Sunday, July 31, 2011

An open-source for Young Nigerians and Africans

What is Open Source?
What does open-source mean? For the context of this discourse, I will define an open-source as that platform that allows easy re-distribution, access and collaboration without cost. Oh well! In a nutshell, free sharing of information! :) A software developer or technology enthusiast might define it differently. But we are philosophizing here... :)

As the Internet become more and more popular among Nigerian and African youth, more people are becoming very proactive in creating websites where information can easily be shared or accessed by others. Thus, gradually putting to rest the culture of “monopoly of information.”

If you have information about an opportunity, for young people or digital natives of this generation, it is un-cool and archaic to hide it in the dark. Everyone is gradually embracing open-source, encouraged by digital culture. The cool thing to do with an information you receive, and you believe your peers will benefit from, is to disseminate it through the different social networks you belong to and add the popular “please spread the word” after posting.

If you do not share, be sure someone else will stumble upon it and share it, anyway.

An example of an open-source platform is Scholars Hub Africa. Scholars Hub Africa was created for young people in Nigeria and other African countries to share and access scholarship and other opportunities, at their fingertips. Unlike other websites that charge access fees from users, Scholars Hub Africa is free of charge. Its core aim is to give back and support educational development as well as encourage the culture of "freely received, freely given."

Opportunities currently posted on the website include information about “Full scholarship and trip to UK in Basic Trust International Essay.” Applications are invited from students across Nigeria to participate in a national essay competition organized by an NGO, Basic Trust International. In addition, there is also scholarship open to applicants from Sub-Saharan African countries with an excellent academic record to study at a German or South African University.

You will also find Information about the Commonwealth Scholarships offered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom for citizens of other Commonwealth countries; and Canon Collins Trust scholarships for postgraduate study in South Africa in 2012. More information on how to apply for the recently published 2011 NNPC/MPN National Undergraduate Scholarships for Nigerians has also been posted.

Scholars Hub Africa “does not offer scholarships or partner any scholarship agency. The information provided there is FREE and meant to guide you to explore and utilize opportunities.”

No doubt, many young people at the grassroots who lack access to the internet might not be able to enjoy such open-source, unless a radical step is taken by the government leaders or NGOs to train youths in rural areas on ICT and provide IT-equipped resource centers in all villages. While we wait for this radical development, we must not disregard or underestimate the power of “word of mouth.” Kindly share information by simply telling others offline about those useful “stumble upon” information and opportunities.

Scholars Hub Africa can be accessed on: To post or contribute resource, email

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