World Summit Youth Award: Call For Registration (April 19 – June 20, 2010)

The World Summit Youth Award (WSYA) invites once again young designers, e-content creators, writers and bloggers from around the world to enter their online-projects in an international multimedia competition: using internet and mobiles to put the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) into Action!

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 illhealth, gender inequality, lack of education, lack of access to clean water and environmental degradation.

An application form is available from April 19 – June 20, 2010 online at Online projects by youth under the age of 30 may be submitted in the following six categories:
1. Fight Poverty, Hunger and Disease!
2. Education for all!
3. Power 2 Women!
4. Create your Culture!
5. Go Green!
6. Pursue Truth!

An international jury of 12 ICT experts will evaluate the projects in two rounds of online judging, where the three winners and two runners-up for each category will be selected.

Winners will be invited to showcase their platform to heads of state, business leaders and civil society at the 4-days WSYA Winners Events, where the most committed and creative young people from around the world will be brought together with the UN Millennium Review Summit Leader in New York in September 2010. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered.

Next to the presentation of the winner’s projects all winners of the contest 2010 are invited to participate in workshops at the WSYA Winners Events. All nominated projects will be presented online at and extensive promoted through the WSYA network, which offers all contest participants co-operation possibilities with ICT experts, business leaders, multimedia producers and youth to youth organizations.

April 19 – June 20, 2010 at
June 30 – July 7, 2010: elimination round of judging
July 19 – July 25, 2010: nomination round of judging and winners selection
September 18 – September 22, 2010 at the UN MDG Review Summit in New York City, USA

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.
6. Pursue Truth!
Focuses on journalism using Internet and Mobiles to cover the MDGs and to report on issues related to them and their realization or failure to be realized; addresses content excellence in terms of a fair, accurate, contextual pursuit of truth and the success in publishing the content using digital, interactive media platforms; invites young journalists and citizens to share their news and become active participants in the public interest of their community and country.

About WSYA
The WSYA will be organised 2010 as a follow up activity of the World Summit on Information Society and its action plan towards the year 2015. WSYA is organised by the World Summit Award Network for the third time after 2005. WSYA will be promoted in all UN member states through the networks of the World Summit Award (WSA) the UN Global Alliance for ICT, the participating UN Organisations and Agencies, governments and NGOs, youth organisations and all others committed to the motivation of the project.

Contact Information:
Maria Eschlboeck, WSYA Project Coordinator
ICNM – International Centre for New Media
Moosstrasse 43a | A-5020 Salzburg, Austria
Phone: +43 662 630408 | Email: eschlboeck[at]

My Exit From Punch (by Azu Ishiekwene)

In my column in The Punch on Tuesday, March 9, 2010, I left an unusual footnote, titled, “The bile this time.” It was a subdued response to the wild allegations against me in the 7,000-word plus petition by the former Editor of the Punch, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, who was forced to resign by the Management of the company for conduct unbecoming of his office. My restraint was not because I could not defend myself or because I was guilty. However, I had to endure the wicked lies and fabrications against me because it was the fit and proper thing to do while the committee, set up by the Board and the company where I had worked for 21 years was trying to establish the truth.

The committee’s work is done. Its report, and that of the Management committee, done after six weeks of exhaustive investigation, which I could not have influenced in any way, did not indict me of any fraud.

The wicked lies have been out now for almost six weeks, recycled in various forms and in various media by informed, half-informed and grossly ill-informed commentators all masquerading as the guardian angels of a benighted profession. I am not writing this for the benefit of those who already think they know all and who will not let the facts get in the way of their next malicious post or article. I’m writing for the benefit of those – and thankfully there are still a number left out there – for whom fairness, balance and pursuit of truth mean a thing.

The Board Committee had the following specific terms of reference:

  1. To probe advert surcharges for premium pages from 2006 to date
  2. To consider any other issue in the petition in respect of which any person submits documentary evidence to the committee.

After three weeks of sitting, minus one previous of investigations by the Management of the petition, Mr. Steve Ayorinde could not produce a shred of evidence in support of his claim that I used my office to enrich myself. Or that I was on the payroll of politicians, banks and some public officials. He had two clear opportunities to do this in five weeks – first on March 8 when the company wrote him to supply evidence, and later when he appeared before the Board committee on April 3. On both occasions, he failed to substantiate his allegations. In fact, it is written that even the witnesses he cited “rebuffed” the committee; the chronicler could not muster the confidence of his own witnesses.

