Friday, September 30, 2011

TheHub Weekly, Nigeria’s first Weekly Newspaper targeting the Youth Population Debuts


TheHub Weekly, Nigeria’s first Weekly Newspaper targeting the youth population, was launched recently! Read the interview below to learn more about the new addition to the Nigerian Press!
When did you launch The Hub Weekly?
TheHub:
thehub newspaper was launched and first published 5th September 2011, though we had the idea to start the project since 2007. We were waiting for the right time to launch…

You are the first Youth oriented newspaper in Nigeria. What inspired the publication? When did you conceive the idea and how did you take action?
TheHub
: it was born out of a desire to bring the reading habit back to today's Nigerian youth, a population stereotyped to care solely about entertainment and parties alone. We are not new in the business of targeting youth and student with our services/products. In 2006, we started the first ever STUDENT TRADE FAIR on campus while we were still studying at the University of Lagos (UNILAG). The business has grown to the extent that we have 12 editions in 8 different higher institutions. We just completed the University of Benin (UNIBEN) edition. So it was on this platform and experience we started thehub newspaper.

Considering the fact that many media organizations are concentrating a lot of effort on the New media, how do you intend to engage the upwardly mobile youth/digital natives?
TheHub:
Our content is targeted at youth age 16-35 years old irrespective of the socio-economic class they belong. We are seriously working and building our distribution channels and presently we distribute in malls and youths hangout that the upwardly mobile visits.

Tell us more about your vision/Mission at TheHub Weekly and about your team members.
TheHub:
Our vision is to be the voice of the Nigerian young minds and be an independent youth daily newspaper by year 2012. Our mission is to capture 1 in every 5 youth in Nigeria by year 2013 and also to have increased our distribution to all the states of the federation. We are set of young minds below 30yrs old with an attitude to make a change in our society.
Our core team members are: Akinsemoyin Ahmed, Executive Director and co-founder; Hazeez Balogun,
Editor with a wide experience in journalism, also head of entertainment for Compass Newspaper; Alafia Gbadebo, Publisher, THEHUB NEWSPAPER.

What is your current circulation/reach? Is it a National newspaper?
TheHub:
Yes we are a national weekly newspaper. We are presently in 10 states and 53 campuses

Although the statistics says Nigeria has about 57% literacy level, many people believe youths who make up over 70% of the Nigerian population do not have a healthy reading culture. What is your opinion on this? Do you see this as a threat to the "consumption" of your publication?
TheHub:
Yes it's a big challenge and that was one of the reasons we waited this long to launch. We didn't want to do magazine or an entertainment tabloid. We wanted to pass important national information and news to enlighten the youth and let them know about happenings in their society.
We are the future and soon going to be leaders, yet an average Nigerian youth do not know who consist of the House of representative, or the basics about fuel subsidies and deregulation, yet he knows the name and songs of all Nigerian top artists. (Laughing) But since the target audience do not like strong contents, we decided to mix news, entertainment, fashion, employment page, business, sport etc all in one publication so that every youth has something that appeals to them.
The newspaper is so cool. The front page is designed to look like a newspaper and the back page entirely like a magazine. We got positive feedbacks from the four editions we gave out for free. We intend to give it a personality of Newspaper and Magazine fussed into one publication.

What core challenges are you currently facing as a publisher and how do you intend to overcome them?
TheHub:
Our big challenges is getting Advert placement in our publication. Being a new concept, companies are hesitant and don't want to just blend in easily like that. We Nigerians always want to see consistency first. Another major headache is building a relationship with the Nigerian vendors. You have to join one association or another before you can sell. But as a team of young minds we working outside the box and creating a new distribution method since our target audience is not the general public.

What is your advice to Nigerian government on how to contribute to youth development?
TheHub: There are a lot of young Nigerians with good ideas. I think if the country has some basic amenities like power, good roads, good banking system (loans), employment etc more business would boom and the society would benefit at large. If we can eradicate corruption from every level of government, I think we would have a sustainable and meaningful level of development

Although some Nigerian youth are fast embracing entrepreneurship, many are still detached.  What is your message of hope to the Nigerian youth feeling disenfranchised by the situation in Nigeria?
TheHub:
I think the basic problem they have is raising funds to launch and fear of taking risk. But I believe if they were more enlightened about the rudiment and steps to starting and building a business, it would make a whole of impact. We are doing that through our newspaper- our business page to empower the average Nigerian youth.

 Any other comment?
TheHub: Big brands should help smaller ones spring up.
Thanks for your time!
TheHub: Thank you. You are doing a good work out there for African continent at large.

Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/THEHUBNEWSPAPER

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Just Wanna (Deep in Love) - eMJOY's Official Mixtape Single PREMIERE


Here's publicly introducing for the first time ever, "I Just Wanna", the official first single off, emerging gospel artist, eMJOY's upcoming mixtape: 'YesGod’ Music Via the eMJOY Channel' (YMG-VTECH) tentatively set to be released for free download by October 28, 2011.
This song has that House genre sound to it, laced with quick Hip-Hop rap verses, full of fun and metaphors, plus a scintillating chorus, performed by the undeniably talented Ms. Shay (Toronto, Ca.).
"I Just Wanna" simply expresses an underlying desire of the performer to exalt his God in all that they do.
eMJOY wrote this song trying to lay bare before His Lord God, in the hearing of listeners, what his utmost intents were in making melody. 
Expect a great deal more from the upcoming mixtape YMG-VTECH, come October, 2011!
Like eMJOY on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theemjoychannel
 eMJOY- The artist:
eMJOY, birth name MAYOWA ADEBAJO, is a gospel artist, songwriter and performer, primarily in the HipHop genre. He is currently a university student of Media in Toronto, Canada, and  hails from Ogun state, Nigeria. 
Beginnings: At about age 10 Mayowa was already performing for fun to a small group of family but his first concert stage performance happened when high school peers soon noticed his rap talent and featured him in an end of  year variety show concert. He was 15 years at the time and he left the school repeating the chorus of his rendition for a while. 
The Career: eMJOY has been performing across Toronto, Canada including during Jesus Family Church events, RCCG youth events, Haiti Community gigs, Worship 4 Life Concerts, Emua Fashion Show (2010), York University NSA (Nigerian Students Association) Gala 2011, and it goes on. 
He says, “My vision in the music industry is to make beautiful, classic-lasting music for the world that should draw us all nearer to the mind-blowing Love of God even through the good news of Jesus Christ. I also seek to inspire my birth country Nigeria -and Africa- at large to her true potentials.” 
In order to reach eMJOY for bookings, management info, media interviews and/or features you may contact him swiftly via email at emjoychannel@live.ca 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A town shuts down to protest media corruption? #Journalism

I read an article recently about a town in India of 100,000 residents shutting down to protest media corruption! Wow! can you imagine that?

The protestors included politicians, farmers, even journalists, and a host of other organisations. They marched to the tahsildar‘s office and presented a memorandum.
One protestor slammed weekly newspapers for bringing a bad name to the entire profession, and another targetted the misuse of the right to information (RTI) Act to ferret out information that was later used for extortion. read more

The Watch-dog now being watched
Journalists are the watch-dog of the society, actively keeping the government accountable to the public while ensuring accurate information are being disseminated to keep people empowered (well informed) about happenings in their society.

The basic function of the media is to inform, entertain, educate etc. But these functions are not an end in itself. It is a process that fosters social justice, poverty eradication, and sustainable development within every society. However, due to many intimidating factors in our society today, some journalists are compromising their roles...

Media corruption entails a lot of things…but one that is always a hot debate among budding reporters is “the brown envelope syndrome.”
  
The Brown Envelope syndrome
A couple of weeks ago, a young lady working in a Public Relations firm told me she had to make the transition from being a reporter because the media organization where she worked did not pay her for over nine months. Now, how do publishers and other media owners expect their staff not to compromise when they keep subjecting them to such dehumanizing working condition?

I do not subscribe to the concept of journalists collecting brown envelopes or whatever bribe or gratification before they publish a story. This is more of an appeal to media organizations in Nigeria, as well as other parts of the world, to value their reporters and editors...

For example, an organization held a press conference recently in Lagos to launch a new product. But in the course of the program, the organizers were embarrassed by how the reporters present surged towards them demanding to be "settled" for attending the press conference. It is always sad hearing stories like this. Among these journalists are perhaps those whose media organization send on assignment without transport allowance, those who have not been paid salaries for months, those masquerading themselves as journalists, etc.

In response to the article on a town shutting down to protest media corruption, a Nigerian journalist wrote:
…Journalists should be the watchdog of the society but when the dog that should keep watch over the society is blinded by sand of gratification, the society is doomed. Shouldn't we have stricter measures of enforcing the ethics of journalism? When will journalism cease to be a dead end job and an all- comers affair? Let us all stand up against this rot in our noble profession. The Nigerian Union of Journalists, FCT chapter has recently constituted a committee against fake journalists and impostors; arrests are being made by security agents and this has helped in addressing this challenge to an extent.

As fake reporters and unethical journalists are being identified and arrested, I hope publishers and media owners who do not pay their reporters are also arrested! :-)

Journalists are the custodians of public trust. They are considered the fourth estate of the realm because of the significant role they play in the society. It is important that issues eroding the significance of the profession are addressed, before more people take to the streets to protest media corruption!

