- Writing an introductory blog on tomorrow’s “Wall to Wall” conference on the impact of ICTs on the attainment of MDGs in Nigeria. #minigeria #
- Check out tomorrow’s introductory blog, “Assessing the Impact of ICTs on the Attainment of MDGs in Nigeria”, at http://is.gd/CW1h #minigeria #
- It’s 8am (Nigeria), let the discussion begin.What’s your impression of PROGRESS made towards meeting the MDGs in Nigeria to date? #minigeria #
- @pdbraide, no progress at all or not as much as expected? ||| From 10am, I’ll start discussing role of ICTs on each of the MDGs. #minigeria #
- 1. ICTs + ‘End Poverty & Hunger’: New technologies present the opportunity to have access to information and to create new jobs #minigeria #
- There are examples across the world that demonstrate the role of ICTs. Actually, the New Economy almost only respects innovation #minigeria #
- For the Nigerian (and wider African) context, a technology tool that almost everyone has can be a huge clue: mobile phones! #minigeria #
- Farmers can get access to information, small businesses can avoid the huge cost of middle ‘men’ and access to market increases! #minigeria #
- Imagine how much progress we can make on MDG1 if each mobile phone becomes a ‘small business platform’. And we have 66.6 million! #minigeria #
- RT @pdbraide: @gbengasesan Nigeria MDG assessment http://bit.ly/15G7yZ #minigeria #
- At 11am (Nigerian time), I’ll return with additional thoughts on how ICTs can impact MDG 2, ‘Universal Education’, in Nigeria. #minigeria #
- 2. ICTs + MDG2 (Universal Education): With Nigeria’s high school-age population, we need technology to decentralize learning #minigeria #
- First, today’s students will remain uncompetitive if they’re unable to use ICT tools. Then, we need ICTs in education delivery #minigeria #
- There are challenges with power supply for computers, so maybe I should throw up the mobile phone opportunity again: SMS, voice #minigeria #
- Humans (especially 9ja people) know how to adapt. I’m sure we can find a way to break down learning modules into 160 characters! #minigeria #
- This has gone quite fast and I’ll give some time for various threads. I’ll return to respond to comments and resume discussions. #minigeria #
- 3. On MDG3, Gender Equality: Thanks to ICTs, some women who were once cut away from opportunities are now connected. #minigeria #
- In Nigeria, organizations like W.TEC (http://w-teconline.org) are helping bridge the gap between the girl-child and ICTs. #minigeria #
- With ICT empowerment, they are able to leap above discrimination and also have the opportunity to demonstrate expertise widely #minigeria #
- … and that applies to any of the genders that is unequally treated at the time, because it could vary based on circumstances. #minigeria #
- MDGs 4 through 6 focus on health (child/maternal health and HIV/AIDS). The possible impact of ICTs on health is quite huge. #minigeria #
- From cost savings to timely delivery, ICT tolls have proved useful in making information available on time (or real time). #minigeria #
- From cost savings to timely delivery, ICT *tools* have proved useful in making information available on time (or real time). #minigeria #
- Text alerts, video feeds, collaborative surgery, online databases are few examples of the impact of ICTs on health delivery. #minigeria #
- mPedigree, an SMS-based service that allows people to verify the authenticity of the drugs, is coming to Nigeria shortly! #minigeria #
- A HUGE LOSS! We honour Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem (Deputy Director, Africa, UN Millennium Campaign) who passed away earlier today. #minigeria #
- Goal 7: Environmental Sustainability. Imagine how easy it is to calculate carbon footprints these days? That’s the power of ICTs. #minigeria #
- Other applications of ICTs include green campaigns that encourage use of electronic documents instead of printing everything. #minigeria #
- Though new technologies may contribute to environmental issues, it is enlightening to note that we’re talking about ‘Green ICTs’ #minigeria #
- Without ICTs, the last MDG, ‘Develop A Global Partnership for Development’ will require impossible cost, time and other resources #minigeria #
- Target 5 of MDG 8 follows: “In cooperation with the private sector, make available benefits of new technologies, especially ICTs” #minigeria #
- It’s been almost 12 hours since we started discussing
“Assessing the Impact of ICTs on the Attainment of MDGs in Nigeria” #minigeria #
- I’ll be back just before midnight to spend time responding to questions and to provide final thoughts on the topic, but… #minigeria #
- … remember that it’s not about what ‘they’ do but the value you add. If you don’t add any value, you have no right to complain! #minigeria #
- While the MDGs are not the exact perimeters of development, they offer the opportunity to track progress. Nigeria has a LOT of… #minigeria #
- …work to do! Reality is that the folks who should get the job done are distracted by politics and power, so that doesn’t… #minigeria #
- …leave much choice regarding who should work between now and the time when we’ll collectively decide for change at the top. #minigeria #