I voluntarily submitted my statement of account; IBTC Share Tender Form and UBA cheque number 80473333 dated September 27, 2007 in favour of Nigerian Motor Industries Limited  for the sum of N1.95million with which I purchased the car that Mr. Ayorinde falsely alleged was given to me as a gift; and three-year visa pages from my international passport for the committee’s inspection. I also submitted the original copy of my passport for citing.

And the surcharge pages? In his petition, Mr. Ayorinde gave the impression that Arik Air was the only company that published adverts on the early pages without paying a surcharge. This, of course, is incorrect. I must say that the charge that I had overstretched my authorised discretion in favour of the advertiser and that I did not fully disclose my relationship with the company, is regrettable. Yet, it is important to stress that neither the report of the Management committee nor the Board committee, nor yet the Board indicted me of any fraud either about the adverts or any other allegations by Mr. Steve Ayorinde. However, there were at least 23 other adverts in 2009, including full page colour adverts by Etisalat, First Bank, Zain, Globacom and the Lagos State Government for which surcharges were not paid but which also appeared on the early pages.

In his bid to throw the kitchen sink at me, Mr. Ayorinde was obviously not concerned about who else might have been in breach. The same Steve Ayorinde who told O’Femi Kolawole, in his book, titled, The gatekeepers, published in October 2009 but released in December 2009, that, “he (Ayorinde) opted to work in the daily edition (of Punch) with the man he had come to admire as one of the best in Nigeria’s contemporary journalism, Mr. Azubuike Ishiekwene,” is now singing a different tune three months later.

  • Not a word about the misconduct that led to his suspension from office for three weeks in September 2009.
  • Not a word about how he had lied to the management and sneaked off to London on a sponsored, image-laundering trip and then returned to lie again to his staff that he took the punishment to save two of his line editors.
  • Not a word about how falling sales almost cost him his job in December 2009.
  • Not a word about how he had brought his own career in Punch to grief by shopping for by-line among his junior staff on February 16, the event which led the Management to demand his resignation.
  • Not a word about the fact that he was not a first-time offender.
  • Not a word.

The cocktail of lies…

a) Musikilu Mojeed’s exit from Punch:

After Mr. Ayorinde’s false allegations were published on the Internet, there was a sustained effort to keep the flames of falsehood burning. And no firewood, however, wet, was spared. Mr. Mojeed left Punch in December 2008 over a dispute he had with his editor, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, at the time. He had filed a number of stories that were not used and had taken offence that he had not been given sufficient explanation for why his stories were not published. He wrote a petition against Mr. Ayorinde and only copied me. I investigated the matter and wrote a memo to the MD/Editor-in-Chief on December 30, 2008. In the memo I agreed with Mr. Ayorinde in some areas but also suggested how the matter should be handled in future. To my utmost shock and surprise, this issue was stood on its head, lapped up by a few commentators and presented as proof that my only job in Punch was to “kill” stories. Conveniently, those behind it only published Musikilu’s memo, leaving out the subsequent memo and the report of my investigations (copy via link) which would have shown clearly that Musikilu’s grouse was against Mr Ayorinde and not me.

b) The imaginary “suspensions” from work

On Tuesday, March 9 and Wednesday, March 10, I was in the office when I received phone calls from concerned friends who said they had read on the Internet that I had been suspended. I also read it on the Internet. But I did so right at my office desk at Punch! And on March 22 when I commenced my vacation, the word was out again! Azu has been suspended! I applied for my leave and it was approved by the Management. My leave certificate, with reference number PN/PS/2005/451/134 is dated March 22, 2010. I was not on suspension and never have been in my 21 years at Punch

c) “Refund” of N17million surcharge

It is a wicked lie that Punch has asked me to refund any money. How can I refund what I have not taken? Punch has said it is interested in asking advertisers whose adverts appeared on the early pages without authorisation to pay the surcharge for such adverts. I did not receive any payments for early pages and as far as I know the request for such payments – not refund – has not yet been made to the advertisers concerned.

d) The CNN/Multichoice judging panel

I have read in some publications that I was “removed” from the CNN/Multichoice African Journalist of the Year 2010 judging panel. That is untrue. After Mr. Ayorinde’s slanderous petition appeared on the Internet on March 5, I informed the Management of Punch of my intention to discuss stepping down from the panel with the organisers. I had a telephone conversation with CNN’s Vice President for Europe, Asia and Africa, Maggie Eales on Monday, March 8. On Tuesday, March 9, I wrote a letter to CNN/Multichoice (a copy is available here) announcing my intention to step down until I have been cleared of the allegations against me. I worked with organisers to select Ikechukwu Amaechi, the Editor of the Daily Independent, as the Nigerian stand-in.