When a Nigerian is raped... do not keep silent, help is available! (where to find it) #ABSUrape



Have you ever been raped by a friend, relation or stranger? Do you know someone who has? Do not keep silent about it. There are people willing to fight for you. Below is the contact information of some organizations that I know are working passionately for the cause locally in Nigeria. You can contact any of them for help:
  1. Project Alert on Violence Against Women (PROJECT ALERT)- a non-governmental women's rights organisation set up in January 1997 to promote and protect the rights of women and young girls- Contact Address: 21, Akinsanya Street, Off Isheri Road, Taiwo Bus stop (Behind FRSC) Ojodu - Berger. Lagos. Telephone/E-mail:      234-1-8209387; 08052004698; 08180091072. Email: projectalert@projectalertnig.org. info@projectalertnig.org. ABUJA OFFICE:  26 Bamenda Street, Off Abidjan Street, Wuse Zone 3. Telephone: 234 -8708618.
  2. Team WAR (Walk Against Rape) Speaking up for justice! Email: ijewereesther@gmail.com Telephone: 08057861285. 
  3. Media concern Initiative for women and Children:Confidential Helplines are available 24hrs with staff on-hand to attend to your distress calls. Telephone: 08023331036, 08058207164, 08099522487. Address: 15A, Bolodeoku Crescent, Dideolu Estate, by Sweet Sensation, Ijaiye Road  Ogba, Lagos. Community Office:13 Anthony Otti Street, by Bolthine International Schools Off Akingbade Street, Baba Ijesha B/stop, Aboru, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos. Email: info@mediaconcern.net, helponline@mediaconcern.net, counsel@mediaconcern.net
  4. Do you know any NGO in your local community with a similar mission? Drop their contact address in the comment box and I will happily add them to the list too, after verifying that they are legit! Thanks!

THE ABSU CASE WENT VIRAL
"Initially we thought it was a fake video, until someone identified the girl in the video as a student here," said Onyekachi Ndukwe, a final year Law student of the University (Daily Times report).
Last week, a video of a female student who was gang-raped by five men in August went viral after the story was published on Linda Ikej’s Blog and the video uploaded on NaijaPals.com. It was a very sad and disturbing story. The video itself tore at the hearts of most people who watched it. Although only 10 minutes of it was uploaded, it was reported that the ordeal took place the whole day with the men threatening to continue for two days if the victim did not co-operate with them. The young woman, looking helpless and confused, called out their names pleading but it fell on deaf ears.
The guys, sadly, are said to be students of Abia State University (ABSU). You could hear one of them boasting to be studying law. Which means, these were not some faceless hoodlums lurking in the dark of the night. They are vibrant youth who chose to express themselves in such gruesome way.
Someone got me thinking about the “ABSU rape” case from a different perspective. To jenniferize his words, it is a reflection of what bad governance is doing to Nigeria today and what we ourselves are doing to our nation with our apathy. Five men raped one girl, I bet she trusted one of them! Our government leaders that we trust gang rape Nigeria's resources everyday while the rest of us are outrage and trust the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to "search" for these “rapists” and prosecute them. Many individuals and organizations are standing up to fight for justice for the girl who was raped in ABSU. Some have offered as much as N200, 000 (+) for anyone with a lead to help identify the rapists. The tide of apathy is changing.
Meanwhile, although the governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji, denied that the incident took place at the school and state, claiming it to be the work of the enemy against his administration, Nigeria’s Minister of Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, urged the appropriate authorities to take action to ensure justice. The minister also pointed out that “the behavior of the perpetrators as decadent and barbaric; and believes the attitude of these men, if indeed they are young Nigerians, does not represent the character and nature of the Nigerian youth.”
He advised Nigerian youth “to remain focused and positive-minded, disclosing that his Ministry will soon begin to implement programs that will address their concerns.”
To rephrase one of his statements, although many rape cases take place in our society and often go unreported, perhaps the intensity of this lady’s case is to change the culture of silence that is often associated with rape. No woman deserves to be victimised and abuse.  

No doubt, many people would rather keep silent than report a rape case for fear of ridicule. But there are many organizations springing up to address this issue... do not keep silent, help is available!!


Do all you can to ensure that rapists are prosecuted for their crime and rape victims find help/protection!

More info about the ABSU Rape: Many media organizations and bloggers featured the issue prominently, here are a few links to get more details about the case- Linda Ikeji's Blog // Daily Mail UK, // Daily Times Nigeria// The Punch and NaijaPals.com  // AfricaMusicLaw (what the Nigerian law says)//  Sahara Reporters // OlamildEntertainment
 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A life-changing lesson from an Ice Cream Vendor

Two Ice-cream vendors parked their bicycles in front of our school gate, waiting for people to patronise them. The scorching September sun and/or the way the vendors positioned themselves made their products appealing. The moment I saw them, I had an impulsive nudge to buy a Yoghourt, so I walked towards the nearest one. 
 
