" ITREALMS: March 2014


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Sunday, March 30, 2014

‘Why FG set up Broadband Media Advisory Committee’

It is not every time that government has an initiative, that it will like the media to play a vital role such as discovered in the determination of the current Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, to set up a 15-man media advisory committee for the National Broadband, reports ITRealms.

This, ITRealms reports, is coming in the heels of recent soft-launch of broadband awareness campaign in Lagos by the Minister, just as the federal government penultimate Monday, inaugurated a Media Advisory Committee that will further drive the campaign.

The 15-man committee, according to ITRealms reports is made of media professionals, tasked to help out the communications partners to create immense publicity for the broadband awareness campaign.

Noteworthy is that FG via CommTech Ministry and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has in recent times taken the broadband campaign awareness to core international investors at different telecoms fora, organised by the International Telecoms Union (ITU) in Dubai, UAE and Bangkok in Thailand among others.

Members of the Media Advisory Committee on Broadband Campaign included the Managing Director of Compact Communications, Chuddy Oduenyi​ as Chairman, Managing Director of Leap Communications Limited, Muyiwa Akintunde​ as Secretary to the committee, Efem Nkanga​ from the Ministry of Communications Technology, Aaron Ukodie of e-World Magazine, Remmy Nweke of DigitalSENSE Newspapers, Kunle Adekoya of Vanguard Newspapers, Shina  Badaru of Technology Times Newspapers, Emma Okonji of ThisDay Newspapers, Mkpe Abang of IT & Telecom Digest Magazine and Bayero Agabi of AIT Info Tech.

Others are Reuben Okala of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Chioma Ezike of Radio Nigeria, and Ufoma Daro of e-Business Life Magazine, Tolu Ogunlesi​, a Social Media activist and Bill Okonedo​ of BusinessDay Newspapers.

Inaugurating the advisory committee, the Vice Chairman, National Broadband Council, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, charged members to take the broadband campaign initiative very seriously, explaining that government is keen in making broadband available to Nigerians, through the campaign.

"Broadband remains critical to the development of Nigeria and to the individual. Anyone that is not able to use digital devices, is not part of the digital world,” he said.

Stressing that Nigerians playing key role on this broadband campaign, like this committee, must ensure that every Nigerian is a digital native, no matter how remote they may be located.

He lamented that attention is often concentrated on urban and semi-urban areas by those who provide infrastructure, but the broadband campaign is intended to reach out to those in remote areas.

A focus campaign on broadband awareness, Ndukwe said would make Nigerians not only aware of the service, but also to subscribe to it, as soon as the service gets to them.

Addressing the committee on its roles, the Technical Consultant to the Minister of Communications Technology, Mr. Jinmi Oluanuiga-Sonuga explained that the committee would among other things, create awareness for the Nigerian National Broadband Plan, foster demand growth and broadband adoption, encourage local and state governments in driving the adoption of broadband, educate Nigerians on the need to have broadband connectivity, and also educate them on where and how to get broadband.

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Pix: Some members of the committee with Dr. Ndukwe and Jinmi Sonuga.

NCS rides on Remita for members cashless annual dues

The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) is riding on the back of Remita for its over 10,000 membership cashless payment of annual dues, reports ITRealms.

This, ITRealms gathered was in compliance with the recent policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), NCS has deployed Remita, a premium electronic payment platform from SystemSpecs to facilitate this desire

ITRealms also reports that with this, NCS individual members would issue standing orders via Remita to their respective banks, and the banks would remit the various payments to NCS’ bank accounts as at when due.

And in demonstration of NCS commitment, the society members fully embrace the electronic remittance initiative in compliance with the CBN’s policy, for the 2014 annual dues. 
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), SystemSpecs, Mr. John Obaro confirmed this t ITRealms, elucidating that with this gesture, his company objective is obvious.

“We want to reduce people’s need for handwriting cheque. We want to reduce the need to make payments using physical cash. For routine payments like membership fees, subscription payments etc, you do not have to keep writing cheques all the time. Individuals can use Remita to hand-write a cheque normally or issue standing order payments. These are what the CBN’s cashless policy is about,” he said.