e) Azu as the axe man of Punch

This is a very convenient label, especially since 2007 when the editors started reporting directly to me. I have been in Punch for 21 years and people conveniently forget that I did not always spend that time in positions where I could influence the retention or removal of senior editorial persons. Before I became executive director three years ago, at least 12 senior editorial positions had changed for various reasons and under different circumstances all of which I had absolutely no control over. The resignations of Mr. Yusuf Alli and Mr. Yomi Odunuga, both mentioned in Mr. Ayorinde’s petition, had nothing to do with me personally, whatever they may have privately been led to believe. The decisions taken were a collective one.

f) An era ends…

More lies are spreading already, and I wish to remind the purveyors that I am not unmindful of my rights under the law. They are saying I was asked to choose between sack and resignation. I laugh. I voluntarily retired my appointment with Punch on April 15, with the support and understanding of my family and friends who have stood steadfastly with me through this trying period. I know that a few out there wished for a humiliating ending – but this gracious exit is the Lord’s doing. For weeks, I watched Punch, the company where I have worked for 21 years take a needless bashing and the names of its key officers dragged in the mud. I do not wish to do anything that would extend this grief by one day.

At 45 years of age and after a combined 10 years of editing two of Punch’s leading titles, including Saturday Punch, which remains the flagship since I had the honour to edit it, I have decided to explore other opportunities and challenges that beckon. I have read that I “resigned,” or was “dismissed” from the services of Punch. I also laugh. My exit from Punch – and the records of my letter of retirement and the company’s letter of acknowledgement show this – couldn’t have been more dignified even if I had worked in Punch for another 21 years.

An era has ended; another begins…

Mr. Ishiekwene was until Thursday when he retired the Executive Director, Publications, Punch.

Re: Lagos Commissioner for Information’s Press Release

Our attention has been drawn to a press release (available on the Lagos State Government website) issued today by the Commissioner for Information in Lagos State, in response to the EnoughisEnough Nigeria youth protest in Lagos on Tuesday April 13. According to the commissioner the rally’s organisers did not follow the process of informing the governor’s office or his government.

We make haste to note that this is not true. Attached is the letter that was sent to the governor’s office and was acknowledged by his Chief of Staff on March 30 2010, weeks before the protest. In fact, our letter to the police was sent at the same period, and the police promptly responded on the day of the march.

The protest, as we said in our letter to Governor Babatunde Fashola, was not against the governor, and our campaign is way beyond Governor Fashola, or any other individual for that matter. It is a national campaign, working against a system that among other things makes it easy for government officials to ignore young people, and we are committed to making sure that the youth vote counts in the 2011 elections.

We are not a political organisation, and we have no affiliations with any individual, group of persons or political party. It is in fact because of this that, when we were courteously invited by the Speaker of the House of Assembly to receive us in the absence of the governor, we declined; because we have no interest in Lagos politics.

Many young people who were in that march continue to support Governor Fashola as he continues to transform Lagos State. In fact many of us have organisations that have partnered with or supported/commended his efforts. However this was clearly a failure of processes in his offices, and, as a group, it is our hope that this error will be corrected moving forward and that young people will be taken more seriously.

Please see below the letter acknowledged by his Chief of Staff on March 30, 2010 for your confirmation.

Page 1 of Alausa April 13 Letter

Page 1 of the #EnoughisEnough April 13 Letter showing Chief of Staff's acknowledgement stamp

Page 2 of Alausa April 13 Letter

Page 2 of the #EnoughisEnough April 13 Letter

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DBI Announces Diaspora Internships in ICT

The Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Abuja, Nigeria, in line with its mandate, and in a bid to further enhance Information and Communications Technology (ICT) development in Nigeria and the African continent at large, has conceived the DBI Diaspora Internship Programme.

The DBI Diaspora Internship Programme is an internship scheme aimed to harness and challenge active youths who have broad knowledge of ICT towards specific projects with a desire to practically improve and contribute to the wealth of ICT knowledge and awareness in the country.  This scheme will expose these interns to a variety of entry level professional challenges.


The DBI internship scheme will be held during the summer period, beginning on May 17th and ending on August 13th 2010.  Each participant is required to commit a minimum of two and a half months to the programme.


Eight students from Institutions of higher learning (undergraduate and first year post-graduate) outside the country who are proven to be competent and possess special skills in ICT will be teamed up with another eight innovative individuals from within Nigeria who are also vast in ICT.

Prospective participants are encouraged to apply early due to the limited number of available spaces.


