Tuesday, July 31, 2012


"Going into unfamiliar territory will not destroy your old, comfortable world. Rather, it will expand your world, your vision, your knowledge and your possibilities. The next time you come across a road that you've never traveled -- whether it is an idea, a person, a belief system, or an actual road -- take a side trip and make your world a bigger, more interesting place."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Corruption in Nigeria: Watch the ACID Stakeholders’ Engagement Forum live

The Anti-Corruption Internet Database (ACID) aims to create an informative and educative corrupt practices data archiving and reporting platform with modern features for multi-dimensional public advocacy and civic engagement in the fight against corruption.

The Stakeholders’ Engagement Forum which brings together major Nigerian Civil Society Organisations, Anti-Corruption Agencies and the Media is designed to seek stakeholders’ input and participation in the development of the first indigenous anti-corruption database in Nigeria.

Watch the ACID Stakeholders’ Engagement Forum live July 24, 2012 by 9.00AM by clicking on the link below: http://wangonet.org/index.php/live-stream

Follow on Tiwtter: @Antigraft_ng

Join on FaceBook: http://on.fb.me/MEV38p

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Test-Drive Your Dream Job

In few weeks, I'll be reviewing Brian Kurth's "Test-Drive Your Dream Job" for Readers-Response Journal. But here is a paragraph that jumped out at me while flipping through the pages recently:

"You know- if you 're considering a dream job- that the push toward a dream career is not just about how you spend your working hours. It's about meshing your work like with your deepest sense of self. It's about having work that matches your values, that feeds instead of exhaust you, that doesn't require you to leave your priorities at home and check your heart at the door. When we imagine a dream job, we imagine a job in which we are fully ourselves, in which our hearts and minds are equally engaged."

Aha! :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


By The Bridge Leadership Foundation 

It was an ample dose of inspiration and practical self development lessons as eight (8) successful young Africans in Environmental Sustainability Advocacy, Agriculture and Food Security, International Development amongst others converged in Calabar on July 11 2012, for the 2nd Edition of The Bridge Leadership Foundation’s Career Day with theme ‘Talent, Leadership & Entrepreneurship’.

The Career day was aimed at inspiring and empowering young people in choosing the right career paths and making informed decisions. It was also aimed at providing a platform for young Nigerians and graduates who are; seeking to enter the job market, at the start of their career or aspiring to be entrepreneurs, to learn from accomplished entrepreneurs and professionals (home and abroad) that have made major achievements in different sectors in the society.

Speaking at the event, the Acting Director of the Foundation. Mrs. Ini Onuk, said “ Our speaker line-up is informed by the need to show participants how young people within the locality of Cross River State, Nigeria and outside Nigeria but within Africa all share common challenges, stories and opportunities at success and contributions to national development. In order to defy the excuses that the successful members of the older generation may have had it easy or do not understand the complexities of today’s reality; we have some young people who are indigenes of the state or have lived and schooled here – in the same locality – and yet have taken charge of their lives.”

Speakers at the event engaged participants under three sub-themes. The Common Thread, facilitated by Emmanuel Etim- Directorate of Human Resources, Science and Technology, African Union Commission, Ethiopia and Nnaemeka Ikegwonu- Executive Director, The Smallholders Foundation, Nigeria. The journeys of Personal Discovery to National Impact were shared by Idris Bello- Program Director at Wennovation Hub and President, Oxford University Africa Society and Esther Agbarakwe- Atlas Corps Fellow at Population Action International, USA while Grace Nanyonga – Founder, Granafish Supplies, Uganda, Tobias and Titus Igwe, Founders -SpeedMeals Kitchen and Steve Harris, C.E.O EdgeEcution, held participants spellbound with their compelling stories of Survival, Success and Significance.

Other highlights of the event included a Q&A interactive session where participants asked speakers a variety of questions on their personal journeys and decisions. Also, an elevator pitch contest was organized where randomly selected participants vied for an opportunity to go home with the Official Biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacton. The first 100 participants won prizes from the foundation whilst the first participant to arrive, Ms. Iquo Nya was rewarded with a three-month paid internship with the foundation.

Highlights of the 2012 Career Day Presentations:

“Who would have thought that a young boy who attended Estate Secondary School in Calabar some years back will be the one seating on most of the African Union and United Nations board meetings and that same boy is the man standing before you today” – Emmanuel Etim

“Great things start small. Never say because you had no one to help you, that’s why you couldn’t succeed. Think critically, provide solution to peoples immediate needs, be very strategic in your planning, work with the right set of people and lastly, always learn to pay people back whether in gratitude, cash or kind for supporting you achieve your dream.- Tobias and Titus Igwe

“I started small but today, I have met Michelle Obama,Walmart is a mentoring organization to Grana Fish Supplies, ladies and gentlemen how I got there, hard work and diligence, tenacity took me there” – Grace Nanyonga

“I had always wanted to be journalist, but twice JAMB failed me, I eventually studied History but my passion for Journalism never ceased; it got reignited when I volunteered with a local Agriculture Extension NGO this inspired me to set up Small Farmers Radio; today, I am not just a journalist but one making a difference” – Nnaemeka Ikegwonu

“My passion for the environment was ignited when I realized the spring on my road had dried up; this prompted me to begin to ask questions and learn more about the environment; this passion has blossomed into my Career”- Esther Agbarakwe

“It is not what you have that limits you; it is what you have but do not know how to use that limits you”- Steve Harris

“If your dream does not scare you, then it’s not big enough, discard it and try another. Many people do not know what they want. Whether it’s a job, or a career, or a business - the rules are the same”- Idris Bello.


