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#RevolutionNow: 48 human rights, press freedom organisations worldwide beckon UN and AU Special intervention - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : Forty-eight international and Nigerian human rights and press freedom organisations have filed an urgent appeal to the United ...

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Understanding bitcoin in festive season - ITREALMS

Commentary@ITREALMS:
Bitcoin concept was conceived barely a decade ago, and it remains as one of the most misunderstood yet widely known cryptocurrency. Reluctance to embrace this electronic financial transaction system locally is based on misinformation and controversies whose basis is ignorance about bitcoins. This comfort is not new because the world had to overcome a financial system, which tied gold to the dollar. The festive season comes with a fair share of smiles and economic strain. This is an opportunity to enjoy while managing finances well. Bitcoins not only enable users to create this balance, but it is also an excellent moment to explore inexhaustible options this festive season.

Bitcoin is decentralized and is controlled by its users

One of the most interesting bits about bitcoins is that the digital currency is not controlled by any government or banking system. Transactions can be done over the internet anywhere in the world. The decentralized system gives users the freedom to control their finances. Paxful, (https://bit.ly/2EHx8cM) a global peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, boasts more than 6 million trades in Africa for 2018 and reports that African users are leading on the website’s activity. “Overall Africa is still our fastest growing market and it’s amazing to see despite the challenges that the African people are going through politically and socially, they are still leading the adaption of P2PFinance,” says Ray Youssef, CEO, and Co-founder of Paxful.

You can use bitcoins to buy things that matter

Bitcoin is digital cash that you can use to purchase products both at physical or at online stores. Gift cards account for 64% of Paxful’s trade. You can purchase gift cards and surprise someone with an “Ugly Sweater”. Alternatively, Xbox fanatics can explore the existing products on Microsoft stores by getting discounted gift cards on the platform. Put a smile on someone’s face with bitcoins! There are more than 300 payment methods to buy and sell bitcoins in Paxful. This means users can shop gifts for themselves and their loved ones at their convenience using bitcoins or the money acquired from the trade.

Bitcoin can be used for payment locally and globally


Bitcoin should be treated as an emerging concept in e-commerce. The rationale is to showcase a transparent alternative to the traditional banking systems that have additional fees. According to Paxful COO and Co-Founder, Artur Schaback, “We have a global user base which opens up the opportunity to our users to do business with anyone and anywhere. People buy bitcoin in order to facilitate commerce with it locally or globally. Our job is to make Paxful a platform where users can invest in bitcoin easily and securely wherever they are based.”

Give the gift that keeps on giving

Bitcoin is one of the best things that you can give your family and loved ones this holiday season. The mathematical algorithms on which they were founded should not be used to describe the transactions. Also, terms such as blockchains, mining, bitcoin wallet, (https://bit.ly/2P52Z7X) and cryptocurrency should not scare anyone. A good sign is that financial literacy institutions are taking time to train people and organize workshops that will continue to enlighten the local Mwananchi about bitcoins. From peer-to-peer marketplaces like Paxful to bitcoin exchanges, everyone can enjoy the benefits bitcoins can bring. If researched properly and looked into with enough enthusiasm and open-mindedness, bitcoin can be the perfect gift and currency to send and spend through the festivities.

*Contributed by 
Paxful:

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Monday, December 24, 2018

Intersociety: 'Police is most corrupt agency, rakes N100bn in 40 months using proxy' - ITREALMS

The Onitsha-based frontline research-based rights group, the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety), has described the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as the most corrupt agency of the federal government, even as the commercial vehicles have become their Automated Teller Machines (ATM) via proxy collectors, reports ITREALMS.

The Anambra State-based Intersociety also said in its latest report that men and officers of the Nigeria Police, military and paramilitary formations raked in about N100 billion from roadblocks in the country’s South-East region in only 40 months: August 2015 – December 2018.

A Special Report released on Monday entitled “Welcome To Southeast Region-Nigeria’s Headquarters Of Official Highway Robbery”, signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Anayo Okoli, Chidinma Udegbunam, Esq., Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq. and Chinwe Umeche, Esq, the group declared the police under the watch of outgoing IGP Ibrahim Idris as “the most corrupt security organization in Nigeria with chronically incurable corruption indices.”

According Intersociety, Nigeria’s Southeast Region has become the country’s headquarters of official highway robbery with largest number of security roadblocks in the country.

This special report: welcome to Southeast Region-Nigeria’s headquarters of official highway robbery, is originally contained in Intersociety’s just released special report, titled: Under Buhari & Osinbajo: Many Have Gone & Crippled for Life in Eastern Nigeria; an 82-page research report attached with a 62-page photo album of victims of the military massacre operations; perpetrated between August 2015 and September 2017 or a period of two years.

The report: Southeast as Nigeria’s headquarters of official highway robbery also arises from a sub research done by Intersociety to ascertain the economic costs of the military massacre operations in Eastern Nigeria particularly in the Southeast and the Igbo Delta area of Delta State. The economic costs of the Nigerian military massacre operations in Eastern Nigeria was a sub-research done to ascertain the quantifiable costs of the massacre operations and their negative effects on general economy and its activities in the Region, covering August 2015 to December 2018 or a period of 40 months.

The official highway robbery in Southeast Nigeria is targeted at exposing the rabid corruption going on in the country’s security forces particularly the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army as well as paramilitary formations stationed or drafted to the Southeast Roads and others linking the Region with the rest of the country. The research and its findings not only made mockery of the present central Government’s so called “anti corruption crusade” but also exposed the NPF under outgoing IGP Ibrahim Idris as the most corrupt security organization in Nigeria with chronically incurable corruption indices. Police corruption under the outgoing IGP particularly roadblock, station or custody extortion or bribery is promoted has digitally tripled and risen to an apogee.

The outgoing IGP Idris, who has severally been accused of corruption and abuse of office, is one of the loudest noise makers or paper noise makers against corruption in Nigeria, yet he is still seen my most Nigerians as a vicarious promoter of police corruption in the country. Apart from the outgoing IGP reportedly seeking for an illegal tenure extension from the country’s ruling cabal, having been due for legal retirement on 3rd January 2019; he had probated and reprobated on the issue of “police roadblocks in Nigeria” particularly in the Southeast Region.