The programme is designed to facilitate knowledge building and exchange through various projects and tasks.  Tasks assigned will be project-based and learning oriented wherein the fundamentals and processes involved in each project will be covered before the interns embark on further research, design and implementation.

Projects to be carried out will include:

  1. Computer Refurbishment Project – Upon completion, this will be a nationally publicized event.  The final products will be donated to Nigerian high schools.
  2. A research/design project to come up with a suitable electronic or biometric system for DBI staff attendance.
  3. Customization of an open-source software to suit the needs of DBI.
  4. A final project competition.


At the end of the programme, participants will be evaluated based on their performance in terms of tasks assigned and completed, as well as contributions to the body of knowledge in ICT.  Participants will present reports on the various tasks assigned and the solutions they came up with.


  • Accommodation: The Institute shall provide a comfortable and safe environment where the interns shall reside for the entire duration of the programme.
  • Travel and Transportation: DBI will not be funding the international or domestic travel expenses to Abuja.   However, the Institute shall be responsible for conveying the participants to and from campus during the course of the programme.
  • Compensation: The Institute shall pay a base stipend of N50, 000 per month for a total of N150, 000 (approximately $1, 000) for 3 months to each participant.


The main venue of the programme will be at DBI’s headquarters in Abuja with the possibility of travel to the Lagos and Kano campuses. Interns will have the same working hours as regular staff.


Prospective participants should provide the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of Application telling us about yourself and what special skills you have in ICT, and why you are interested in this programme.


Applications are strictly online.  Send all inquiries and information to info[at] with the subject, “Diaspora Project”.

National Productivity Conference

National Productivity Conference takes place at Excellence Hotel Ogba, Lagos on the 8th of May 2010 by 9am prompt with a theme “Taking your business to the next level.”

According to the Registrar of the School of Productivity, Mrs Victoria Eze, this conference is expected to seat the largest audience of entrepreneurs and business owners across the Nation. The basic objective is to help people and organisations build a successful and reliable business structures that are profitable.

Tested entrepreneurs like Fela Durotoye (C.E.O Visible Impact Group), Kunle Sorinyan (C.E.O Olakunle Soriyan Organisation), Joke Silva (C.E.O LAPA), Lanre Olusola (C.E.O  Impression Managements Consulting), Gbenga Ademujimi (President, School of Discovery), and the host, the Dean school of Productivity, Mr Remi Dairo would be speaking at this conference.

Mrs Victoria Eze further said the deputy Governor of Lagos State, Her excellence Mrs. Sarah Adebisi Sosan, and Hon. Adeniyi Oyemade, the honourable commissioner for commerce for Lagos State would be Special guest of honour and guest of honour respectively at this conference

The registration is N3,000 till 30th of April and N6,000 from 1st to 8th of May, 2010.

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Catalyzing Collaboration for Effective Social Change & Impact

All is now set for the Uturn Africa Stakeholders Forum tagged “Catalyzing Collaboration for Effective Social Change & Impact”, which will hold at the Eko Hotel & Suites, July 1, 2010. The forum will attract several corporations, foundations and donor organizations. Keynote speakers include the Chairman/MD Chevron Nigeria Mr. Andrew Fawthrop and the Lead Economist, Finance/Private Sector Unit, The World Bank Africa.

Uturn Africa works to empower corporations, businesses & indigenous civil society organizations operating in Africa and other emerging countries succeed in their social responsibility initiatives through collaborative partnerships.  It will be recalled that the firm piloted a highly successful stakeholders’ forum at the same venue in 2009, which attracted several multinationals, indigenous corporations and civil society organizations. 2010 sponsors of the forum include Shell (SPDC), First Bank, Chevron, MTN Foundation and Stanbic IBTC.

Doyin Oluntona, CEO and Co-founder of Uturn Africa said, The complexity and scale of Africa’s problems’ demand we raise our game. The social sector cannot achieve effective impact without forging cross-sector partnerships and alliances. The imperative to collaborate is NOW.

Uturn Africa Forum 2010 will engage the region’s most influential leaders from all sectors in critical discussions designed to create partnerships, networks, knowledge and collaborative pathways between the social, academic and private sectors.

Oluntona expressed gratitude to corporations that participated in last year’s forum for their effective knowledge sharing, noting that several progressive collaborations ensued as a result of the forum; notable is the collaboration between Standard Charted Bank and

Our heartfelt gratitude goes to all our consultants, participants and corporations for their incredible support and their willingness to share best strategies for success. We hope our involvement in bridging the gap between the corporations and the civil sector in Nigeria will demonstrate to others the need to help build, nurture and provide sustainable resources for the social sector in Nigeria,” she said.