NCS president, Prof. David Adewunmi remarked that the NCS-SystemSpecs strategic partnership would assist organisations to identify, support innovation efforts and build capacities to help “realize the huge potential in Africa’s fledging market”.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

'.Africa’ signing ceremony held at ICANN 49

Finally, a signing ceremony for the .Africa has been dotted between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) at the ongoing ICANN 49 in Singapore on Wednesday, March 2014, reports ITRealms.

The ceremony conducted between Akram Atallah, the president of ICANN's Global Domains Division (GDD) and Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZA Central Registry (ZACR) took part in a symbolic signing, which allows the new Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) ‘.Africa’ to proceed to delegation.

ITRealms also reports that this marks the first Registry Agreement signed between ICANN and an African gTLD registry operator.

A contingency representing the African Union Commission (AUC), dotAfrica, and ZADNA (domain name authority of South Africa) were in attendance, as well as several ZACR and ICANN staff members.

Remmy Nweke in Singapore
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Diplo to host webinar on Netmundial'14

Diplo Foundation has announced the intention to host web seminar (webinar) on Netmundial with people that matters as the subject gains momentum, ITRealms reports.

According to Mrs. Stephanie Borg Psaila of Diplo's Internet Governance (IG) webinars team told ITRealms that as part of the March Internet governance webinar, arrangement has been concluded to focus on the upcoming NETmundial slated to hold in Brazil.

Also, she invited participants to the webinar on Friday 28th March at 14h UTC/GMT, on the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance (NETmundial), which is taking place in Brazil in April.

Raúl Echeberría, executive director of LACNIC and co-chair of NETmundial’s Executive Multistakeholder Committee, and Rodrigo de la Parra, ICANN vice-president, Stakeholder Engagement, Latin America and the Caribbean, she said, would update the IG community with developments in Latin America in the preparation for NETmundial.

Further, she said to ITRealms that the webinar would address the following, among other aspects: “What can we expect from NETmundial in terms of a tangible outcome? With various IG bodies engaged in the process, how can the IG community participate in the run-up to the meeting and during the meeting itself? Based on the contributions received, what are the top three items on NETmundial’s agenda? What type of ‘Latin American’ flavour can we expect at NETmundial (issues, priorities and actors)?”

She explained to ITRealms that to participate, potential participate would fill in the registration form though attendance is free but registration is required.

“The link to join the webinar will be e-mailed on the day, shortly before the start of the webinar. Participants will be able to discuss the topic with the presenters and other participants present for the webinar,” she submitted.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

NETmundial 2014: EMC meets to set agenda

The Executive Multistakeholder Committee (EMC) has confirmed dates for the two-day meeting to enable them set the agenda for the forthcoming coming NETmundial in Brazil, reports ITRealms.

The EMC affirmed this to ITRealms at the weekend in an official press statement, saying its face-to-face meetings would hold between March 31 and April 1, stressing the focus is to set NETmundial agenda and propose an initial draft for upcoming discussions.

ITRealms also gathered that the outcomes of the EMC meeting would be submitted to the High-level Multistakeholder Committee and, consecutively, to public consultation in the first half of April.

While commending the level of commitment shown in the open call for contributions to NETmundial, EMC told ITRealms they appreciated all organizations and individual authors from different sectors, countries and community groups for their submissions.

They equally confessed to ITRealms that it was an unexpectedly large number of submissions and given the short timeframe available for the EMC to digest recommendations to frame an agenda, the Committee is using a number of different approaches to review individual submissions and also to synthesize the input.

Just as the EMC explained that the Secretariat’s summary will not be a reflection of EMC position, but one of the tools that the Committee will utilize for its debates on how the agenda will be framed, along with other types of summaries and analysis, kindly submitted by different volunteers.

“We look forward to agreeing in final agenda and making it public, fostering the multistakeholder discussion that NETMundial proposes,” EMC official said.

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FG splash N24m on 16 inventors

Federal Government has presented cheques worth N24 million to 16 beneficiaries of the 2013 Presidential Standing Committee on Inventions and Innovations (PSCII) grant, reports ITRealms.

The cheque presentation to beneficiaries, ITRealms gathered was a continuation of nine years support by the Presidential Standing Committee on Invention and Innovation.

Presenting the cheques, the Supervising Minister of Science and Technology Ministry, Mrs. Omobola Johnson while congratulating the beneficiaries on their achievements, described innovation as the lifeblood of any business, any country regardless of social, demographic or economic standing.

