The New Nigerian Story

In 4 days, Nigeria will be four-dozen years old (well, maybe young, considering that others are more than four times older). On that day, which happens to be the last day of a five-day weekend, many things will be said. Politicians, business leaders, religious leaders, citizens, foreigners, men, women, young, old… many will take advantage of the day to say what they hope others to remember long after the day. Counting from one to forty-eight isn’t what you do in a flash, so don’t blame those who say things you wish would not be not added to the long list of bad things that have been tied to this beautiful nation. You will hear (or read) some others and shake your head in disbelief. A few activities may make you proud of the nation of your birth but please brace up for the usual “we shouldn’t be here right now” advice from many who suddenly, on October 1, will become experts at solving every possible problem that exists within the Nigerian space.

But… Beyond what others will say and/or do, what are you saying right now? And how does what you say — and do — add or remove from the dream that exists in your mind for Nigeria? In a generation that respects what we see beyond what lies on (or comes from) the inside, how can I ensure that my daily actions bring Nigeria closer to what I envy in other nations? Regardless of your present location or vocation, it is difficult to deny your silent or spoken wish for a better nation. In fact, that is why you get so angry (which gets so bad at times you dismiss it off as mere indifference) when you hear the not-so-pleasant “songs” that have almost become a daily experience! Watching and listening to a sister earlier today (see video here), I identify with that yearning I have heard (and seen) expressed in various forms as I complete my assignment from one nation to another.

We have celebrated the emergence of a New Nigeria but I ask, as we inch closer to October 1, for the New Nigerians: that generation that will use what they have to create what they wish for. And we do have a lot — don’t look too far, watch TV (and you may add Hi- or DS- as a prefix), listen to the radio, check out that talent at the event! In 2 years, the drums could be rolled out in celebration of the attainment of the gloden age; and the content of that celebration may either be “patriotic denial” (not much to celebrate but at least we turned 50) or pure joy arising from the celebration of your deliberate acts of moving the nation closer to one we can be proud to call home. By the day, I meet young Nigerians who make me proud of being around at such a time as this — a time we have the opportunity to take the destiny of a nation in our hands and rewrite her story.

I don’t know what chapter you’re writing, but I hope your pen has ink for the days — and years — ahead. We are writing the story, and in the days of its publication, many will call the authors lucky. At that time, the smile that will sit comfortably in the corner of their (that should read “our”) mouths will only be traceable to the deliberate acts of contribution that form today’s investment. What will Your Chapter be in the New Nigerian Story?

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Notes from the Nigerian Bloggers’ Conference (by Olumide Alabi and ‘Gbenga Sesan)

We’re blogging live from the Nigerian Bloggers’ Conference…

The conference, which is holding at the Banquet Hall of Elomaz Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria started with a quick introduction by the host (one of Nigeria’s most popular bloggers), Adeolu Akinyemi. Others, who’re busy introducing themselves include the writers of this blog, a weapons engineer, soon-to-be bloggers, blog readers, blogger of the “Gbeborun of Lagos” fame, husbands and wives who blog together, an uncommissioned “Obama speech-writer”, I-must-now-ressurect-my-blog folks and others. From the introductions, it is quite clear that many bloggers started (and stopped, and then resumed again) after reading other blogs.

‘Gbenga is taking us through the definition of a blog or what I’d like to call Blogging 101 or Blogging for dummies. Hmm… his motivation for blogging was fuelled by what he’d like people to say about him at his funeral…lol. One of the reasons he started blogging was to have an outlet for articles he wrote that Newspapers were too scared to print because it didn’t fit their model of political correctness. He also made a personal choice not to blog about bad news because there’s enough bad news out there already. One of the beauties of blogging is the realness of the authors, the way they share the things they truly believe in. Like it or not, blogging can help you to influence things in society, because you have a circle of influence.

Now Olumide is talking and I’m blogging. He’s taking the audience through domain names — what they are and why you should own one. He’s just thrown in a new word — findability — and it says a lot about how owning a unique personalized domain name can help people identify you more easily. “It sets you apart from the crowd, keeps you in control, makes moving easy and helps you keep rakings with your search engines,” he said. I like the “keeps you in control” bit because it helps avoid having adverts that contradict the content of your blog because you’re using a secondary provider’s service. Owning your own domain also shows your seriousness about your idea or business — if only because you pay some money to get that in place each year.