- Nigeria is bigger than individuals in present positions of authority, and our development must not stop because of inaction. #minigeria #
- If there was anytime to take the kind of collective action that stems for resolved individuals, that time is NOW. #minigeria #
- Nigeria needs you. We have the opportunity of creating impact on the MDGs through ICTs, let’s not lose it. Thanks for having me. #minigeria #
- The discussion on ICTs and the role we can play (youth, this time) continues tomorrow at the University of Ibadan! Good night. #minigeria #
- Remember: If you’re resident in Nigeria and you use the internet, please complete the survey at http://is.gd/z0As. closes on by June 30. #
- Nothing makes my day like getting feedback from young people I have the opportunity to share thoughts with. Work plenty, but we go do am! #
- Discussing ‘Botton-Up Leadership’ today at KWI’s Initiativeâ€™s Eaglesâ€™ Gathering 2009. Also preparing for next week’s UK meeting and seminar. #
- I’ll be discussing “Not Missing In Action: African Youth & the New Development Paradigm” @ The Open University, Milton Keynes,
UK on June 2. #
- Microsoft NGO Academy is still accepting nominations, which should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 5. http://is.gd/JN0g #
All day tomorrow (from 8am until midnight), I will be discussing the topic, “Assessing the Impact of ICTs on the Attainment of MDGs in Nigeria”. Thanks to the technology platform provided by FaceBook, NaijaPulse, Twitter, my personal website and my blog, I will engage participants of what has been described by the organizers as a “Wall to Wall” conference in a push-and-pull conversation that can be followed real-time by anyone that has access to the internet. Unlike a regular conference where only few people get to ask questions after the resource person has made his/her presentation, this “Wall to Wall” conference presents the opportunity for a day-long process that gives as much room to discussion as it does questions and answers.
When Oyebisi Oluseyi mentioned the idea some weeks back, I was quick to say yes because I could see the potential impact of such a new way to engage. Let’s face it, Facebook walls are probably become the most visited public places these days. We check for new gist about friends, leave a line or two for those we wish to get their attention, and also check up on our not-so-liked friends with the hope that you would read something that could give you the liberty to laugh at them. Using this public eSquare for the purpose of this discussion thus shows how far we have gone in social interaction. And that in itself is a demonstartion of how technology can impact the way we live.
I am writing this ahead of the discussions to provide links to some background materials that can help during the discussion. For some background reading on the MDGs, please visit the United Nations website; and for ICTs in Nigeria, feel free to download an earlier report of mine (that discusses the status of ICTs in Nigeria) at www.pinigeria.org/download/ngictupdate2007.pdf. At 8am (0700 GMT) tomorrow, I will leave a short message on my FaceBook wall to kick-start the discussions. To broaden the scope of the discussions, I’ll be using my networked platforms (FaceBook, NaijaPulse, Twitter, my personal website and my blog) since entries on my NaijaPulse page are automatically reflected on my Twitter page, which then sends the same to my FaceBook status, blog (see right column) and personal website (see left column).
I will check my wall from time to time, to ensure that the various discussion threads are neatly tied up. I will also use the hash-tag, #minigeria (‘m’ from MDGs and ‘i’ from ICTs), to allow anyone follow the discussions through Roomatic. I will also monitor this blog, which has now been open for comments. I trust that between the various platforms, we’ll have an interesting conversation that will inform all participants and point us towards action-laden steps that can truly move us closer to the attainment of the MDGs in Nigeria by taking advantage of the many opportunities that ICTs provide. However, I think it’s safe to warn anyone with whom I have physical meetings tomorrow that I’ll be reserving only 50% of my attention for such moments, the other 50% will have to keep track of the online discussions (my much more comfortable zone). Let’s talk from 8am tomorrow…
- Nigeriaâ€™s Information Society is making progress but we call on stakeholders to act faster. Our â€˜20:2020â€™ vision depends on our ICT prowess! #
- Now that I have reCAPTCHA, my blog can be open for comments again. Please spread the word about the internet use survey at http://is.gd/z0As #
- Good news for NGOs in Nigeria! Microsoft NGO Academy holds in Lagos June 17-19. Enjoy the technology, network and support. Details shortly. #
- If you’re resident in Nigeria and you use the internet, please complete the survey at http://is.gd/z0As. Survey will close on June 30. #dlcn #
- Looking forward to NNNGO’s “Wall to Wall” conference on Monday; theme is ‘ICTs and MDGs in Nigeria’. Tuesday is for UI; Ibadan, here I come! #
- Wall to Wall Conference on Facebook with â€˜Gbenga Sesan. May 25, 8am-12am.