She encouraged them to apply the grant towards the next step to their ultimate goal, which is patenting and writing a business plan.

‘‘While the grants that are given to you today are for cry from what you require to take your innovation forward to the next stage which is commercialization and industrialization, I want to encourage you to apply this grant towards that potentially small but important next step to this ultimate goal-patenting, writing a business plan to present to institute that can make substantial funds available to you, making an application to one of our many Technology Incubation Centres in different parts of the country’s capacity building,’’ she said.

‘‘This is how businesses are created and how they thrive and grow. From one innovation or invention from one bright young mind, a viable business is born, jobs are created, people are employed and wealth for nation and for individuals is created.

‘‘Let me congratulate each and everyone of you on this achievement. By receiving this grant, you have in a sense received both an endorsement and a validation of all your efforts. We look forward to receiving about your transition from an innovation to a business.

‘‘For those of you whose innovations and inventions are still in the preliminary or middle stage, we urge you to put in additional effort towards completion on order to provide opportunities to other Nigerians to commercialize and reap the desired benefits from your products,’’ said the Minister.

According to her, vigorous efforts are ongoing to improve the Federal Government’s funding of the PSCII, but added that  collaborations with relevant stakeholders such as Education Trust Fund, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, National Universities Commission, National Board for Technical Education, Raw Material Research and Development Council and the National Planning Commission, are underway to facilitate the achievement of the ultimate goal of the PSCII Programme, which is to provide a solid foundation for a technological break-through in Nigeria.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Rabi Jimetta said right from creation, man has always searched for better ways of doing things in order to  ease and improve his standard of living and socio-economic well-being by using things that are available at his disposal.

According to her, the desire to encourage Nigerians, particularly those in the informal sector of the economy that have outstanding indigenous technologies was based on their inventions that could impact positively on Nigerians and the economy.

She listed some of the objectives of the scheme as encouraging invention and innovation in technology; to examine ay research claims and assess what can be done to take such claims to prototype and commercial level and to suggest how funds could be sourced to finance the various stages of development from inception to prototype and commercialization.

On his part, the Secretary, PSCII and Director of Technology Acquisition and Assessment, Dr. Adeyemi Talabi commended the inventors for their relentless ingenuity, tenacity and commitment to industrializing the country through various researches in science and technology.

He urged them to take advantage of the research outcome to advance the country technologically, through commercialization drive, wealth creation and employment generation. 

Speaking on behalf of other beneficiaries, Mr. Momodu Shaka, who invented an auto fire extinguisher expressed gratitude to federal government and promised to use the fund to translate their inventions into commercial scale. 

The 16 beneficiaries had gone through a careful and rigorous screening and selection process that included 399 applicants (innovators and inventors).

So far, 117 innovators and inventors across the six geo-political zones of the country have received grants ranging from N250,000 to N3 million from this initiative, in addition to the sixteen innovators/inventors that benefited from the 2013 edition of the PSCII grant, that scaled through the operational guidance of the PSCII through the selection process.

Most of the inventions were on automobile, health research, climate change, power sector, agro business among others.

The scheme was established by the Federal Government in October, 2005 to encourage and promote inventions and innovations in Science and Technology from the informal sector of the economy, while also stimulating the interest of Nigerians to use Science, Technology and Innovation tools for national development.

Kingsley Opurum
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Pix: Mrs. Johnson, supervising Minister, Science & Tech

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Core Group cautions Nigerians on fake Apple products

Core group Africa, the Apples official value added distributors for sub-Saharan Africa has cautioned Nigerian consumers to avoid buying grey Apple products from unauthorized resellers, as these products do not honour warranty agreement.

Chairman, Core Group Africa, Mr. Rutger-Jan van Spaandonk, gave this caution in Lagos, in an exclusive interview with ITRealms, a publication of DigitalSENSE Business News, lamenting that this kind of patronage by some Nigerians deny them of full buyers benefits.

He explained to ITRealms that countless technology consumers and buyers of Apple products in Nigeria who fail to purchase the devices through official channels like the Apple iStore, Ikeja Mall and other authorized resellers are denied of the full Apple experience like outright product replacement in cases of factory fault, authentic two-year warranty, after sales support, access to well trained personnel, device set-up training and others.