Lately on 17th December 2018, he ordered for “immediate removal of all police roadblocks in Nigeria to facilitate free movement or flow of traffic during the Christmas season”. According to the Guardian Newspaper report of 17th December 2018, the IGP’s order was “with immediate effect”. The outgoing IGP also warned the newly recruited 6,000 police constables “against engaging in corruption and denting the image of the Nigeria Police Force, which has maintained a zero corruption stance”. According to Punch newspaper report of 22nd December 2018, titled: no place for corruption, indolence in today’s Nigeria Police, IG warns new officers, the outgoing IGP’s warning was given to the newly recruited 6,000 police constables in Nigeria. He specifically gave the anti corruption “warning” in Ibadan, Oyo State in Southwest Nigeria during the passing out of 285 police constables June 2018 intakes that graduated from the Police Training College, Eleyele, Ibadan in Oyo State.

Contradictorily, Intersociety’s research findings contained in this special report have found the NPF under outgoing IGP Ibrahim Kpotum Idris as Nigeria’s den of official corruption, perpetrated in blue collar patterns. As a matter of fact, the Nigeria Police force is stinking faeces of corruption in the country. Apart from the textual content of this special report, it is also backed with 16 photos and two video clips. The photos were pictured or captured by Intersociety’s field under-covers and other concerned members of the public.

Attached below, with each graphically described, the 16 photos were taken in different locations within Southeast Region including in the cities of Onitsha and Aba with most of them taken in early December 2018. One of the two video clips involves a member of the Mobile Police Force (MPF) caught collecting and pocketing bribe from a commercial motorist on a Southeast Road while the second video involves a young male passenger travelling to Port Harcourt with AGOFERE Motors from the Southeast, shot on his leg and critically wounded by one of the mobile police personnel that mounted a roadblock along Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway in Rivers State.

The passenger was shot following arguments over N50 roadblock extortion. The police officers manning the roadblock including the one that shot and wounded the passenger later converged to take him to hospital. Such is a clear instance of what innocent passengers and commercial motorists and other road users pass through on daily basis in the hands of personnel of the NPF and other security personnel stationed on Southeast Roads. The 16 photos attached below involve police personnel, soldiers and civilian extortionists hired by soldiers; caught in the act or extorting money or collecting bribes from commercial motorists and other road users on Southeast Roads.

The compliance or otherwise of the outgoing IGP’s order for “the removal of all roadblocks across the country” particularly in the Southeast Region and roads linking the Region with the rest of the country was also monitored by Intersociety’s monitoring team and as expected, the IGP’s directive ended up as “a paper directive or order”.

Intersociety’s monitors had crisscrossed several Federal and State roads on Saturday, 22nd December and Sunday, 23rdDecember 2018 and found the IGP’s directive in gross breach. Roads visited included Atani-Ogwuikpere, Onitsha-Owerri and Asaba-Benin Federal Roads as well as Onitsha Niger Bridge end and Upper Iweka/Borrowmeo Roundabout end of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway and couple of State roads. Calls made across Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo States clearly indicated same results or failed compliance with the outgoing IGP’s directive.

At Atani-Ogwuikpere Federal Road and its adjoining Ozubulu Road in Ogbaru, Anambra State, seven police roadblocks were sighted on Saturday, 22nd December 2018. Between Upper Iweka end and Ozubulu end of the Onitsha-Owerri Dual Carriage Way, ten police roadblocks were sighted same date at each of the two lanes making up the Dual Carriage Way. Between Coker Junction in Asaba and the entry point or Asaba end of the Niger Bridge, which is less than one kilometer, five roadblocks (three police roadblocks and two FRSC roadblocks) were sighted.

At each of these roadblocks visited, it is “business as usual”. Vehicles particularly private vehicles were indiscriminately being parked or delayed for several minutes on queue; causing serious gridlock or long traffic jams, before being impounded for silly reasons such as “checking vehicle papers”. Between Asaba Coker Junction and the entry point of the Niger Bridge in Delta State, the personnel of the Nigeria Police and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) were busy parking vehicles and collecting bribes, causing queue leading to blockage of the Onitsha Premier Brewery and Niger Bridgehead axis of the Onitsha-Enugu Dual Carriage Way particularly the lane leading into Asaba.

Each of the commercial vehicles in the named area is instantly forced by police personnel to part with N50 or N100 notes while private vehicles are indiscriminately parked and impounded for “incomplete vehicle papers or particulars”. For personnel of the FRSC, theirs include collection from each of the commercial vehicle drivers, using hired civilians, of N200 to N500 notes, as case may be, for “overload“. The personnel of the FRSC also impound and book private vehicles with reckless abandon, for “traffic offenses” or not having “complete traffic toolkits” or having “faulty break and trafficator light or signs”.

*Ozo Nweke Ozo in Onitsha with additional report from News Express

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Christmas: Asiwaju urges Nigerians to rise above differences - ITREALMS

The national stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said though there are things upon which Nigerians can disagree and differ, but they must rise over these differences and treat one another with kindness and decency, reports ITREALMS.

This is contained in a Christmas message to Nigerians he personally signed and released on Monday in Lagos.