“Do you have X Yoghourt?” I asked him, removing my sunglasses, so I could make eye contact. “Yes, I get” he replied in Pidgin English, bringing out one of his yoghourts. 

“An X Yoghourt, not this one,” I said, impatiently. Glancing at the other vendor, I noticed he had empty cans of Yoghourts, in different varieties, tied to his bicycle. The type I wanted jumped right into sight. “Oh that is what I mean.” I exclaimed with a smile, walking briskly to his spot.

After paying and collecting my favorite X Yoghourt, I walked away happily with my purchase. But not before clarifying with the former vendor, “This is the type I wanted.” I was perplexed when he replied, “I get na.” meaning he also had the type of yoghourt. 

Sometimes, no matter how well “stocked” we are, the opportunities and profits we loose is as a result of our inability to communicate effectively, market accurately and understand the point of view of others efficiently. Although the first ice cream vendor had the same products as the second, he lacked the creative ability to effectively communicate this to potential customers. To him, having a bicycle full of ice cream and a uniform to indicate he is a certified distributor was enough to get him customers. However, we can only imagine how much profit eludes him for everyone customer that walk past him to his creative competitor.

Bringing this down to every day life, as earlier mentioned, sometimes our mistakes and failures are due to oversight. We put our efforts in a task expecting an excellent result and benefitting profit, only to be rewarded with pangs of disappointment and losses. 

Have you ever sat for an exam or test, only to get your result and see a lesser mark than expected? I have. And when I compare my script with someone that has a better score, with the intention of learning my mistakes, I usually discover the difference in content is like a minute fraction of an inch. Yes, the trivial we ignore counts for or against. 

A healthy competition is okay, but to stay ahead of the curve and have a competitive advantage, be it in the classroom, field or marketplace, we have to go the extra mile. It is not about how talented one is, or how better qualified, you must be able to communicate what you are “selling”, from simple ideas to complex theories and be creative, diligent and assertive in your approach.

You don’t have to be an ice cream vendor to apply this, but this simple life lesson has certainly changed my approach to daily life.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Campus Attention needs an intern! Click link to apply!!

Internship: Job Description
Campus Attention needs an intern,  to serve as a content manager for the organization’s website, preferably a Mass Communication Student based in Lagos...


The intern is expected to:
  1. Write articles and edit content  for the site: The intern will write articles and edit same for publication on the site. He /She will also edit any article written by an outsider.
  2. Get guest bloggers to contribute to the site: He / She will also get contributors who will write in their area of expertise for the site.
  3. To head team to interview sessions : He / She will head any team designated to carry out interviews and edit same
  4. To work 3 to 4 days in a the week: The intern will only work 3 to 4 days in a week. Compensation will be paid for any extra day.
  5. Work delivery is important: Intern will be expected to keep the site functioning by keeping to publication time.
  6. Transport Stipend will be provided on monthly basis
Are you interested in applying? Send your CV and a one paragraph introduction- expressing your interest in the position to: info@beforegraduation.org Only successful candidates will be contacted! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

End Violence Against Women Campaign: Unite T-Shirt Design Competition


As part of an effort to end violence against women, young men all over the world between the age of 18-25 years are invited to enter for this year’s Unite T-Shirt Design Competition. 
Applicants are to:
o   Imagine how the world would look without violence against women and girls
o   Think big and positive about the concepts of equality, diversity, and respect
o   Use imagination and artistic ability to stand up and speak out against all forms of violence against women and girls
RULES
  • The deadline for submissions is 11.59 p.m. New York time on 21 September 2011.
  • You must be a man aged 18 to 25 as of the date of entry.
  • Please be sure that you have read the official contest rules, submission guidelines and the release form before you upload your design. 

Read the Official Contest Rules and Submission Guidelines
Create your t-shirt design
Complete the Registration form
Upload your design
Accept the Official Contest Rules and Release Form
Winners will be notified on 31 October

Make sure your submission follows the design guidelines and rules. CLICK LINK TO PARTICIPATE

ABOUT UNiTE
Launched in 2008, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign aims to raise public awareness and increase political will and resources for preventing and ending all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world.

Stepping up Digital Marketing in Nigeria (Photos) @adplacers

As part of an effort to curb the challenges of digital marketing in Nigeria, Flying Antlers today launched Adplacers.com, an Advertising Placement and Management platform. This is to allow individuals, Ad agencies, and corporate brands place and monitor their ad campaigns on leading websites such as Google, FaceBook, BBC, Twitter and other global websites from one platform. In addition, the platform also provides customized local display of ads for publishers to target the right audience.
 