Mr. Spaandonk also noted that Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad and MacBook are the most desired in emerging markets especially in the smartphones segment because Apple has revolutionized the mobile computing industry and delivers the most amazing experience consumers have ever had with technology.

For our customers, Apple devices are investments and were always striving to ensure they get great value for money. Because we understand this, we want Apple customers to purchase our devices with guaranteed peace of mind and access technology that truly impacts lives, Spaandonk asserted.

He elucidated that grey products are rampant in which marketers smuggle non-counterfeit, but mostly refurbished products into the country without the permission of the intellectual property owners or paying all necessary taxes and customs duties.

Though a grey product tends to be cheaper, it is not in the customers best interest. It is usually not the standard version, has no record with manufacturers exports, neither are there provisions for warranty, spare parts, consumer education, product set-up and after sales support. The sellers do not pay custom duties or make false declarations at entry point.  

Though the combination of economy strapped consumers seeking very low prices and unauthorized traders eager for huge profits present this compound problem to both brands owners and the government at large, the undiscerning consumers are the worst hit, he said.

We appeal to Nigerians to patronize the iStore and the authorized resellers to get the best value for their hard earned money, enjoy authentic warranty documentation and experience and help generate genuine revenue for government. We are already in talks with relevant officials and agencies towards collaborating to check the issue of grey and fake.

Quality conscious Nigerian consumers should enjoy the amazing Apple store experience as well as obtain full peace of mind. With the full two years warranty offered by Apple iStore and the world class sales and technical team, Nigerians should resist the temptation of buying grey products from unauthorized resellers, Spaandonk said.

ITRealms recalls that Core Group Africa is the official Value Added Distributor (VAD) for Nigeria, Ghana and Angola and acts as the dedicated full-service brand custodians, managing a brands presence from end-to-end, taking care of logistics, distribution, sales, marketing and support. iStore, Ikeja Mall is the home of all official Apple devices and accessories offering customers with world class Apple products with genuine warranty, after sales support, spare parts, and training.

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Pix: Chairman, Core Group Africa, Mr. Rutger-Jan van Spaandonk

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

GTCrea8 promo campaign 2014 takes off, dangles copper convertible star prize

The Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) plc, commenced its 2014 annual GTCrea8 Promo campaign for Nigerian undergraduates, an initiative aimed at rewarding the Bank’s customers studying in tertiary institutions across the nation, with top prize being Mini Cooper Convertible car, reports ITRealms.

The Managing Director and chief executive officer (CEO), Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje told ITRealms that the 9-month initiative provides a unique avenue for the Bank to stay in touch and reward its GTCRea8 eSavers customers, who have a unique role to play in the continent’s future development.

Agbaje also said that the initiative involves awareness storms in 27 major tertiary institutions in Nigeria to promote values such as professionalism, Integrity and the benefits of hard work.

Alongside these events, he said, are monthly raffle draws during which account holders win monthly scholarships, just as one undergraduate would emerge the winner of the campaign grand prize: a mini cooper convertible car during the December 2014 final raffle draw.

ITRealms recalls that this is the second edition of the initiative which the Bank introduced last year as part of a social awareness and marketing programme aimed at promoting adoption of the right values by our future leaders and getting feedback regarding their needs as customers.

Even as ITRealms notes that Miss Elisha-Wigwe Shallom, a Medical Student at the University of Lagos won the 2013 campaign grand prize.

GTBank plc is reputed as a youthful brand that has forefront of youth related activities. The Bank introduced the GTCrea8 eSavers account to address the unique financial needs of today’s undergraduate.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

NCS partners OAU software centre on five-day cloudshop

The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) is partnering the Centre of Excellence in Software Engineering of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, on a five-day cloud computing workshop, reports ITRealms.

Confirming this to ITRealms, the duo of Prof. Sola Aderounmu of OAU and Taiwo Oyesanwo of NCS, said that the collaboration between NCS and Centre of Excellence in Software Engineering of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, would be a hands-on session.

They also revealed to ITRealms that the occasion would afford the presentation of Cloud computing with Open Nebula to be held between April 28 and May 2, 2014 at the centre of Excellence, OAU, Ile-Ife.