The former Lagos governor said: "There will always be things upon which we will disagree and differ. Such is the way of life. But we must always transcend these inevitable differences to treat one another with fundamental kindness and decency. This is the real spirit of Christmas and this must be the spirit of the Nigeria we seek to build".
The message reads: "May each and every Nigerian enjoy a Merry Christmas. May you share good tidings with family and friends on this day of peace and joy.
"As we gather in our homes to celebrate the day, let us take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of the season. Jesus Christ came into the world not that we may use his birthday as an excuse for festivities. He came into this world to teach us how to show us the best aspects of our common humanity and to point the way to spiritual salvation.
"He is known as the prince of peace but he came into the world not cloaked in temporal power or visible wealth. He came dressed in humility and in compassion for those whom society has tossed aside. Let us remember these things as we eat and drink on this day. Let us, on this day, resolve to help our fellow man a bit more than we have in the past.
"It is easy to be good to family and friends. However, we must do better than this. We must strive to be kind and generous even when hard to do so. We must exercise tolerance regarding those who even oppose us and must douse hatred and conflict where we find it.
"As a Muslim, I understand that Jesus knew the road to our better existence and that his life was dedicated so that we may walk this path as well. Whether or not one is a practicing Christian or not, Jesus holds something value for us. His teachings are of a most ethical and humanitarian existence. To follow them will make of each of us a better person and to make of Nigeria a better nation.
"We are a young and growing nation. We are still shaping our national identity and political culture. It would be easy for us to descend into the way of endless squabbling and mindless conflict, to seek power solely for the sake of holding power. But this is not how we build our nation. We must strive to serve the greater purpose. Whether Christian or Muslim, we must recognize each other as part of the same human family and must act as brothers not antagonists.
"There will always be things upon which we will disagree and differ. Such is the way of life. But we must always transcend these inevitable differences to treat one another with fundamental kindness and decency. This is the real spirit of Christmas and this must be the spirit of the Nigeria we seek to build.
"We extend to all Nigerians of all stripes our wishes for a peaceful and happy Christmas. May we join hands and make of this Nigeria a better land for all. May God continue to bless you and this home we call Nigeria".

Editor/GEE

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NIRA unveils new COO, marches ahead of 150,000 domains – ITREALMS

The new Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mrs. Eyitayo Iyortim has been unveiled with the latest administrative changes in the secretariat of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), just as it marches beyond 150,000 domains, reports ITREALMS.

Disclosing this recently, NIRA President, Rev’d Sunday Folayan informed ITREALMS that Mrs. Eyitayo Iyortim has assume the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) of NIRA with effect from 1st December 2018.

She comes from a rich Information Technology background with a keen eye on Project Management and Operational Excellence.

“We are delighted to attract such a talent as Eyitayo to NIRA, and look forward to her contributing positively as a member of the NIRA Family,” he said.

Folayan noted that in the last four years, Mrs. Edith Udeagu, the elsewhile COO, has brought a lot of stability to the NIRA Secretariat, as the Head of the Secretariat.

He also used the opportunity to revealed that with effect from 1st December 2018, Edith has assumed the role of the Executive Secretary to the Board of NIRA, and the Head of the Secretariat.

“The Board of NIRA is delighted with these advances, as it further solidifies NIRA’s footprint and positions the organization for growth and the needed resilience to make the registry a force to reckon with,” he said.

ITREALMS further gathered that currently with over 66 Registrars and NIRA steady march to 150,000 domains in the registry, needs to ensure operational excellence.

“… And a robust operation is very important at this point in time, serving its stakeholders and helping to deepen the utilization of the Nigerian identity - .ng,” Folayan emphasized.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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How Tony Ojobo, Ike Nnamani, others join BoT @African ICT Foundation - ITREALMS

A new Board of Trustee (BoT) has been emerged at the African ICT Foundation with the former Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo as the President, reports ITREALMS.

Also, ITREALMS gathered that in the BoT is the multiple award-winner and winner of the 2018 Canadian Excellence CEO, Engineer Ikechukwu Nnamani, who presides over Medallion Communications Limited, as its President/ CEO.

African ICT Foundation, ITREALMS reports is an independent non-profit, non-partisan organisation whose mission is to formulate, evaluate, and promote policies that accelerate innovation and boost productivity in Africa’s ICT/Telecoms industry.

Ojobo who has spent close to 30 years of his public service career in the industry starting from the defunct NITEL is bringing his wealth of experience to rejig the Foundation and put it on its next growth stage that is expected to spur growth, opportunity, and progress in Africa’s ICT/Telecoms industry.

The ex-NCC image maker, who is now the Chairman of Kulturekode Hub has demonstrated a long history of working in the telecommunications industry,

skilled in negotiation, business development, strategic planning, strategy, and public speaking and strong media and communication professional who has transverse a wide spectrum of the global ICT/Telecom landscape.

Ojobo, a Certified Regulation Specialist, Utility Regulations/ Telecom Regulations of the Institute of Public Private Partnership, Washington, DC, USA in his acceptance noted said “feel honoured to have been nominated for this assignment. The ICT ecosystem in Africa is in a state of emergency and all hands must be on deck to leverage technology for the advancement of our economies.”

Appointed alongside Ojobo, is the Franco-Cameroonian Founder of GTS Network, Dr. Ing Pierre-Fran├žois Kamanou, who has pioneered the development of GSM networks in the last 10 years as well as the development of mobile VAS solutions. Kamanou will serve as First Vice President/Regional Director for the Francophones Countries.

He called for regulators of the ICT and Digital sector in African countries, for the urgent establishment of a framework favourable to the introduction of a new type of local OTT Operator called MSPs, 20 years after the entry of ISPs and MNOs.

Robotic engineer, tech entrepreneur, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sens Orbit Nigeria and Soft Digital from the Republic of Benin, Ms. Racheal Orumor will join the Foundation as the 2nd Vice President/Country Director for the Republic of Benin.

In her letter of acceptance to serve on the BOT, she noted: “It is vital that we strive to promote scalable tech solutions. We cannot scale without having tech policies and recommendations by Africans and for the African continent.”

She added: “We need to take advantage of our exposure to recent technologies by creating policies which foster technology access to all Africans, saying that “As a young woman with quite a number of experiences on technological penetration and its use in African countries, I am convinced that my contributions will be valuable for future policies and recommendations.”

She said that she positive about the mission of Africa ICT foundation which is to "make information and communication technology more affordable and reachable for Africans."

Announcing the new Board of Trustees for the Foundation in Lagos, out-going BoT President, Dr. Samuel I. Ikiddeh said the BoT, which will managed the Foundation through committee said the BoT has some of its best in ICT/Telecoms in Africa to rejig the Foundation for the growth of ICT/Telecoms industry in Africa.

He said that Senator Iyere Ihenyen an entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology enthusiasts who advises on information technology (IT) and intellectual property (IP) will serve as the Secretary General of the Foundation saying that in 2016, Senator Ihenyen completed a comprehensive data note on data protection and policy in Nigeria, available in over 100 countries.