Gbenga Aijotan, of, is presently speaking about online media advertising. He’s discussing the possibility of attracting corporate adverts on blogs having built loyal traffic.

Electronic Records Management (ERM) Certificate Program

I have the honour to inform you that RIMA Foundation in collaboration with the Association for Information and Image management (AIIM) USA will organize the above captioned course from 14th – 17th October, 2008 leading to Master, Specialist and Practitioner qualification in the field of records and information management, recognised internationally.

RIMA Foundation, a not-for-profit NGO that seek to promote proper management and security of records and information in Nigeria.

Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), a not-for-profit organization, represents the Information Management community as the global association for both users and suppliers of Enterprise Content Management solutions – the strategies, services and technologies which enable organizations to capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver information to support business processes. AIIM have existed for more then 60 years.

We would like to use this opportunity to request that you nominate some key management staff and other employees responsible for the management of records and information in your esteem organisation to attend the training programme.

We look forward to receiving your nomination within the next couple of days as we have got limited training slots.


Oyedokun A. Oyewole
RIMA Foundation
3rd Floor
First Shedrach Building
8, Association Avenue
Lagos, Nigeria.
Tel: 01-8940451, 08023819008

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Announcing the 2009 World Summit Youth Award

Media Release

Putting MDGs into Action: The World Summit Youth Award 2009 – Register now

Salzburg/New York, September, 2008 – The World Summit Youth Award (WSYA) invites young designers and e-Content creators to participate in an international competition. Sought-after are e-Contents that address in an inspiring manner the UN Millennium Development Goals, and use internet and mobile contents to create awareness of the MDGs.

An application form is now available online at for all online platforms that are led by youth under the age of 30. Projects may be submitted in the following five categories:

1. Fight Poverty, Hunger and Disease !
Rewards the most effective contents and applications addressing issues of extreme poverty and hunger, offers solutions for those whose income is less than $ 1 a day, supports the reduction of diseases and fights the spread of HIV/AIDS and the incidents of malaria.

2. Education for all !
Gives credit to the most innovative contents, platforms and solutions to give children everywhere, boys and girls alike, a full course of primary schooling, to advance in training for personal development and jobs, and to achieve a high level of understanding and knowledge of the global information society and its problems and promises, challenges and opportunities.

3. Power 2 Women !
Demonstrates the most inspiring contents and communities which promote gender equality and empower women, eliminate gender disparity in education and at work places, facilitate access of women to all levels of political decision making and that strengthen women’s contribution to peaceful resolution of conflicts.

4. Create your Culture !
Celebrates the most engaging online platforms and applications expressing young people’s aspirations, ideas and values, sharing their news, enabling their participation in decision-making processes, strengthening social justice, promoting the knowledge of many languages and cultures, supporting multilingualism, creating new contemporary forms of culture and preserving indigenous knowledge and traditions.

5. Go Green !
Showcases the ground-breaking applications and contents addressing the natural environment, ensuring sustainability, integrating the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes, reversing the loss of environmental resources including biodiversity, reducing the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and improving the lives of slum dwellers.

The application deadline is midnight, GMT on December 31st, 2008. Please note that the online platforms need not be youth-led so long as the specific project is.

An international jury of 12 experts will evaluate the projects, determining three winners for each category. Winners will be given the opportunity to showcase their platform to heads of state, business leaders and civil society at the World Summit Award (WSA) Gala and Winners Conference in June, 2009 in Monterrey, Mexico.

About WSYA
The WSYA selects and promotes best practice in e-Content and technological creativity, demonstrates young people’s potential to create outstanding digital contents and serves as a platform for people from all UN member states to work together in the efforts to reduce poverty and hunger, and to tackle ill-health, gender inequality, lack of education, lack of access to clean water and environmental degradation.