During the formal launch event that had some advertisers and publishers in attendance, the organizers announced the introduction of its Video Ad Product, which is a new addition to the services they provide. According to Flying Antlers team, the introduction of video ad alongside the normal ad banner of various sizes is set to be revolutionary digital marketing in Nigeria and other African countries. Click the link to READ FULL REPORT ON CP-AFRICA.COM
PHOTO BUZZ:
OloriSupergal.blogspot.com and I jotting away interesting points! :)

L-R: CEO of T-W photography, OloriSuperGal, COO of Adplacers.com, Jen (me!)














Adplacers.com unveiled @ Browns Cafe!










































Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lagos State Government Adopts “No Child is Left Behind” Policy to Achieve MDG 2


“Acquiring literacy is an empowering process, enabling millions to enjoy access to knowledge and information which broadens horizons, increases opportunities and creates alternatives for building a better life.” Kofi Anan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations.

“We all need to realize that even to live healthy and productive lives, we need to be literate.” Lagos State Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire.

In commemoration of the World Literacy Day, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, broke Guinness World Records after reading to over 3,000 students and also reading along with about 4,500 people who converged at 10 Degrees Event tagged HEDGREADS, organised by ecole de dessin on Thursday 8th September 2011. The event was streamed live on the web.
Fourteen years old Ifeanyi Kevin who attends Redeem College did not hide his excitement about being a part of the students to break Guinness World Record. “It was nice and fun. I learned the importance of making reading the best hobby.” he chirped. 
Copies of “Time Changes Yesterday” by Ngengi Koin, were distributed to students who converged at the event. The Deputy Governor started out by reading aloud to the students, who read along in silence. After sometime, the students joined her and read aloud with her. In the last phase of the reading session, the adults alone read along with the deputy governor. The reading session lasted for about 35 minutes.
Although not everyone got copies of the selected book, due to an overwhelming crowd, participants who had copies shared with those who did not. Prior to the reading, the deputy governor gave a speech, encouraging the students to develop a healthy ready culture. She also revealed the different plans the state government was making towards the development of education sector to boost formal and informal education in the state.

According to her opening address, Nigeria has about 57% literacy rate (15 years old and above who can read). However, recent studies show a declining literacy rate in the country, even though the literacy level in Lagos stands at 87.8%. “We are not relaxing at all as we are committed to achieve a 100% literacy rate.” Said the Deputy Governor.
Globally, 127.3 million youth can’t read or write – 60% are girls. In line with MDG 2, which is a goal to achieve universal primary education for all, Lagos State Government has adopted a policy of “No Child Left Behind” by making basic education free, qualitative and compulsory for all children regardless of ethnic backgrounds.

How effectively will this policy be implemented and measured? How will the underserved communities in rural parts of Lagos be carried along, considering the yawning gap in public communication- between state government and those at the bottom of the pyramid/grassroots?

Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor also revealed that the Lagos state government has also created about 17 Skill acquisition and vocation training centres where apart from learning handiwork and trades, the students are able to acquire basic reading and writing skills.
The HEDGREADS event was organized in an attempt to encourage reading culture in Nigeria. Honorable Adejoke Adedulire, revealed that the government was set to implement a policy to encourage students to read at least two hours per two days in a week, in order for them to develop and imbibe a reading culture. “It will in the short run equip them with knowledge and skills to succeed in their studies and in the long run enable them to become leaders that can make this nation great.” Stated the Deputy Governor.
She acknowledged that achieving a high literacy rate would reduce poverty, ignorance and disease and thus promote sustainable and accelerated economic growth. The Deputy Governor urged stakeholders in the education sector to partner with government in raising the literacy level. She advised that students should make reading a habit and become literate to empower themselves to make a difference in their generation. “We all need to realize that even to live healthy and productive lives, we need to be literate.” She said.
The event which was endorsed by UNICEF and facilitated by Ecole de Desin (School of Art), an organization with a vision to create a platform through which Nigerian Art Students can contribute to the development of the country and also where art can be used as a tool to positively affect lives.
“It was very interesting. The Deputy Governor educated us and laid emphasis on what reading will do in our lives. When I get home I will create a habit of reading two hours a day. I do read but not up to two hours per day.” Said Rita Chukwu, a senior secondary school participant, after the event.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Did you make or miss the Twitter-Town-Hall meeting with Nigeria's Minister for Youth Development, @BolajiAbdullahi?

Did you make  the Twitter-Town-Hall meeting with Nigeria's Minister for Youth Development   How did it go? Did you miss it?