Also in the BoT is the multiple award-winner, and winner of the 2018 Canadian Excellence CEO, Engineer Ikechukwu Nnamani, President/ CEO Medallion Communications Limited, Nigeria’s most vibrant interconnect who in his acceptance letter promised to use his wealth of experience for speedy development in the African sub-sector of ICT/Telecoms, describing the appointment as a noble assignment.

Dr. Anthony Nwosu, an ICT business consultant, CEO Astongate Consult who has a strong passion for the development of the ICT sector in Nigeria and has played key roles in ICT service delivery and advocacy in Nigeria was also appointed into the BoT.

Nwosu has served ATCON in several capacities, and currently holds the position of 1st Vice President.

Also in the new BoT is the Oludare Omoniyi Akinbo, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Tishri InfoTech Ltd, a Cloud Technology Expert and Google Apps Partner, Como Mobile, ZipCloud and IX Web hosting Reseller.

Professor Effong Johnson, a multi-talented writer, director, actor, poet, critic and scholar is a theatre and media teacher of 17 years and Adebunmi Adeola Akinbo, a former board member of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) are part of the team that will drive the foundation to a new height for the good of Africans.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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ITU goes to Egypt for Financial Inclusion @2nd symposium - ITREALMS

Over 1.7 billion adults are reportedly still without access to a bank account, but among them, 1.1 billion have a mobile phone, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), reports ITREALMS.

This event, 
ITREALMS gathered, promised that innovation will expand financial inclusion as the focus at the second symposium of the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI) in Cairo, Egypt, 22-24 January 2019.

Egypt is one of three ‘model’ developing countries, alongside China and Mexico, receiving technical assistance from the FIGI community in the introduction of policy reforms to stimulate digital financial inclusion.

The FIGI Symposium 2019 will share lessons learnt from China, Egypt and Mexico in the promotion of electronic payments, efforts to capitalize on Fintech innovation, and the harmonization of ICT and finance regulation.

The 2nd FIGI Symposium tends to bring thought leaders together to advance digital banking access for the world's millions of unbanked.

Slated for Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski Hotel, First Settlement, Ring Road, 11477 Cairo, Egypt, the event will be hosted by the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Egypt.

“Identify and review the latest innovations in digital financial services and related policy and regulatory reform, sharing knowledge and expertise to expand financial inclusion,” a press statement from ITU informed.

Expectation, ITU said is high as leading policy-makers, ICT regulators, central banks, mobile network operators, payment system organizations, standards bodies, international organizations and the Fintech community.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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World Bank, UNESCO join forces to enhance right to access - ITREALMS

The World Bank and UNESCO have joined forces for enhancement of the right of access to information by victims of the armed conflict in Colombia, reports ITREALMS.

A promising joint endeavor by UNESCO and World Bank is underway in Colombia to foster more effective access to information on victims’ rights through the capacity building of key pilot stakeholders responsible for managing related communications.

After almost 50 years of internal armed conflict in the country, currently, over 8.5 million people have been recognized by the State as victims. With unprecedented progress having been made in recent years in the peace process, the development and implementation of effective transitional justice programs and policies is critical to building peace in Colombia.

Government outreach programs and efforts by civil society organizations to raise awareness of victims’ rights and their exercise have a critical role to play in informing citizens about the programs and benefits for which they may be eligible, how to access them, and the ways in which these can participate in the creation and monitoring of related public policies. 

However, recent research has shown that many of the municipalities in regions most affected by the conflict lack media producing local news and that efforts to provide victims with access to information about their rights are not always having their intended impact due to challenges associated with coverage, understanding of the communicated information, and continuity in follow-up.


In response to this complex scenario, the World Bank and UNESCO, through funding provided by the World Bank’s Nordic Trust Fund, are working with the Government of Colombia and civil society organizations to develop a series of activities to strengthen their capacity to communicate to victims about their rights.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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10 top secrets in ICT4D Research - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
ICTD/ICT4D research is diverse and complex. It brings together researchers and participants who come from very different contexts, who have very different life experiences, very different knowledges, who face very different life challenges, and together they explore technologies that are rapidly evolving and are profoundly affecting social, political and economic relationships.
ICTD/ICT4D researchers, individually and collectively, place themselves in positions where their actions can have intended and unintended consequences and therefore they carry responsibility.
Most ICTD/ICT4D researchers seek to behave ethically, but the complex interdisciplinary nature of the field, and its distinctive characteristics, including the emergent nature of technology, make it difficult for both new and experienced researchers to identify and reason about the ethical issues that surround their work. Individual researchers will refer to ethical guidance and debates within their own discipline.
However, none of the contributing disciplines in ICTD/ICT4D, on their own, is likely to provide ethical guidance that covers all of the diverse challenges of ICTD/ICT4D research. It is therefore important for the interdisciplinary ICTD/ICT4D research community to encourage debate of ethical principles and to promote good practice.
Our approach has been to conduct a participatory process and collectively develop and record some minimum ethical standards and guidelines. This process started by synthesising key points from existing guidance that is available in the multiple disciplines and organisations that are relevant to ICTD/ICT4D and has been enriched by the experiences and input from participants in the process.
In some areas, in particular big data research, technologies are evolving rapidly and ethical debates are currently ongoing, highly dynamic and have not yet crystallized in fixed guidelines. We recommend that future versions of this document integrate such guidelines as they emerge. In the meantime we strongly encourage researchers using such technologies and research methodologies to engage with these live debates.
While the document is designed to evolve in future versions, this version of Minimum ethical standards for ICTD/ICT4D research – Version 2.0, has been developed through a rigorous co-production process and is now available for use. These guidelines will be useful to researchers, practitioners, publishers and ethical oversight bodies reasoning about ethical issues in ICTD/ICT4D research, and as a resource for teaching and preparing for research.
The guidelines below have been collaboratively developed through a series of workshops with ICTD/ICT4D researchers across the world. We recommend that key organisations in ICTD/ICT4D research, such as conference series, academic journals, and research networks commit to these minimum standards.
We hope that this process and this document will provide a focus for debate on research ethics in ICTD/ICT4D, and that this document will be reviewed periodically to reflect new understandings that emerge and to address new challenges that arise in the future.

