’s Bezos wants to change the way we read,” we are taken through a thoughtful expression that has clicked on the button of change again. Jeff Bezos, 43, had this to say:

The book just turns out to be an incredible device… Books are the last bastion of analog, music and video have been digital for a long time, and short-form reading has been digitized, beginning with the early Web. But long-form reading really hasn’t. If you’re going to do something like [Book 2.0], you have to be as good as the book in a lot of respects. But we also have to look for things that ordinary books can’t do.

The Newsweek report announced that:

This week Bezos is releasing the Amazon Kindle, an electronic device that he hopes will leapfrog over previous attempts at e-readers and become the turning point in a transformation toward Book 2.0. That’s shorthand for a revolution (already in progress) that will change the way readers read, writers write and publishers publish. The Kindle represents a milestone in a time of transition, when a challenged publishing industry is competing with television, Guitar Hero and time burned on the BlackBerry; literary critics are bemoaning a possible demise of print culture, and Norman Mailer’s recent death underlined the dearth of novelists who cast giant shadows. On the other hand, there are vibrant pockets of book lovers on the Internet who are waiting for a chance to refurbish the dusty halls of literacy… Bounding to a whiteboard in the conference room, [Jeff] ticks off a number of attributes that a book-reading device—yet another computer-powered gadget in an ever more crowded backpack full of them—must have. First, it must project an aura of bookishness; it should be less of a whizzy gizmo than an austere vessel of culture. Therefore the Kindle (named to evoke the crackling ignition of knowledge) has the dimensions of a paperback, with a tapering of its width that emulates the bulge toward a book’s binding. It weighs but 10.3 ounces, and unlike a laptop computer it does not run hot or make intrusive beeps.

A reading device must be sharp and durable, Bezos says, and with the use of E Ink, a breakthrough technology of several years ago that mimes the clarity of a printed book, the Kindle’s six-inch screen posts readable pages. The battery has to last for a while, he adds, since there’s nothing sadder than a book you can’t read because of electile dysfunction. (The Kindle gets as many as 30 hours of reading on a charge, and recharges in two hours.) And, to soothe the anxieties of print-culture stalwarts, in sleep mode the Kindle displays retro images of ancient texts, early printing presses and beloved authors like Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen. But then comes the features that your mom’s copy of “Gone With the Wind” can’t match. E-book devices like the Kindle allow you to change the font size: aging baby boomers will appreciate that every book can instantly be a large-type edition. The handheld device can also hold several shelves’ worth of books: 200 of them onboard, hundreds more on a memory card and a limitless amount in virtual library stacks maintained by Amazon. Also, the Kindle allows you to search within the book for a phrase or name. Some of those features have been available on previous e-book devices, notably the Sony Reader. The Kindle’s real breakthrough springs from a feature that its predecessors never offered: wireless connectivity, via a system called Whispernet. (It’s based on the EVDO broadband service offered by cell-phone carriers, allowing it to work anywhere, not just Wi-Fi hotspots.) As a result, says Bezos, “This isn’t a device, it’s a service.”

So, watch out for Book 2.0 and note that this is just one of the many areas that the mind will bring to life. And if reading about these new technologies and their related services make you feel like this is a dream of sorts, my advice would be that you don’t waste time trying to wake up… because this is reality. That accepted, the question should now be: “what role do I play in this non-dream?” As a user, developer, policy maker or enthusiast, it’s important to step back and clarify the role you will play in all this. While many are still trying to understand what came to be in the early ’80s, the late years of the first decade of the 21st century have some new additions they’re bringing to the table! Step up your game, lay your hands on the tools and principles that define the New Economy — or go to bed and dream about the scary details of how unfit you will be when you eventually decide to wake up.

Internet Watch Report: The 2007 Presidential Election in Nigeria

At the testing site... picture taken by Mary Joyce

As announced yesterday on the iPolicy website, the Internet Watch Report on the 2007 Presidential Election in Nigeria is ready. Please see the announcement below, and the full report is available on the ONI website.