Equally, they said that some of its facilitators will include Prof. Christoph Reich  and Thomas Rübsamen of Cloud Research Lab, Hochschule Furtwangen University (University of Applied Science), Furtwangen, Robert-Gerwig-Platz 1, Germany.

Other highlights expected at the event include how to install Open Nebula, configuration, virtualisation techniques, networking, and storage decisions.

Also participants are to learn how to manage OpenNebula administration via virtual machine images, user administration, infrastructure administration, administration Graphical user interface.

In addition, the five-day workshop will accommodate the subject on Cloud Management System, namely Management APIs, Load Balancing, Accounting, Monitoring as well as advanced topics in cloud Computing.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Juwah showcases Nigeria’s broadband potentials @ Mobile World’14


The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Eugene Juwah, took advantage of the just concluded Mobile World Congress (MWC 2014) in Barcelona, Spain to showcase the broadband potentials in Nigeria, reports ITRealms.

Addressing the crème de la crème of the global telecom stakeholders at the session on Ministerial Programme in Barcelona, ITRealms gathered that Dr. Juwah x-rayed the potentials of Nigeria’s broadband programme.

ITRealms recalls that the Ministerial Programme session of the MWC in Barcelona, is seen as a rare privileged event where decisions makers, ministers, investors, service providers, global mobile providers among other top industry players share insights.

At this year’s programme, a session was dedicated to Nigeria and Dr. Juwah seized the opportunity to make a profound presentation to the world about what to expect in Nigeria, which is at the threshold of unleashing a broadband revolution that will impact the Nigerian nation and the African continent.

He told the audience that Nigeria is fast-tracking her knowledge economy and contributions of broadband to GDP growth will increase considerably.

“We have successfully completed the auction of the 2.3GHz Spectrum and we have outlined a number of programmes under the broadband infrastructure framework while licensing of infrastructure providers, tagged Infracos is about to begin,” he said

Equally, Dr. Juwah said that his commission has a mouthwatering offer for investors in the Nigerian broadband infrastructure deployment programme using the Open Access Broadband strategy with the planned licensing of InfraCos that will provide a national broadband network on a non-discriminatory, open access and price regulated basis to all service providers.

NCC, he maintained is creating enabling environment and incentives for the private sector to roll out broadband networks which will be a one-off incentive for last mile to be achieved.

“We will replicate the success we made in voice in broadband plan as we proceed on the journey. We are also going to license more retail services and encourage the operators where possible to extend fibre to homes and businesses on their own. Government is committed to providing incentives to winners of infrastructure licenses,” he said.

The InfraCo, according to him, would enjoy government support, hence would be getting funding from government to rollout nationwide broadband infrastructure.

“We are ready to provide subsidy to simplify entry. However, such a subsidy will come on the basis of milestones achieved to ensure that we are realistic in the venture,” he said.

Juwah recollected that the historical revolution of the voice communications in Nigeria, the nation will witness a boom the broadband segment of the business as NCC propelled in the voice segment. Stressing that for Nigeria to be part of the 21st century knowledge economy, there is need to leverage on the potentials of broadband.

“We have done quite well in the voice segment, but taking a look at the data segment, our internet penetration rate currently is 32.9 per cent, our broadband penetration rate is 6.1 per cent, taking it to a higher speed broadband, this 6.1 per cent will disappear,” he explained.

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Sunday, March 09, 2014

Etisalat group, Ericsson team up on networked society initiatives

The  Etisalat Group in collaboration with Ericsson to boost its high-speed communications and video delivery networks using Ericsson’s innovative technologies and services to offer more citizens access to public services from any internet-enabled mobile device, anywhere and anytime, ITRealms reports.
This, ITRealms gathered was in recognition of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) market transformation and the need to adopt the latest digital technologies to satisfy consumers.
Hence, Etisalat and Ericsson signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a new collaboration to enable a high-speed, responsive network, laying the foundation for next-generation infrastructure for m-government and smart city initiatives.
ITRealms also gathered that high-speed broadband connectivity is fundamentally changing the way people live, interact and do business; consumers expect access to information, entertainment and businesses with faster speeds.
Through this partnership, Etisalat Group will launch trials of innovative Ericsson technologies such as Long Term Evolution (LTE) Broadcast, Ericsson Radio Dot System, and Ericsson’s heterogeneous network solutions.
Mr. Hatem Bamatraf, Chief Technology Officer at Etisalat Group affirmed to ITRealms that over the years, Etisalat Group has demonstrated its ability to build and sustain the most advanced and innovative networks.
“Conducting such innovative trials is only the first step. This will pave the way for further collaborations and the eventual delivery of more advanced, reliable and faster broadband access to users across the region,” he said.
Additionally, ITRealms learnt that Etisalat will collaborate with Ericsson to roll out a mobile identity based service, and to explore opportunities for expanding these services across each of the countries Etisalat Group operates in.
Mobile identity, ITRealms said, is a key foundation for m-government, m-commerce and m-health services.