1. Basic Principles

In keeping with many research disciplines, ICTD/ICT4D researchers in the interdisciplinary field of ICTD/ICT4D begin with basic principles such as:
  • to do no harm;
  • to act with honesty and integrity in dealing with research participants;
  • to report findings openly and accurately, this includes in particular (where feasible and appropriate) to report findings back to the participants and communities who have engaged in the work, in a form and in language that is useful and accessible for the participants and partners involved;
  • to act with fairness and without discrimination so that no individuals or groups of people are unfairly excluded from participation in research or from deriving the benefits of research;
  • to show respect for all entities (persons and communities, as appropriate) involved, recognising their inherent dignity and not simply seeing them as means who can be exploited to achieve the researchers’ ends;
  • to show sensitivity to the diversity of cultures, values and experiences; and
  • to respect our shared global natural
Realising these principles in the complex, dynamic practice of ICTD/ICT4D research demands:
  • ways of working that take into account and are adapted to the varied contexts in which ICTD/ICT4D research occurs;
  • an approach that is attentive to changing conditions and circumstances;
  • a commitment to ongoing critical reflection on and reflexivity about the researcher’s own plans, decisions and actions;
  • an openness to feedback from participants and fellow researchers, including the willingness to change one’s own
ICTD/ICT4D researchers should recognise that we do not have any automatic moral or legal right to study other people.
Finally, we emphasise that this document is intended as a discussion of minimum standards. ICTD/ICT4D researchers may set higher aspirations for themselves, e.g. to conduct research that promotes, even more actively, inclusion, growth, freedom, justice, equality, peace, well-being etc., informed by their own understandings of ‘development’.

2. Positionality

Before embarking on research, ICTD/ICTD researchers should reflect on their own position as compared to the people they write about or work with. Typical axes of difference might include age, gender/gender identity, ethnicity, nationality, disability, marital status, having children/not, sexual orientation, education, income, wealth, social class, faith/religion, cultural beliefs and practices.
These differences can lead to misunderstandings and misrepresentations. Some of these differences also imply power differentials which will have to be navigated actively throughout the research process.
Power differentials in favour of the researcher must never consciously be used as a lever to persuade or coerce research participants to participate in all or parts of the research or to affect the data.

3. Cultural Awareness and Contextuality

ICTD/ICT4D researchers often have a very different cultural and social background to the people who collaborate with them as research partners and research participants.
ICTD/ICT4D researchers should be aware that the consequences of decisions and actions are highly sensitive to different contexts. Researchers themselves may be perceived as important and influential actors so that their words, choices and actions may have significant impacts including being seen to reinforce or challenge local social norms or power structures. Therefore, researchers must constantly develop their understanding and awareness of their working context, and pay attention to advice and guidance from local collaborators and people with experience of that context.
It is possible that there will be laws, social norms, cultural values and practices in the local context and differences amongst partners that may be contrary to the personal values of the researcher. ICTD/ICT4D researchers should consider this possibility in planning their research and seek to recognise such tensions during the research process. Compromises are likely. Researchers should reflect frequently, seeking advice from research partners, peers and advisors as appropriate.

4. Appropriate Research Methods

ICTD/ICT4D researchers must select appropriate research methods. This entails an assessment not only of the appropriate methods for the research questions but also the local context and what is culturally acceptable to participants and other local stakeholders. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain sufficient training for the methods they are planning to use, including training in the ethical expectations relating to specific research methods. For instance, informal conversations are not interviews, short visits do not represent ethnographic fieldwork.
Research methodologies and methods used must be open for full discussion and review by peers and stakeholders.

5. Reciprocity and Partnerships

ICTD/ICT4D Researchers should maintain respectful and professional partnerships with other researchers and with other stakeholders. Researchers should actively seek reciprocity and consider how they can give back to the communities and the organisations with which they do research. ICTD/ICT4D research should seek to generate benefits for the participants themselves, for other individuals and for society as a whole, and/or for the advancement of knowledge.
ICTD/ICT4D research is undertaken in a global context characterised by extreme inequalities between countries and within societies in the opportunities to and means for undertaking research. ICT4D researchers who are benefitting from privileges and power within this system should seek at the very least to avoid reinforcing them.
ICT4D researchers should seek exchanges and partnerships with local and national research institutions and academic colleagues in the areas and countries where the research is undertaken. ICTD/ICT4D researchers should seek to strengthen local capacities in research, in ICT and in ethical oversight. Joint research partnerships should then lead to joint publications in local as well as international outlets, including in the local language. The publication pressures of Northern researchers should not be the only, or the dominant criterion in developing an appropriate portfolio of research outputs for a project.
ICTD/ICT4D researchers should not waste resources and should consider the environmental cost of research, as well as the time, energy, motivation and hope invested by research participants and partners into the research project. Where local participants are asked to contribute their time to the research without direct benefit arising to them, it is often appropriate to compensate them for their time.
It is the researcher’s responsibility to explore whether compensation is locally appropriate, and if so at what rate and in what form compensation should be provided. For example, e.g. whether compensation ought to be individual or collective (e.g. a donation to a community organisation), whether it should be financial, material or in kind.
It is the duty of ICT4D researchers to familiarise themselves with the legal rights of respondents and the legal requirements of institutions of the host country to the data and the research outputs. Wherever possible, ICTD/ICT4D researchers should seek to use expertise, research assistance and technical services in the host country and local communities where the work is conducted.

6. Honesty and Realism

There is no such thing as an ideal research process. Constraining factors include timelines, funding, capacity, access etc.
ICTD/ICT4D researchers should be open and honest regarding their work and its limitations. Expectations about the outcomes and possible impact of the research should be as accurate as possible. The expectations of participants should not be raised unrealistically. Under no circumstances should unrealistic promises be used as a device to gain research access and cooperation.