Assessing the impact of ICTs on the attainment of MDGs in Nigeria #
- Microsoft NGO Academy holds at the Centre for Information Technology and Systems, June 17-19, 2009. Registration details: http://is.gd/CirC #
Nigeriaâ€™s non-profit institutions play a major role as they connect citizens with diverse services that they would otherwise have had no access to. Many of these NGOs work in rural areas or with underserved groups and could benefit a lot by employing the use of ICT tools, but they are yet to have their appropriate introduction beyond the meetings they have with consultants who provide them with one-off ICT services. Building on Microsoftâ€™s work around giving much-needed support to NGOs across the world, hosting a Microsoft NGO Academy in Nigeria will help fill a huge gap that will improve organizational efficiency while also helping many non-profits save cost. The Academy will offer an intensive capacity-building program to further enhance skills in ICT, allow NGO staff learn more about Microsoftâ€™s opportunities for non-profits, provide technical demonstrations of Microsoft products, give NGOs the opportunity to network with relevant government institutions and also host an ICT Clinic that will allow participants get answers to everyday ICT questions.
In partnership with Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) and the Centre for Information Technology and Systems (University of Lagos), Microsoft will host a 2-day program at the Computer Centre of the Centre for Information Technology and Systems, University of Lagos on June 17 and 18, 2009. Fifty nominees from NGOs across Nigeria will be selected for the program, which will train participants on the use of ICT tools to improve their operations â€“ and they will also get information about Microsoftâ€™s many initiatives specifically designed for the third sector. On June 19, PIN will host an ICT Clinic that will provide on-the-spot answers to technology-related questions while also discussing the ongoing research on â€œDigital Lifestyle of Connected Nigeriansâ€. You are therefore invited to nominate one (1) person from your NGO to attend the training by sending a nomination letter to email@example.com by June 5, 2009.
Please note that nomination may not mean automatic selection, and all participants will be responsible for their travel and lodging. Training, materials (including a copy of the Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum CD), coffee break and lunch will be provided by Microsoft â€“ at no cost to participants â€“ on June 17 and 18.
- 19th edition of CTO, a technology forum hosted by the commercial section of the US consulate in Lagos, opens tomorrow at MUSON Centre, Lagos #
- Nigerian finals of the 2009 edition of Microsoft’s ‘Imagine Cup’ competition holds May 14. Centre for IT & Systems, University of Lagos. 9am #
- … thinking about project management. With less resources to throw around, it’s best to know how to deliver on time and under budget! #
- Adroyte has announced a PMP/CAPM Exam Boot Camp. For details, see http://is.gd/uhn7, eMail pmptraining[at]adroyte.com or call +2348037474312 #
- CITAD’s Dr. Y. Z. Yau and I are conducting research on the ‘Digital Lifestyle of Connected Nigerians’. Survey link will be announced shortly #
- The ‘Digital Lifestyle of Connected Nigerians’ survey will be announced tomorrow. Target audience: Internet users resident in Nigeria #dlcn #
- If you’re resident in Nigeria and you use the internet, please complete our survey at http://is.gd/z0As. Survey closes on by June 30. #dlcn #
- “Digital Lifestyle of Connected Nigerians” survey explained at http://www.gbengasesan.com/blog. For Nigerians who live in Nigeria only #dlcn #
- D-Day: Nigerian Finals of Microsoft Imagine Cup. Will today’s national winners bring Nigeria I.T. glory at the global Grand Finale in Egypt? #
- Just heard about the BPO conference holding June 2 in Abuja (http://is.gd/zKxf). It would be great to leverage for actual BPO opportunities! #
- Retreat with “ambassadors” of the “Microsoft Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria” is in session! http://is.gd/wAu6 #
- Microsoft/PIN staff, MISSPIN Ambassadors, on the way to Laureates College (Lagos) to celebrate World Information Society Day with students! #
- Blog post (http://is.gd/AeiP) to commemorate the World Information Society Day co-authored by @oreoluwa and @gbengasesan. Donate your status #
May 17 is World Information Society Day. To understand its significance in history, it is important to journey back 144 years ago. That same day in 1865, the first International Telegraph Convention was signed and the International Telegraph Union (the second-oldest international organization in existence) was established. That same institution became the International Telecommunications Union in 1947 â€“ the same year that the transistor was first demonstrated, with the solid-state computer soon to follow. Since 1969, May 17 has been celebrated as the World Telecommunication Day.