Commenting on the leadership of the organizers, Jay Pryor, Vice President Chevron Corporation, an advisory board member for Uturn Concepts (Uturn Africa) said that the leadership of the firm is “Very knowledgeable and strategic in positioning organizations to achieve unprecedented milestones”.  Other Advisory board members include Dr. Oby Ezekwensili, VP for Africa, The World Bank, Carol Pineau, journalist and author “Africa Open for Business” and “Africa Horizons” and Nathan Kalumbu, President, East and Central Africa Coca-Cola.

The forum series will also hold in Accra, Ghana at Labadi Beach Hotel July 8, 2010.  According to the organizers, interested participants could visit for more information.

Harambe Nigeria Set To Help Young Agri-Entrepreneurs

After two years of innovative projects and events to put a spotlight on Agriculture in Nigeria , especially amongst young people, Harambe Nigeria , has moved on to a new level of engagement: providing young agri-entrepreneurs with the opportunities to build and expand their ventures.

Part of the global Harambe Endeavour Alliance, Harambe Nigeria ‘s goal is to enable Nigerian youth develop innovative solutions in Nigeria ’s agricultural sector by providing them with the necessary tools, network and exposure that will enable them translate their ideas into actions. Through this, Harambe Nigeria is confident it will inspire a new generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs who will lead innovation in the agricultural sector and in turn help bring diversity to Nigeria ‘s economy.

For this next phase of the project, the organization has designed an agricultural business plan competition for young people between the ages of 21 and 35.

“What we are looking for are innovative and sustainable agro business ideas in two categories,” said Tola Sunmonu, its President. “Budding entrepreneurs; which are those with nothing established expect perhaps a bright idea and a pen, and then established entrepreneurs, which would be those who have an agrobusiness that has been operating for a maximum of 18 months.”

Applications will be received starting from the month of April and will contain three separate phases. The first phase will involve the submission of a resume and an entry form available on or at the Center for Entrepreneurial Development Services, Victoria Island; the Fate Foundation Office, Ijora; Value Frontier Ikeja, The Future Project in Surulere and LEAP Africa in Lekki Phase 1. Deadline for this is May 31.

The second phase will involve the submission of a full business plan, and in the final phase, the semifinalists will have the opportunity to present their ideas to a panel of judges and after a series of interviews the winners will be selected. Deadline for this is August 6.

“We want to ensure that Nigeria does not miss a beat on its journey towards development,” said Obinna Ukwuanim, the Head of Communications. “Harambe Nigeria is launching this competition to hopefully identify the fertile future leaders and lavishly capitalize on their talent. The first step in achieving an aspiration is always the first step. Once those endowed with leadership are acknowledged and properly equipped to realize their ideas, the limit of impact is then beyond any man’s foresight. But first, great minds must be given a chance.”

In order to ensure that the winning ideas are successful implemented and sustained, Harambe Nigeria will be giving up to 7.5 million naira in cash and training.

The trainings will be courtesy of renowned institutions such as the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development Services (EDS) at the Pan African University and the Fate Foundation.  The winning entrepreneurs will also receive extensive follow up services provided by Harambe Nigeria to ensure that they receive ample support as they implement their winning solutions.

The winners of the competition will be unveiled during this year’s symposium where they will receive significant media attention and an opportunity to present their winning ideas to potential investors. They will also be given a full feature in the Harambe Newsletter and will be Harambe Ambassadors for a year.

“Farming is not a usually attractive sector mostly because only lip service is paid to it, but what we have done in the past two years is to let young Nigerians in these important field know that people are watching them and are ready to support with knowledge, skills, opportunity for growth and finance,” Ms. Sunmonu said. “This has always been part of our middle-term plans, and it’s the next natural progression. Many of these young entrepreneurs need practical support and we are excited that we are able to provide it.”

Harambe Nigeria , in partnership with the Dangote Group, Zenith Bank, Notore, and Shell Nigeria, has hosted two Youth Conferences in Lagos . The overwhelming response from young and enterprising students in attendance prompted Harambe Nigeria to establish the Harambe Incubator for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (HISARD).

The incubator at the Obafemi Awolowo University , Ile-Ife consists of 10 students, and their goal is to create innovative solutions ot the agricultural problems facing the farming communitities in Orile Owu and Wakajaiye. They have completed a successful phase of needs assessment and are in the process of implementation of an on-campus business that will add value to the farmers’ palm oil and garri.

For any questions, applicants can email

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