“The service allows subscribers to use their mobile identity securely via a one-click sign in, giving access to diverse applications, government services and websites, without the risk of being data-mined by the various ID providers,” Bamatraf hinted.
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Friday, March 07, 2014

ITU celebrates women’s change through ICTs

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) celebrates the power of digital literacy to change women’s lives as it reaches target of ‘one million women trained worldwide’ reports ITRealms.

This year, ITU is commemorating this year’s International Women’s Day with theme: ‘Progress for all’ through ICTs.

Notable is that over one million disadvantaged women in 79 countries around the world are now benefiting from newly-acquired information and communication technology (ICT) skills thanks to a partnership between ITU, the UN specialized agency for ICTs, and Philippines-based NGO Telecentre.org Foundation.

ITRealms also reports that the Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign, launched in 2011 with a target of training one million women around the world, leveraged the combined reach of Telecentre.org Foundation’s global network of 100,000 telecentres worldwide and ITU’s 193 Member States and 700 private sector members.

The campaign reached its goal earlier this month with a total of 1,014,096 women trained in basic computer skills, through the efforts of 153 participating organizations and 20,000 telecentres around the world.

Myrna Padilla spent 20 years living away from her children earning a living as a domestic worker in Hong Kong. 

Now, back home in the Philippines, she uses her digital literacy skills to run her own graphic design business employing 20 staff – and all her children are getting a college education...watch Myrna talk about the power of technology skills to change a family’s destiny.

Obonyo ‘Molly’ Adhiambo couldn’t afford a college degree, and knew her options were limited – until a friend told her of a digital literacy training course being offered by youth-based organization Nairobits Trust…learn what Molly did with her new computer skills.

Yulia Korneyeva was 23 when she first learned to use ICTs at a telecentre. But like many young people hit by the economic crisis, she recently found herself out of work – and realized she lacked the proficiency to apply for the positions she wanted. Her future changed when she saw an advertisement for a free course entitled “Advanced Digital Literacy”… find out how Youlia’s training changed her life…

“The success of this joint campaign meshes perfectly with this year’s International Women’s Day theme of ‘equality for women is progress for all’, because training in today’s ICT systems is so often change that turns around the lives of unskilled and disadvantaged women and their families,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré.

“Having the skills to use ICTs opens up new horizons and empowers women, both economically and culturally. In addition, offering digital skills to over one million women at grassroots level is helping reverse the paradigm whereby, in many countries, ICTs still most often benefit men more than women.”

Recent research by ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau estimates that there are 200 million fewer women online than men. Of the world’s 2.8 billion Internet users, 1.3 billion are women, compared with 1.5 billion men.

While the gap between male and female users is relatively small in OECD nations, it widens rapidly in poorer countries, where expensive, ‘high status’ ICTs like computers are often unaffordable for women at the bottom of the development pyramid. In the developing world overall, 16% fewer women than men are online, with even greater disparities in some regions; in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, ITU estimates that there are only half as many women connected as men.

A report issued last year by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development’s Working Group on Gender, led by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, revealed that, around the world, women are coming online later and more slowly than men. It also showed that women are on average 21 per cent less likely to own a mobile phone – representing a mobile gender gap of 300 million, equating to US$13 billion in potential missed revenues for the mobile sector.

“With technology now widely recognized as a critical enabler for socio-economic development, the Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign has been key in reinforcing ITU’s global efforts to promote the digital inclusion of women in line with Millennium Development Goal 3 on gender equality,” said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, which initiated and led the Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign.