Thirty-seven years later, following the World Summit on the Information Society, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution which identifies 17 May as World Information Society Day. The day is intended to remind the world of the vision of the World Summit on the Information Society, which promised to build â€œa people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented information societyâ€ based on fundamental human rights. According to the UN resolution, the Day will “help to raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide”.
The Nigerian telecommunications industry â€“ which started with the postal system â€“ is now over 100 years old, but it was only in 1999 that the National Policy on Telecommunications was launched. A National Policy on Information Technology followed in 2001, along with the establishment of the National Information Technology Development Agency under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology. Fortunately, Nigeriaâ€™s participation in the World Summit on the Information Society process helped shed more light on the need for Nigeria to benefit from the undeniable convergence that has brought Information Technology, telecommunications and content together for good.
At about the same period in Nigeriaâ€™s history, a telecommunication revolution was born â€“ with the number of telephone lines growing from 450,000 in 2000 to over 14 million lines in 2005, and now 66.6 million (February 2009 figures), thanks to independent regulation through the Nigerian Communications Commission, private sector participation, broadened competition, and consumer spending. Many benefits have come to the Nigerian Information Society since then, including a rapid rise in the number of Internet users from 200,000 in 2000 to 10 million today! Many of these users are also contributing to the growth of local content on the World Wide Web, which was previously lacking in content from Nigeria. The private sector and civil society (including the media) also continue to add immense value, using varied models to work towards the task of bridging the digital divide.
Building a strong and vibrant information society that is accessible to all Nigerians is at the heart of W.TEC and PINâ€™s work. The Womenâ€™s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) is a Nigerian non-governmental organization helping to empower Nigerian girls and women socially and economically using ICTs. This is done through technology literacy training, technology-based projects, mentoring, work placement and research. Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) is a social enterprise that connects young people â€“ especially those in underserved communities â€“ with the opportunities that ICTs provide. We do this through our Ajegunle.org initiative, Information Society research, capacity building sessions for youth across Nigeria and the Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria, among others. PINâ€™s program graduates have gone on to demonstrate the impact of ICTs on their small-scale businesses and through inspiring career progress!
This year, W.TEC and PIN wish to commemorate the World Information Society Day by appreciating ongoing initiatives in various sectors and calling on all stakeholders (government, private sector, civil society, media, individuals, etc) to act faster on efforts that will improve Nigeriaâ€™s opportunity to maximise the benefits of the Information Society. Please join us to spread the message, â€œNigeriaâ€™s Information Society is making progress but we call on stakeholders to act faster. Our â€˜20:2020â€™ vision depends on our ICT prowess!â€ on May 17 by:
- Lending us your Twitter or Facebook status message;
- Changing your email signature to reflect this message;
- Sending this article to 5 friends;
- Discussing the impact of ICTs in your life with friends and family;
- Volunteering for a non-profit ICT initiative before the next WISD anniversary.
In 2000, Nigeria reportedly had less than 200,000 internet users. The number grew to about 200,000 in 2001; about 400,000 in 2002; jumped to 1.61 million in 2003 and, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission, there were 1.8 million internet users in 2004. The most recent figure (2007) was 10 million internet users and the current growth trend has been further helped by the increased availability of telecommunication services across Nigeria. Apart from the huge growth in the number of users, what has captured my attention is the fact that many of these users go out of their way to get — or stay — connected. They have had to: stay back at work, visit cyber cafes at odd hours, endure plug-and-pray services and spend a large part of their monthly income on expensive access. Also, many have found a way around the problem of electrical power instability.
After a few weeks of discussions with Dr. Y. Z. Yau of the Centre for Information Technology and Development, the “Digital Lifestyle of Connected Nigerians” survey was launched today to explore what Nigerians (who are currently resident in Nigeria) are doing to get (and/or stay) online, what internet services they use and other important questions. For example, how many computers does the average connected Nigerian have? What internet service provider(s) are they subscribed to? What do they do when power supply is cut off? Where do they consider their primary place of access: home, office or public cafe? The survey, which is available through this link (or by visiting http://is.gd/z0As) and requires only seven (7) minutes of the respondent’s time, will be open until June 30, 2009.
If you know any Nigerian who has access to the internet, please ask them to complete the survey. I must thank our Research Admin Lead, Oluwakorede Asuni, for the key role he’s playing in getting the word to the right people. I will also use the opportunity of the physical meetings I have for the week to spread the word, and that includes the Nigerian Finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup which holds at the Centre for Information Technology and Systems (University of Lagos) at 9am on Thursday, May 14; MISSPIN Ambassadors‘ retreat holding later in the day; Microsoft Nigeria/PIN’s Friday visit to Laureates College in commemoration of the 2009 World Information Society Day (WISD); and another WISD event at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, on May 17.