7. Links to Companies, Organisations, Consultancy or Government

ICTD/ICT4D researchers should avoid working in isolation or duplicating existing work. Wherever possible, they should avoid stand-alone, time-limited projects and instead seek to align work to existing projects, local organisations’ work, national programmes and priorities. They should engage with other actors in exchanging ideas, building on each other’s work and maximising the potential for scaling up. The desire for scale should be balanced with the need for context- and group specific solutions.
Research partnerships with organisations and communities should involve pre-emptive, open, constant and explicit negotiation about access, data ownership, and the benefits of the research.
Written agreements (such as a Memoranda of Understanding) are appropriate to identify clearly the agreed roles, responsibilities, rights and benefits of different stakeholders. When negotiating partnerships with communities, ICTD/ICT4D researchers need to show respect for the representative role of local leaders and appropriate authorities, while developing an awareness of which groups (such as women, lower caste, minorities, financially excluded, or other marginalised groups) might not be represented by the traditional leadership.
Further, researchers must recognise that local communities may have more collectivist social norms that deserve respect but should be balanced with the respect for the individual rights of less powerful people in these collectives.
Careful consideration should be given to engaging in research with, or funded by, certain institutions and agencies, such as the military, secret or intelligence services, or organisations, companies and governments that have poor human rights records. Reasons for caution include the risk of research results being used against certain members or groups in society, unintended use of data for surveillance purposes, and the possibility that the researcher will be co-opted or be seen to legitimise these actors.
Where research is funded by public bodies, the results of this research should be placed in the public domain for public use, while protecting the identities and interests of research participants.

8. Gifts, Bribes, Corruption, Conflict of Interest

ICTD/ICT4D researchers should not be involved in the paying of bribes or in corruption in relation to their research. Researchers may give and/or receive small gifts to research partners or participants where this is culturally appropriate or expected.
ICTD/ICT4D researchers should not accept funding for their research which may lead to a conflict of interest in respect of their findings. They must openly declare, and where possible avoid, any potential conflicts of interest.
Where paid consultancy work overlaps with research activities, ICTD/ICT4D researchers should not allow the consultancy relationship to lead them to adopt an unduly narrow research approach or to have an impact on data collection, interpretation or presentation of findings. Consultants should resist pressure to shape the content of their findings or recommendations to fit the expectations of their funder.
In particular, ICT4D research that advertises or imposes commercial technical products, solutions and services which do not correspond to local needs or priorities bring the field of ICTD/ICT4D into disrepute.
All funding received for research should be clearly and fully declared in all public outputs.

9. Action Research and Authentic Participation

ICTD/ICT4D research should be carried out with the intention to benefit society or the environment. Some research will achieve this by generating new more abstract knowledge while other forms will entail action research which aims to co-produce knowledge and social change with groups or communities.
In action research, the needs and interests of research participants must be at the heart of an intervention. Wherever possible, interventions and technologies should be designed with end users. Relevant user groups and stakeholders should be included in the planning, development, design, implementation, monitoring and assessment of interventions.
ICTD/ICT4D researchers should strive to ensure that interventions and projects are sensitive to the needs of less well-represented and the most marginalised groups, which include women, children, those less literate, those with disabilities, minorities and those affected by conflict and disaster.
ICTD/ICT4D researchers should use participatory methodologies only where there is real scope for meaningful participation. Participation as a mere performance of community input to decisions that
are pre-decided or which are non-essential (i.e. ”fake participation”) is worse than no participation at all. Fake participation wastes participants’ time, sullies the name of participation and increases cynicism, which in turn undermines future dialogue and participatory practice by other researchers.
In action research in particular, ICTD/ICT4D researchers should be aware of power differentials which may affect access to the research process and affect (mis-)representation. ICTD/ICT4D researchers should reflect on the costs and consequences of research participation for all participants and seek to alleviate potential disadvantages of, and overcome barriers to, participation for any individual or group.
Any interventionist approach carries with it the responsibility of a thought-through exit at the end of the project. Before embarking on interventions, ICTD/ICT4D researchers should consider how any interventions and benefits might be sustained after the researcher leaves the research setting, and should work and negotiate with local partners to maximise the potential for sustained benefit.

10. Findings, Reporting and Dissemination

The results of ICTD/ICT4D research should be returned to the participants and communities who have engaged in the work in a form and in languages that are useful and accessible for the participants and partners involved.
ICTD/ICT4D researchers should give appropriate acknowledgement (and compensation) to research participants, co-researchers and contributors to the research. Such acknowledgement may include co- authorship of outputs and co-ownership of research products. ICTD/ICT4D researchers are obliged to give proper credit to employees, students and research collaborators for their ideas, and senior researchers should support the professional development of junior researchers. ICTD/ICT4D researchers should give appropriate acknowledgement to previous work that has informed or influenced the research.
ICTD/ICT4D researchers should recognise outcomes of research for participants and communities as being at least as important as formal research outputs from the research team. In some situations it may be appropriate to limit dissemination of results and findings to protect the interests of research participants.
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Yuletide induced transportation hike: Neither operators fault nor key players blame?

Commentary@ITREALMS:
Recently the social media have been inundated with reports on arbitrary increase on transportation cost especially to the Eastern bound passengers among others. 

After a careful but thought provoking insights into the foregoing,  I submit as follows. 

Firstly,  the hike in transport fare over the years have no ethnic coloration nor religion affiliation. Atimes the key players have attributed it to scarcity of petroleum products during the yuletide as witnessed in the recent past. 

Secondly,  a simple Economic laws of demand states that demands and supply are the forces that determine the market price of every goods and services. High demand Lowers supply thus increasing price. High supply saturates demand and lowers price by reducing interest on such services. 

Incidentally, on my way to church today,  I parked by a road side Vulcaniser to gauge my tires,  the guy told me each of such services per tire costs #200 against  usual  #100. I asked why,  he said it is the same everywhere.  But I only patronised him because I was already late and thus the inelastic nature of my demand.

Equally, Nigeria is practicing A Mixed Economy dominated by Capitalism with little or near government absence in service industries.  While the key industry players are profit minded at all cost across service and commodity sectors,  Govt absence as close substitute or alternative providers worsen the situation. 