WSYA is therefore both, a showcase to the world for young designers, technologists and e-Content creators as well as a contribution on a global scale to addressing poverty, protecting the environment, sharing knowledge and empowering young people.

The WSYA will be organised 2008 to 2009 as a follow up activity of the World Summit on Information Society and its action plan towards the year 2015. The Youth Award is organised by the World Summit Award Network for the second time after 2005. The 2008/09 contest is organised in partnership with the Cyber Peace Initiative (CPI) launched by the Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement in 2007. The CPI has a mission to empower youth of any nation, through ICT, to become catalysts of change, to create safe and better futures for themselves and others, to address the root causes of conflict, to disseminate the culture of peace and to create international dialogues for a harmonious world. Founding partners of CPI are The Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the International Telecommunication Union, the Global Alliance for ICT and Development, Microsoft, Cisco and Intel. WSYA is also supported by the Internet Society (ISOC).

Get involved today at and showcase your project to the world!

Contact Information:
Angelika Spraider, WSYA Project Coordinator
ICNM – International Centre for New Media
Moosstrasse 43a
A-5020 Salzburg, Austria
Phone: +43 662 630408

“The World Summit Award (WSA) is the global flagship initiative within the United Nations to identify high-quality e-content products and to promote the most outstanding achievements of creatives worldwide in order to develop the Information Society, bridge digital divides and close the content gap. Started in 2003 in the framework of the United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society, WSA conducts biannually a global contest for the best e-content products and Internet applications. In 2008-09, 168 countries are actively participating. WSA is an invitation project and a global hub for everyone – be it business, government agency, professional association, educational institution or individual – who sees the crucial importance of e-content creation within the new Information Society. It is part of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, held under the auspices of UNESCO and UNIDO and in collaboration with the Internet Society (ISOC) and private sponsors.” (

Call for Nominations: Young Humanitarians

The Charles Bronfman Prize has launched its 2009 award cycle, marking the start of this year’s international quest for extraordinary, young humanitarians. The Prize celebrates the vision and talent of an individual or team under 50 years of age, whose humanitarian work has contributed significantly to the betterment of the world.

The Prize awards the recipient(s) $100,000. Nominations will be accepted between September 1 and November 30, 2008.

Since its inception, the international panel of judges has reviewed hundreds of applications detailing a diverse range of humanitarian efforts including ground-breaking applications of medicine and science, education, human rights, conflict resolution, community development and compassionate care. The Prize strives to bring public recognition to dynamic individuals whose Jewish values, which the Prize considers to be universal values, infuse their humanitarian accomplishments and provide inspiration to the next generations.

Past Prize recipients — Jay Feinberg, Dr. Alon Tal, Dr. Amitai Ziv, and Rachel Andres — are next generation leaders who have a vision for change that will better the world in a meaningful way, and who have created a mechanism within their chosen fields for acting on that vision in ways that deliver measurable results. They exhibit leadership, innovation, and impact and are the best indicator of the kinds of nominees we are seeking.

For more information on past recipients and for forms to nominate a deserving candidate, please visit, email, or call (212) 931-0127.

Past nominators have come from universities, scientific institutions, medical centers, community leaders, philanthropists, and the non-profit, private and public sectors. Will you be the next person to draw attention to the work of a young visionary?

What If?

What if…
FaceBook is the World Intelligence Agency’s way of listening in to our many conversations;
Mobile phones carry embedded chips that track our movements;
Cash cards help the Big One monitor our spending habits;
Every move on the internet is blind-copied to the Central Database;
All blog posts are scrutinized to confirm our writing patterns.

What if…
One day soon,
We will all wake up,
To find all our privacy gone,
And our secrets exploited by the WIA.

What if…
Your last eMail about that country affected your visa application;
The last call from an “unknown” number was to re-establish connection with your “servers”;
A silly comment on your wall was placed there by a special agent to confirm your anticipated reaction.

What if…
That car you saw behind you those two different times was carrying a cross-atlantic transmitter;
Your passwords, PIN numbers and access codes make up your Global Unique Identification Number for citizens under surveillance.

What if…
Your favourite movies’ list has just been discussed by the experts on neuropsychoanalysis.

What if this happens to be a true warning?