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- AITEC’s Banking/Payment Technologies conference opens tomorrow in Lagoos. Theme: “Transforming Access to Finance Through Branchless Banking” #
- AITEC’s Banking & Payment Technologies conference opens tomorrow in Lagos. Theme:”Transforming Access to Finance Through Branchless Banking” #
- “Amazingly, I had no thought of building a search engine…. When a really great dream shows up, grab it!” Larry Page. See http://is.gd/wn5z #
- See new video, pictures on the ‘Microsoft Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria’ (MISSPIN) webpage: http://is.gd/wAu6 #
- A new post, “Ajegunle’s Got Talent”, is now available at http://www.gbengasesan.com/blog. It’s time to shine the tucked-away light #Ajegunle #
- Microsoft software will be available in 3 of Nigeria’s most popular languages (Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba) this month. Watch this space for details #
- Just got off the phone with Ore (http://is.gd/xbSG). Lend us your status message/tweet to celebrate World Information Society Day (May 17). #
- Know a Nigerian secondary school that loves personalized learning, system-wide change, technology and learning from others? Send me details. #
- Training at Speakers’ Empowerment Academy (9am) and speaking at Road to the Top seminar (University of Agriculture, Abeokuta – 2pm) tomorrow #
By now, almost everyone has heard about (or seen) the movie, Slumdog Millionaire. Not only did the movie win 8 Oscars, 87 other awards and 27 nominations, it’s directors, actors, actresses and India will remember the experience for a long time. Just as the heaviness of the global economic meltdown was about to sour our new-found underdog story, Susan Boyle arrived on stage. Now with over 100 million hits on YouTube, the 47 year-old revelation’s performance has become the fifth most-watched online video of all time. The two examples speak to the power of tucked-away talents, a phenomenon that should teach everyone never to look past any individual or people-group simply because their switch is in “off” mode at the moment. In fact, still pictures from videos should teach us never to judge anything based on the snapshot of the present situation because videos often reveal how crying children (in still pictures) eventually have laughter break through their facial skin (few scenes later).
Watching Slumdog Millionaire, all I could think of was Ajegunle, Nigeria’s most popular slum. The urban slum has produced many stars in sports and music (including Daddy Showkey, Baba Fryo, Samson Siasia, Taribo West, etc) and boasts of 3 million more potential newsmakers — but that is far from how AJ City is viewed even by those who live few minutes away from the community. I can never forget the feedback I got from many people when I announced that Paradigm Initiative Nigeria will be starting a new project in Ajegunle, now known as Ajegunle.org. Many potential partners could not hold back their reaction each time I mentioned the project’s location but we were determined to start the implementation of the model in Ajegunle based on research and clear needs. Thanks to the earlier efforts of Praise Fowowe‘s Uncommon Man Network,Â and support from partners like Afrinvest West Africa, DHL Nigeria, FATE Foundation, HiiT Limited, Junior Achievement of Nigeria, Korean Agency for Digital Opportunity & Promotion, London Metropolitan University (Nigeria Office), Lornamead Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, Teledom International, UK Trade & Investment (UK Deputy High Commission, Lagos), UK High Commission Abuja, our team of volunteers and individual supporters, we are weaving fine stories by the day.
Like Susan Boyle, we see many tucked-away talents coming up for air — and staying up. Some have worked their way into global corporations, some have built small businesses while others are working hard at creating their own unique stories. Seeing graduates return to assist volunteers during the capacity building sessions always remind me of why we started off in the first place — relay training that allows the few we’re able to reach connect many others to life-changing opportunities. On Saturday, I was close to tears when some of the graduates offered to pay for application forms for other youth in the community; that’s what we’re talking about! We had gathered on Saturday to discuss the new Graduate Loan Scheme made possible by Microsoft Nigeria’s Community Technology Skills (CTS) grant and it turned out to be more than that. I sat there, listening to the passion in their voices as they discussed how to use the loan to improve their businesses — pastries, leather shoes, beads, hand-made cards and more.
It was a great way to end the week, and it felt like we were hosting our own edition of Ajegunle’s Got Talent. We can never predict how far these young people will run as we daily seek to open doors of opportunities but I am sure that as they continue to improve their lives, they give their neighbours, friends and others the permission to spread their wings and fly. I agree with Marianne Williamson: “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” It’s high time we allowed the tucked-away lights across Nigeria and Africa to shine! Later this week, I will take the same message to the Road to the Top seminar holding at the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, where I will be sharing thoughts on Securing the Future.