More so, every festive seasons across the world where capitalism is in full swing,  there is always marginal price increase in services and commodities. Nigeria Barka De Sallah and Eidel Fitri witness the high cost of Ram,  goats cows and even transportation cost to or from northern states. The same applies to Christmas,  and Easter with transportation hike and bags of rice,  chicken to say the least. 

Additionally,  the list is exhaustive. If fuel has increased in pumb price,  the rates would have doubled by half on what one may pay. 
Therefore,  the government should where urgently come in where necessary to provide close substitute or competitive alternatives.  Nigeria Airways if in Place could checkmate private airline tickets hike,  Local and state govt owned mass transits can checkmate bus owners greed based on demands And host of others. 

Finally,  proper planning remains the key.  if I am to travel within or outside the country for any vacation or yuletide induced travel,  I should plan very early.  If a lot of is spent in celebrating an annual and fixed events to the detriment of other needs,  it is then purely a profit margin to the operators over the stupidity of the  customers who have failed to plan. 
Conclusively,  yuletide induced travel and other commodity prices are both religious nor tribal but purely by forces of demand and supply. 

*Nwankwor Chukwudi, chukwudinwankwor@gmail.com

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Friday, December 21, 2018

APA candidate accuses Ajimobi of paralyzing Oyo tourism - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:
The Oyo State Governorship Candidate of the African Peoples Alliance (APA), Deacon Tolulope Adedoyin,  has indicted the outgoing governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi of turning the Oyo State Cultural Centre which is also the arts house of the people in the state to beer joint and sex spot, reports ITREALMS.

This was contained in a press statement issued and signed by the governorship candidate of the African Peoples Alliance Party, Deacon Tolulope Adedoyin, after the party’s brief meeting at their party secretariat in Ibadan yesterday.

According to APA governorship candidate, “A cultural center is an organization, building or complex that promotes culture and arts. Not the one that encourages selling of beers and an avenue for prostitutes to meet and market their bodies. It should be made available to arts veterans and associations like GOND, ANTP, TAMPAN, NANTAP, SNA, ANA to mention but few of them who have been denied access innumerable times for rehearsals and meetings related to arts programmes. Cultural Centre should be where arts works are sold and crafted not where prostitutes and drunkards fellowships”

Adedoyin however promised to give full attention to the following tourists’ attraction sites after he has been elected governor of the state. The sites are Ado-Awaye Suspended Lake, Ido Cenotaph, Iya-nla Hill at Tede- Atisbo LGA, Oke-Ogun National Park, Bowers Tower, Cultural Centre to mention but few.

Ayo Midele/GEE

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Isabel dos Santos: Economic empowerment of African women - ITREALMS

At a United Nations debate in New York, Isabel dos Santos, who is currently the richest woman in Africa, spoke of the economic empowerment of African women as a key to transforming society. This and many of her other hopeful and encouraging messages have inspired many citizens in African countries, mainly young women, to pursue their ambitions in business.

Dos Santos believes that some of the most promising and successful businesspeople in the world have been African because of the continent’s entrepreneurial spirit. This spirit, however, has been weighed down by the stigmatization of women in the workplace. This has robbed the economy of valuable innovators and has barred women from achieving their ambitions. But by ensuring that young women can access the same education, job opportunities, and potential for growth as men, dos Santos believes that she can change this attitude and instill a national confidence in women.

This type of thinking falls in line with her more general philosophy of reform: “First the seed, then the future.” This dictum seems to urge against immediate change and, instead, encourages slow and steady growth. The seeds that Isabel dos Santos thinks ought to be planted are also tied up in the economic freedom of women – by creating jobs, providing training, and breaking sexist stigmas, she believes that women can experience increased financial stability while giving their home countries more influence in the international economy.

Dos Santos’ Vision of an Entrepreneurial Africa

Isabel Dos Santos (https://bit.ly/2POZHGd) has spent a lot of time planting these seeds in Africa, focusing her efforts in her home country of Angola where she meets with young people and speaks with them about the power of entrepreneurship. Sometimes, she visits them in small, personable rooms at universities and other institutions, other times in much larger ones during her speeches and debates. Most tellingly, she refers to famous African entrepreneurs as a “great family” and invites everyone with the motivation to work hard and come join them.

She often encourages young women to leverage the world’s increased reliance on technology and artificial intelligence, which she refers to as “digitalization”. She believes working toward innovations in technology is key to increasing Africa’s presence in the international economy while flooding the continent with unique employment opportunities. With just a computer and internet connection, unemployed or underpaid citizens can find more work, sometimes with the higher wages that are more commonplace in developed countries, to support their families and stimulate their local economies.

During a conversation with students at the University of Warwick interested in developing Africa, dos Santos tells a young woman who is eager to accomplish her ambitions “now” that she has to be patient and have not just a goal but a string of subgoals to reach it. She goes on to encourages the student to involve herself as deeply as she can in the decision processes that influence that goal, and also to understand that sometimes it’s important to just focus on school, other times on a career or starting a business. This type of advice for strategic hesitance can be found in many of her speeches.

Isabel dos Santos is the daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Angola’s long-time former president. Much of her wealth came from her investments and her previous position as the chairwoman of an oil company owned by the state called Sonangol. Dos Santos considers herself an independent businesswoman (https://bit.ly/2rLNGrp) and investor and has become Africa’s first females billionaire. Forbes ranks her as the 9thwealthiest billionaire in Africa for 2018.

A Beacon of Hope in a Male-Dominated Market

For young businesswomen in various African countries, her success story has been a beacon of hope. But dos Santos has told various reporters that her rise to riches was marred by the sexism she had to endure in a male-dominated African business world. She has no shortage of stories concerning prejudice and discrimination based on her gender, such as during business meetings where the people she’s negotiating with would look to her male assistant, advisor, or lawyer for validation though she already stated her offer. She is also frequently asked what business her husband is in when her wealth is made clear.