As promised, the Minister for Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi personally answered questions from hundreds of Nigerian youths both at home and in the Diaspora- Click here to read the Tweet Summary on YouthHubAfrica.org! or search Twitter with the #NGMYD for all the convo!

We must hold our government leaders accountable at all times, beyond Twitter town-hall meetings. And support their efforts to build a better Nigeria! GOD BLESS OUR GREAT NATION.



7th UNESCO Youth Forum For Youth Journalists and Bloggers #Apply @unescoyouth

Are you a young Journalist or Blogger from each of UNESCO’s five constituent regions (Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America & Latin America and the Caribbean)? Then please check this out and share with others!


As part of the 7th Youth Forum, UNESCO will be offering five young journalists and bloggers the opportunity to participate in the Paris event. Journalists and bloggers who are selected to attend the 7thUNESCO Youth Forum will be able to network with youth delegates from 193 countries, with key members of international organizations and with non-governmental organizations.

Youth journalists and bloggers have three roles: Firstly, they will ensure internal coverage of the Forum through blogs, articles, video clips, radio coverage and other relevant mediums. Secondly, they will be responsible for reporting news of the Forum to their regional and local communities, networks and organizations. Thirdly, they
will accompany the action of youth delegates in implementing the recommendations of the Forum in the regions.
Deadline: 15 September 2011
Open to: Young bloggers Costs:Air travel and accommodation will be covered by UNESCO
Established in 1999, the Youth Forum has become an integral part of UNESCO’s highest decision-making body – the General Conference. It brings together young delegates from all over the world to exchange views, share experiences and identify common opportunities and challenges. The 7th UNESCO Youth Forum of the 36th UNESCO General Conference will take place from 17 to 20 October 2011.

 Who can apply?

The General requirements for youth journalists and bloggers are:
  • Be below 30 years of age
  • To have journalism (online, print, photo, video, radio) and/or blogging experience
  • To have a working knowledge of English and/or French. Knowledge of another of the six official United Nations languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish) will be an asset

Who is paying?

Air travel and accommodation for the selected youth journalists and bloggers will be covered by UNESCO.

Application Process:

The documents required for the application are the following:
  • CV
  • A brief cover letter.
  • Online articles, videos, etc which prove journalism experience.
  • Name and e-mail of two references from people who are familiar with the work of the youth blogger.
Applications should be sent to youth@unesco.org with the reference “Youth blogger application for the 7th UNESCO Youth Forum” no later than Thursday, September 15, 2011.
The Official Webpage

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Lagos State Deputy Governor + Kids READ in commemoration of the #WorldLiteracyDay

Over 4,500 students are gathered at 10 Degrees to celebrate with the Lagos State Deputy Governor in commemoration of the World Literacy Day- September, 8th 2011. Broadcast channel: http://ustre.am/CMTy LIVE STREAM
Streaming Live by HEDGREADSTV

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Interview with Twenty-five years old founder of Slick-City Apparel


Slick City Apparel was founded by twenty-five years old Malik Afegbua. The business idea started out as a nickname while he was pursuing a diploma in Engineering at the University of Lagos in 2003.  After his Diploma, he relocated to the UK where he attended the University of Surrey and bagged a degree in Business.

While in the UK, like the proverbial smoke that cannot be hidden for too long, Slick City resurfaced; not as a nickname this time but as a brand name. Malik loved to look a little different from others and so he customized his own clothes. He got complimented a lot on his style and people found it hard to believe he designed his own clothes. He then started getting orders from friends, and friends of friends.

Today, Slick City Apparel has expanded into a company that is committed to designing stylish and up-to-the-minute t-shirts, belts and bags. Slick City Apparel’s designs are modern, trendy and unique. In Malik’s words, “its not just an outfit, its poetry in motion”.

In this interview with Jennifer Ehidiamen, CP-Africa.com’s Features Editor, the founder of Slick-City Apparel, Malik Afegbua, shares his passion and vision for his enterprise with tips for young entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

When people hear Slick-City, what do you want them to always remember?
Malik: In my own term I like to describe it as a different way of looking different because of the uniqueness in every outfit made. Surely everyone would like to have an outfit that only he or she owns in the world. Plus this is not just an outfit, its poetry in motion.

So we learn your company has been in existence since 2004? When was it officially launched?
Malik: Yes it has been in existence since then and was pretty much just a name back then. But it was launched 2009 in the UK.

Tell us more about Slick City's origin
Malik: Like I said at first it was just a name, before I started customizing some of my own clothes just for fun and this raised questions from friends because most of them didn't actually believe I customized the clothes. Then I started getting orders from friends and friends of friends and this is how it kicked off.