“Partnership is key in any undertaking, and what we have achieved so far under the Telecentre Women Digital Literacy Campaign is a testament to this. I, therefore, take this opportunity to thank ITU and all our partners in this campaign for accepting the challenge and for embracing this cause with so much fervour,” said Miguel Raimilla, Executive Director of Telecentre.org Foundation.

“We may have already reached our target, but the work doesn’t stop here. There is still so much more to be done out there, and the programme will definitely continue to empower women worldwide through ICT, in the hopes of inspiring change and ultimately bringing about the much needed results,” Raimilla said.

The campaign is just one element of ITU’s work in the field of gender empowerment through ICTs. Each year on the fourth Thursday in April, ITU and the global technology community celebrate ‘Girls in ICT Day’, an international awareness-raising initiative launched by ITU in 2010 to promote tech careers to a new generation of girls with an interest in science and maths.

Since its inception in 2010, the day has been gaining huge momentum around the world, with 2,700 events organized in 121 countries for an outreach of more than 70,000 girls and young women. Event organizers are gearing up for a big celebration on 24 April this year: stakeholders are encouraged to contact girlsinict@itu.int to let the ITU team know their plans.

ITU has also developed a range of digital literacy training materials designed to be used in school-based community centres and multi-purpose telecentres by women, indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities. 

In addition to providing basic ICT literacy, the materials show trainees how ICTs can be used to support a range of economic activities such as handicrafts, agro-tourism and agriculture. Training materials can be accessed here.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

OAU to host EduNet 2014 on Fostering Tech enterpreneurship


The 4th Edition of Education Network Conference (EduNet 2014) would be hosted by the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and the Institute for Entrepreneurship Development Studies of the same institute in Partnership with Tel Aviv University Entrepreneurship Centre (StarTAU), Israel, reports ITRealms.

Managing Director, Emerging Media, the organizers of EduNet, Mr. Kenneth Omeruo, told correspondent that 2014 edition will be on under the theme: Fostering Technology Entrepreneurship in Nigerian Universities and has been planned to hold between May 20 and 22.

He also said that the three-day event will examine issues around building Technology Entrepreneurship Ecosystem within the Nigerian University Community with key examples from the Israel Technology and Innovation Ecosystem.

“We are happy to host this year’s EduNet Conference at the ICT Centre of the University,the idea of fostering Technology Entrepreneurship in Nigeria is key to economic development of the country.That is why our centre will be playing key roles in the conference” Prof Adeshola Aderounmu, Director ICT centre of Obafemi Awolowo University.

Oren Simanian, Founder of Tel Aviv University Entrepreneurship Centre and his team from Israel will lead discussions on How Nigeria can create Technology Entrepreneurship Ecosystem with lessons from Israel (Start-up Nation).

“Our Entrepreneurship development centre in Tel Aviv University has contributed greatly to the development of the entrepreneurship and the Startup ecosystem in TelAviv, Israel and so we are happy to partner with Nigerian Institutions to help share ideas and develop the ecosystem in Nigeria bearing in mind the triangle of innovation around the world is held together by the cooperative endeavor of the government, the academic community, and the Technology Industry. We see EduNet 2014 as a great platform to start off such discussions”Oren Simanian,Founder Tel Aviv University Entrepreneurship Centre(StarTAU),Israel.

This year, having seen the need for Nigerian universities to lead in the development of technology entrepreneurship in Nigeria, the 4th edition ofEduNet conference now has a new task hence the focus this year is on building Technology Entrepreneurship/incubation centres to foster entrepreneurship in Nigeria” Kenneth Omeruo, Coordinator EduNet 2014.

For Omeruo, in order to start off discussions around the building of these tech centres in Nigerian Universities, EduNet 2014 hosted by the ICT centre and the Institute for Entrepreneurship Development studies of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, will provide the platform for discussions with the Government, ICT directors of Nigerian Universities, Regulatory authorities of the Nigerian Universities, Funding/partnering organizations and the Technology industry in Nigeria in collaboration with Tel Aviv University Entrepreneurship Centre (StarTAU)Israel and the Israel Startup Network.

Presentations and Panel discussions will be focused on “Accessing the state of Technology Entrepreneurship in Nigerian universities with a view of proffering strategies and solutions for Technnovation in Nigeria; Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: The Israeli ''Start Up Nation'' story; The role of government in fostering Technology Entrepreneurship in Nigerian Universities,” among others.

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