Despite her tribulations in the business world (https://on.ft.com/2EvASNr), Isabel dos Santos has maintained a charitable and hopeful perspective on life and takes on many projects geared toward improving small communities and local economies. One of these projects was in Humpata, in the province of Huila, where dos Santos helped establish a strawberry field, “planting the seed” to empower citizens. This project gave 120 women a place to work and a new income. On her website, dos Santos says:

“Creating opportunities and employment for women means betting on the progress of the communities themselves. When they thrive, women invest their income in the family, health, and education. I value this as a sense of duty, commitment, and dedication. The impact that women create around them is powerful and transformative.”

She calls on other African entrepreneurs to give back to their countries by investing in similar projects. Though they seem small-scale, she believes that with enough support, this type of philanthropic work can create a value chain large enough to impact the national economy. As a result, smaller communities will have more prosperous citizens and influence. Should those new entrepreneurs be African women, then dos Santos hopes that their success will help chip away at the stigma that women are less competent than men.

This is all part of one of Isabel dos Santos’ larger goals to increase the prosperity of African countries as a whole. She plans to accomplish this by working from the ground up, focusing on the individual, such as the promising young men and woman of various African countries. By empowering them, she is, in turn, empowering their communities. This creates value within towns that have historically not had the chance to prosper, and by strengthening local economies, the national economy itself is bolstered.

“This is the true transformation of a country,” she says. It starts with a little hope and promise, with planting the “seeds”, and then, through the hard work of a community’s individuals, a brighter future can be earned.”



*Contributed by Haley Thompson




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Civil society groups endorse Sanwo-Olu for 2019 - ITREALMS

Some civil society groups in Lagos State have endorsed the gubernatorial aspiration of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for the 2019 governorship election in the centre of excellence, reports ITREALMS.

Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Humanity Services Project (HSP), Centre for 21st Century Issues (C2CI), United Action for Democracy (UAD) and Free Bond Labour Services (FBLS) were amongst the seventy (70) groups that gave their commitment to support Sanwo-Olu for victory in the coming election.

The groups said their decision to endorse the APC candidate was premised on the outcome of the integrity test conducted on all the gubernatorial candidates in the State, in which Sanwo-Olu trounced other contenders in all the parameters used by the organisations.

The leader of the groups, Comrade Rasaq Olokoba, speaking at an interactive session with Sanwo-Olu on Thursday, stated that the candidate symbolized the progressive thinking and yearnings of the generality of the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Lagos State. He added that Lagos State was clearly on another journey of social justice, welfarism and good governance.

"There is a resolve that Lagos State will never fall in the hands of reactionary leaders. What we have witnessed is successive progressive government in this State. So we are very delighted that a great leader like Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is the candidate of the APC. We know his contributions to progressive movement and the less privileged of the society, who are the major interests of all of us here. We want a government that will listen to and answer the cries of the people with little or no voice in the society.

"So we are very convinced that Sanwo-Olu is the answer. He has overwhelmingly surpassed other candidates in our integrity test. That's the reason we are openly endorsing him and giving our commitment to his victory in the coming election. Lagos State is certainly on another glorious journey of welfarism and good governance, " Olokoba said.

On her part, the Director, Centre for 21st Century Issues, Ms. Titilope Akosa, said it was important for Lagos State to continue to lead on all development fronts, adding that he was certain Sanwo-Olu was up to the task of taking Lagos to greater heights.

She, therefore, added that the candidate should work towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and renewing the government's engagement with the civil society community if elected.

"Lagos state must take leadership on the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the state must renew its partnership with the civil society community to help speedy achievement of many of its goals. So we humbly ask that, when you are elected, you will prioritise these areas which include improvement of the education system in the State and the empowerment of our women.

"The gender equality and opportunity bill has been lying idle all this while. We do hope that when you are elected you will help to give the necessary support and boost for this progressive proposal. Lagos State must continue to show an outlook of a 21st century state in all forms. A state that will give adequate support to the women, children and the needy in the society. We believe in you and we hope that you will perform beyond expectation", she said.

The governorship candidate, while acknowledging the presence and support of the various organisations, stated that the civil society groups were important stakeholders.

He said they were the eyes and ears of the vulnerable people in the society, adding that they were also the watchdog consistently putting government on its toes to perform optimally.

"I want to assure you that you've found a partner in me. I value your role in building a better society. That's why we are committed to opening access to government to achieve our dream of greater Lagos.

"I commend you all because not many people have the strength to get on this noble but demanding path you have chosen. With this partnership, I'm absolutely certain that we will reach the Lagos of our dreams sooner than envisaged", he said.

Ayo Midele/GEE

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Exclusive: VAS operators may be decommissioned over fraud – ITREALMS

Telecommunications regulator in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is tinkering on decommissioning some Value Added Service (VAS) Providers in the country, reports ITREALMS.

This follows the recent NCC investigations which showed that most of the VAS providers are conniving with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to defraud unsuspecting telecom consumers.

ITREALMS investigations revealed that VAS Operators in the country cut across Value Added Services (VAS) include Call Centre services (CCS), Call Directory Services (CDS), Content Services Using Shortcodes (SNC), Prepaid Calling Services (PPC) and Special Number Services (SNS), with membership largely drawn from the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

NCC in a official communications available to ITREALMS of intention to sanction some of the VAS operators depending on the magnitude of their involvement which is under review at Maitama-Abuja office of the regulator.

ITREALMS gathered that the sanctions could be suspension or outright decommission in the overall interests of telecom consumers.

“We wish to use this opportunity to inform the general public that the Commission may suspend or outrightly decommission some VAS platforms and services in the overall interests of consumers.

“We assure consumers that these measures will be implemented with minimal inconvenience to them, and trust that we can count on the understanding of consumers who may be affected by these measures,” official statement from NCC said in part.

Further, the Commission assured all stakeholders of continuous use of all available resources to protect the rights of consumers of telecoms services and to ensure that they get appropriate value for their interactions with service and platform providers.

Currently, ITREALMS confirms that Nigeria has some 368 VAS operators as at the time of filing this report.


These, ITREALMS also gathered comprised of Call Centre Services (CCS) - 16; Call Directory Services (CDS) -6; Content Services Using Shortcodes (SNC) - 336; Prepaid Calling Services (PPC) - 1; and Special Number Services (SNS) - 9.

Remmy Nweke/ ED, Ops

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Konga