Why the name Slick City?
Malik: I have had the nickname slick for a while now because I'm a very fashion conscious person and apparently I have a slick way of handling things (not my words). And because of my love for fashion, something just kept on drawing me towards that direction of exploring more in that field. I later on added the city at the end, which gives me a sense of being in my own world "slick-city" where people can come and experience my work.

As a student venturing into Business back then, where did you get your start-up capital?
Malik: I had a part-time job while I was studying in the university, so that and also support from my dad helped.

How are your designs different from other brands/company?
Malik: Uniqueness, innovation, quality, and untapped creativity is what I feel makes us different.

Who is/are your target market?
Malik: We produce for anyone and everyone that embraces quality and innovation.

Has it been a profiting business so far? How many people/Staff work in your organisation?
 Malik: Yes it has been profiting but also demanding. But a fashion label is demanding everywhere in the world and also competitive so I wouldn't say it is uncommon for this to happen. At the moment I have two colleagues that I work with.

From your experience as a young entrepreneur, what are the challenges entrepreneurs are facing today in Nigeria?
Malik: Some of the problems are access to funding, free trade between countries and availability of materials.

What structures should be put in place to further encourage entrepreneurship right from college?
Malik: Support from the Government and other bodies, sponsorship and various leadership trainings because in Nigeria today they’re so many talented young boys and girls but don't have the right resources to move forward. And this is the painful part because the funds are available but are sometimes not invested in the right things.

What more should we expect from Slick-City?
Malik: More quality products from the company will be available and more projects coming soon like the slick-city suave house (smart and casual) and the slick-city retro tour project soon.

Any advice for budding entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Africa?
Malik: If you are passionate about something, just believe and be focused because people could only limit you for sometime but nobody can stop your shine when your time is right.

For more info visit their website: http://slick-city.co.uk
Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/slick_city 



Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Minister of Youth Development @BolajiAbdullahi to Hold TownHall Meeting with Youth

I recently heard that the Minister of Youth Development will be hosting a Town Hall meeting with Nigerian youths online :) Please participate and get your voice heard! Endeavor to share the outcome of the meeting with offline friends! :-)

Date:  Thursday, September 8th 2011

Time: 3.00 - 5.00 p.m.

Chief host: The Minister for Youth dvelopment, Alhaji Bolaji Abdullahi.

Twitter handle
:

Venue: www.twitter.com
   


The document below is the Ministry's strategic plan in dealing with issues affecting young people in the country. This will form the basis of the discussions at the townhall. Kindly read, review and tell your friends about it! Source: AfterSchoolPrep


  
Nigerian Youth: Key Interventions Proposed by the Ministry of Youth Development


Background

Those between 18 and 35 constitute almost 50% of the Nigerian population (NPC 2006). Given its size, energy, passion and creativity, this demographic group should be a critical resource for economic growth, sustainable development, and national transformation in Nigeria. At present, it is not. This is because the potential contributions of our young population is compromised by a host of challenges, including lack of jobs, limited marketable skills, low entrepreneurial bias, limited access to credit, high vulnerability to poverty, limited level of inclusion, and low value orientation etc.

Our present economic growth rate could mask the extent of youth deprivation in the country. Rather than be taken in by seemingly robust growth rates, we should learn, proactively, from the recent experience in North Africa and the Middle East. And now, the United Kingdom. Tunisia, for example, had a steady growth rate of about 9%. But despite this healthy outlook, it was the first to erupt when the simmering anger of its deprived and frustrated youth eventually boiled to the surface.

While many countries are ageing, we are blessed with abundant youth population, and it has been projected that by 2030 our most important resource will be our youth, not oil (British Council 2010). But our youth bulge could turn out to be either a demographic dividend or a demographic disaster. It is important therefore that we do more to harness the potentials of our youth, put in place policies and programmes to unlock the binding constraints on their path, and scale up investment to turn this huge demographic force to a force for good. We shouldn’t do this just because we love our youth. On the contrary, we should do it because it makes economic, social, political, and security sense.

Where We Are
The Federal Government has a plethora of initiatives and investments aimed at addressing the youth challenge in the country. But our analysis reveals that our youth population is underserved for the following reasons:

Lopsidedness: About 90% of the budget of the Federal Ministry of Youth Development and its two parastatals goes to NYSC alone (N43bn out of N49bn in 2011 budget). This is not to say that the budget of NYSC is too much, but that almost all our resources for youth development go to one year in the life of those lucky to be graduates of universities and polytechnics. 

Limited Coverage: As presently focused, most of the activities of the Ministry serve what can be categorized as the elite youth: university graduates and politically-active youth and their organizations. This means that a majority of our youth are outside the scope of our interventions. However, it is this category of missing and underserved youththat portends the most danger to the country in terms of crime, restiveness, political thuggery and religious extremism. 

