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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama fever grips ICT sector in Nigeria

Cover of the week:

INFORMATION and Communications Technologies (ICT) tools, on the continent were set agog with the victorious emergence of Senator Barrak Obama in the just concluded United States’ presidential election, penultimate Tuesday.

Investigations by ITRealms Online showed that many Nigerians received Short Messaging Services (SMS) from within and across the continent.

An indication some industry analysts say was a reaffirmation of ICT tools as professing the global village concept.

Also our investigations revealed that as part of the celebration, aside from lots of SMS exchanged between the early hours of Wednesday, when the initial results were made public till last weekend, people where still receiving and sending congratulatory messages and exchanging electronic mails pleasantries on Obama phenomenon.

In other words, telecom operators reaped bountifully from Obama’s victory right from the time results began to trickle in and the larger ICT family based on the convergence and proliferation of Digital Satellite Televisions (DSTv) otherwise known as pay TV, Nigerians were served the victory live via the likes of DaarSAT, DSTV, HiTV, and MyTv to name a few, bringing the news into homes.

In the wake of the electoral success, some African ICT experts quickly created a website, http://www.africaservice.com/index3.php, for sending congratulatory messages to President-elect, Obama.

One of such SMS’ read “Bros, Congratulations, Obama has won,” another said “It is a new dawn, Obama becomes the next US president.”

Some actually made voice calls across the continent to congratulate one another over the Obama’s victory. Whereas other SMS’ simply read ‘Yes, we can.’

In addition, some tourist centres like hotels in Lagos among other big cities in the country are offering their services at discounted rates, including Internet services for less than 10 per cent of the normal cost, to name a few.

Equally some of the emails making the round, stated that Obama’s victory was a victory for the African continent and black race.

“Yes, Obama won … It is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice! Obama has affirmed it for us. Yes, we can. Yes our kids can and God is wonderful. Please let us continue to pray for Obama and his family,” says the chief executive of San Jose-based Learning Right Technologies, LLC, Mrs. Mary (Molly) Uzoh.

For another Nigerian IT expert in diaspora, Mr. Dele Olawole, Americans have spoken with the just concluded election, because, they elected a president enmass, the first black to occupy the prestigious White House of the most powerful nation on earth.

“This is the moment. A defining moment in the history of human kind and I
asked myself, is there anything really Black and White or purely human
being? That question was answered by this election,” he said.

Stressing that for the first time in the history of mankind, Americans led the way by voting for a human being rather than colour, thus showing the mental derangement of perpetrators of racism, although the impact of racism on black people cannot be over estimated.

“It has so much destroyed our being while repressing us to the bottom of
human development index. It got to a point that an average African looking at himself sees nothing but despair,” he said.

As said by him, “Obama has shown we can,” pointing out that this should be a turning point in the life of Africans all over the world that thought they cannot.
“Yes you can with the right attitude, will, determination and glory of God. Yes, you can,” he declared.

In addition, he expressed the hope that Obama dispensation in the White House will be a moment when black will be proud of themselves and say “Yes, we can. A moment to encourage and inspire. Yes, you can.”

According to him, the next four years will be a great challenge to Obama, because it will be a reference point through which research will be conducted on the failures of African leaders.

“It will enable us to see if failure is a genetic defect or otherwise. It will enable us to see that perhaps we might have been patronizing the wrong people as our leaders in Africa all along,” Olawole said.

He enjoined Africans to reach for their heights because they can, saying “Congratulations to the Americans.”

The Chief Technology Officer of WoodGong Communications, Finland, Mr. Sunny Odum while concurring with Olawole, said it “Could not have been better, hence Obama is a litmus test.”

The ‘Yes we can’ topic alone attracted over 200 comments exchanged around the Obama victory online.


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