Despite widespread charges of fraud and disenfranchisement, Nigeria’s recent elections were not marked by Internet tampering. While certain sensitive political sites were inaccessible around the time of the elections, these blockages were not caused by intentional tampering but rather by structural problems in Nigeria’s faulty telecommunications network. The results of the technical monitoring included no evidence of attempts to block or disable Web sites critical of the current regime, either during or directly preceding the elections. These conclusions were reached through the analysis of tests carried out by the OpenNet Initiative, a partnership between research institutes at the universities of Cambridge, Toronto, Harvard, and Oxford.

The ONI team conducted two types of tests during the election period, which were carried out by a field team in Lagos and researchers in Cambridge, UK. The fi rst testing program, developed by ONI researchers, was run from a standard personal computer. Researchers on the ground in Nigeria used the program to attempt to make contact with a list of politically sensitive sites using several Internet service providers (ISPs) and then sent the results of those tests back to the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto for analysis.

The second series of tests were run through a specialized computer designed to interact with networks, which was controlled remotely by technical researchers at the University of Cambridge. Testing began a week before the local elections and continued through the national elections. The ONI has been developing technical methods of monitoring for evidence of just-in-time Internet fi ltering or other tampering with Internet access during election periods.

The ONI has conducted Internet-related election monitoring in Kyrgyzstan and Belarus prior to these tests in Nigeria. The ONI ran the election monitoring project in Nigeria because of widespread concerns that the elections would not be free and fair. Observers have claimed that both the local elections of April 14, as well as the national elections on April 21, were marred by blatant and widespread violence, fraud, and disenfranchisement. In reference to the elections on April 14, Peter Takirambudde, Africa Director of Human Rights Watch, stated that “the Nigerian government failed completely in its conduct of a free and fair election” in several key states. Commenting on the presidential elections from the northern town of Kaduna, Max van den Berg, head of the European Union’s Observer Mission, noted, “for now the assessment is outspokenly negative … I’m very concerned.” In addition, the National Democratic Institute went so far as to say that the elections represent “a step backward in the conduct of elections in Nigeria.” Nevertheless, the elections appear to have been free from Internet-related attacks and Web site blocking.

PIN Announces Non-Profit Employee Motivation Program (NEMP)

I am pleased to introduce to you the Non–Profit Employee Motivation Program (NEMP), a capacity building initiative for Non-Profits by Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN). NEMP is geared towards achieving overall increased productivity of staff of Non Profits in Nigeria, the project has amongst others the following cardinal objectives:

  • To motivate employees for better organizational productivity;
  • To motivate employees towards Personal Development within organization’s career space;
  • To introduce employees to the win-win scenario in organizational growth;
  • To encourage employees to move from local actors to glocal (think global, act local) players
  • To give maximum value to donor funding and organizational capacity building

The program has become necessary after our evaluation of the Non Profit space in Nigeria revealed that:

  • Most non-profits are worried that staff are not motivated
  • Budget constraints and organizational models often mean low pay
  • Organization leaders wish that employees will have their own kind of passion and ignore limiting conditions
  • It’s not about the money or any other thing, its about the value of people and their attitude to work
  • Organizations wish to increase employee efficiency with minimal budget growth
  • Every organization would love to grow in reach (to become global)
  • Every donor will like to see their grantees become increasingly better and global
  • Every NGO network will like to see members improve in capacity

The program will have at its core the following courses to be delivered by experienced facilitators:

  • Choosing a Non-Profit Career
  • Understanding the Non-Profit Space
  • Personal Growth for Non-Profit Actors
  • Improving Organizational Efficiency
  • Managers, Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs
  • Becoming Glocal Players

Note however, that the trainings can be tailor made to suit your organizations specific needs. Charges for the program are moderate considering the nature of our targeted audience, but will depend largely on the preferred method of delivery (in your office or in a retreat setting, staff strength and location). Please let us know what you think and we’ll take things from there. Looking forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Oluwakorede Asuni
Paradigm Initiative Nigeria
18 Akinbola Street
Ilupeju 100252
+234 805 624 9391
korede.asuni [at]