Misalignment:The major challenge facing our youth today is lack of jobs and skills. Unfortunately, our major investments in youth development do not tackle this major challenge. The NYSC, the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre and the mainline Ministry do little to prepare the youth for the job market or to expand opportunities available to them. Also, there is misalignment between the available training programmes and the needs of the industry.

Limited Coordination: Because of the cross-cutting nature of youth development, responsibilities are dispersed in different sectors. This is to ensure that the youth challenge is tackled in a holistic and comprehensive manner. However, due to lack of adequate coordination, most youth programmesdo not serve their intended target or the concerns of the youth get crowded out in the mix.

Tokenism: A lot is being done to reduce general unemployment, but much more could be done to directly tackle the specific obstacles to youth employment. Our young people could not access the available job opportunities because they are not skilled, do not have experience, and do not have collateral for credit. Most of the existing skills training programmes are either below market standards or too token; and the financial supports/loans offered for entrepreneurship are too paltry to make any meaningful impact. Also, states and LGAs (where most of our youth live) could do much more than they are doing at present.

Little Engagement: Little is being done to involve the youth in the design and implementation of the programmes directed at them, so most of these youth-targeted interventions fail because they do not reflect the needs of their intended beneficiaries. Beyond opportunistic and counter-productive engagement at election periods, little effort is made to involve the youth in the larger decision-making process or give them stake in the society.

Strategic Priorities & Key Interventions
Given our mandate, the key challenges of our clients, and the need for us to play a key role in the Transformation Agenda, the Ministry of Youth Development after its recent retreat decided to focus on the following five strategic priorities:

Facilitate targeted skills acquisition, enterprise development and credit access for the youth;
Reform/reposition key institutionsof the Ministry to improve service and value to youth and country;
Mobilize, empower, and re-orientate the youth;
Improve monitoring and coordination of different youth programmes across sectors/tiers;
Enhance advocacy and communication to make youth issues an urgent national priority.

Arising from the above, some of the key interventions being proposed are as follows:

1.     Youth Employment Project
We propose to initiate a Youth Employment Project, which is a short-term, quick-impact intervention that will provide skills and entrepreneurial trainings, job placements, business development services and concessionary credit to our youth. This project is not a replacement for the NDE and other such initiatives, as it will be different in terms of its specificity to the youth, and its scale, execution mode and quality. The Project aims to reach 500, 000 youth per year (NDE’s is for 36,000 Nigerians) and will be undertaken mostly through credible intermediaries in private and public sectors and civil society. It is expected that YEP will become part of the Youth Development Fund once the enabling law is passed.

2.     Reform of the NYSC
The NYSC is the singular most important investment in youth development in the country today. But the return on investment to the country and the corps members has been low. While security of corps members has been a major concern lately, it is clear that NYSC is long due for a holistic review that will align the scheme with challenges of the moment. We therefore propose to go beyond the cosmetic reforms of the past and plan to reposition the NYSC to serve as a boot-camp/finishing school for our graduates and to provide real service to the country in infrastructure, farming, and teaching etc. As a starting point, we want to propose the setting up of a Presidential Committee on the Review of the NYSC.

3.     “Drive the Future Nigeria” Campaign
Many of our youth have become cynical, disoriented, dysfunctional and alienated. We plan to re-engage our youth and increase their self-belief, agency and voice by initiating an IT-led but multimedia and multi-lingual campaign to put them in the driver’s seat of their future. Led by Youth Champions, this campaign will also be used to mobilize the youth, make them part of the decision-making process and arm them with positive values of citizenship, entrepreneurship, work ethic and leadership. It will be run in partnership with civil society and the private sector, and will serve as a creative vehicle for engaging and empowering the youth.

4.   Improving Data for Planning & Advocacy
The youth population is not a homogenous group, and we cannot serve them well if we continue to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. We therefore plan to improve our understanding of our clients by undertaking a number of studies, including: a disaggregated study of the youth population to be able to adequately segment the various sub-groups in terms of location, level of education/skills, size, disposition, challenges etc.; a scoping study of the various interventions by different actors across sectors and tiers for us to have a comprehensive view of the landscape and ensure proper coordination and impact; a database of the unemployed youth in the country; and refocusing of the Youth Development Index, which was first and last published in 2008, to serve as a tool for tracking and advocacy.

5.     Repositioning the Ministry
We plan to reposition the Ministry because we need to redefine our role as a facilitator/coordinator, rather than as a service provider. This will entail not just a re-orientation and restructuring but the development of appropriate capacities for policy-making and research, for coordination and partnership, and for advocacy and communication. The Ministry needs to be fit-for- purpose and be positioned to serve the youth—its client—and the country better. This will entail institutional review and re-alignmeant.



Source: Federal Ministry of Youth Development