A declaration for change!! Young people ages 15 to 29 years, check this out!!

CROWDOUTAIDS - Listen up! CrowdOutAIDS is proud to announce a collaboration with the DC Youth Force on our new Declaration for Change project! Here’s how to take part:

Young people from around the world are invited to collaborate on a list of priorities, a Declaration for Change for the AIDS response, to achieve an AIDS-free generation.

The declaration will lay the foundation for how youth organizations, networks and activists will collaborate and mobilize over the next years to reach the 2015 goals of the Political Declaration on AIDS.

Participation is quick and easy, and the project is open to everyone.

You can add an idea, vote on other people’s ideas to rank the ideas, or suggest an edit to improve somebody else’s idea. This leads to the best ideas rising to the top and improving. We hope you’ll visit frequently to make sure your views are captured.

Get Involved >>

Before the conference, the DC YouthForce surveyed more than 400 young people from 91 different countries, including young people who are most at risk of HIV and more than 100 young people living with HIV to understand the most pressing issues young people face in the AIDS response.

They came up with three defining words: Access, Partnership and Equality, and compiled the demands young people made on the established leaders of the response.

But we thought, if a new generation of activists are to craft a future without AIDS we all need to use next-generation technology to take us beyond survey-participation to co-creation and collaboration.

So we’ve teamed up with Codigital to help us reach a collaboratively authored Declaration for Change, and we need YOU to come up with 10 ideas for how WE as the next generation of activists will get us to an AIDS free generation.

This initiative is part of the three day Youth Pre-Conference running from 18-20 July. The final declaration will be presented at the Opening Session of the AIDS2012 Global Village on the 23rd of July, 2012.

Make sure you add your voice & vote now!!!

Culled from CrowdOutAIDS.org

Saturday, July 14, 2012

#AIDS2012: OROL Youth Empowerment Initiative Selected to Host Hub

Hi!! Just got this in my email- and thought to share!!

OROL Youth Empowerment Initiative Selected to Host Hub for the XIX International AIDS Conference 

OROL Youth Empowerment Initiative to Help Expand the Reach of and Participation in the International AIDS Conference through Conference Hubs Programme
OROL Youth Empowerment Initiative has been selected as an approved Hub organizer for the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012). The OROL Youth Empowerment Initiative Hub will take place in ABUJA on 25th of August 2012.
Conference hubs are “mini conferences” held in conjunction with the international conference by local organizations active in the AIDS response, and work to expand the reach of and participation in the International AIDS Conference. Sessions from the International AIDS Conference are recorded or telecast free of charge and screened at organizers’ discretion. These sessions are followed by moderated discussions with local or regional experts to examine how the session content can strengthen the local HIV/AIDS response. 
“The OROL Youth Empowerment Initiative has established itself as a global leader in the fight to end the AIDS epidemic,” said AIDS 2012 International Chair Elly Katabira. “It is fitting OROL Youth Empowerment Initiative host a hub to ensure stakeholders in ABUJA, NIGERIA have the opportunity to enhance their efforts with the local AIDS response, and be active participants in AIDS 2012.” 
OROL stands for Our Right Our Lives, which is a youth-led organization that empowers youth on sexual and reproductive health issues including HIV and AIDS. With programming bases in both Lagos and Abuja, we have continued to work within our means, to fill in societal humanitarian and health needs where we can.
For more information visit www.orolyep.orgFor more information about AIDS2012 Hub visit http://aids2012.org/Default.aspx?pageId=397
For partnership contact info@orolyep.org or demogbaje2008@yahoo.com

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Euro-Africa Youth Summit 2012: Grace’s Story!

Remember the Call for Application: Euro-Africa Youth Summit 2012? Well, twenty-one years old Grace Ihejiamaizu applied!!! Read this ‘story’ on how she got selected, the highlights of the event, incredible experiences and lessons she has learnt and wants to inspire you with. 

Young Grace is currently a Sociologist, Social Entrepreneur and founder of RYPE Initiative, an after-school youth development project that is helping young people gain life skills to become leaders and entrepreneurs. She is one of the three Global Changemakers who were selected to represent Nigeria at the British Council ‘Euro-Africa Youth Summit (EAYS) 2012 in Brussels, Belgium from 22nd -27th June 2012.

In her own words…

Selection process and Journey to Brussels
Reminiscing, I recall when I first heard about Global Changemakers. It was making news on the social media and the call for application was over and over again shared across various networks. At first glance at opportunities like this, I would say to myself, ‘this is another opportunity of luck!’’ but this time I said, ‘this one might just be in time for me!’’ With this motivation, I was determined to do what is required to apply for the program. I was looking for another opportunity to learn, share ideas, interact and network with other young and passionate community activists and social entrepreneurs.

It took a little while until my email got bursted with a ‘Congratulations Grace’ message from Matt at British Council Brussels. But that was not it! I was made to understand that it was just semi-slection round and if I could pull through with the interview, I could just get in. I was not discouraged. I was gladdened and excited! Well, finally I passed the interview and sure, I got in.

My journey to Brussels for the Euro-Africa Youth Summit began. I knew what I wanted to achieve with this summit (or I would not have applied in the first place), I formed my goals, hopes and expectations and penned them down in my little post-sticker card and in my heart.

Learning Experience
Arriving at Brussels with my fellow Global Changemaker, Somto Fab-Ukozor, we could not help but acknowlege the welcoming atmosphere at the city center of Belgium. With the theme of the Summit being, ‘The world is changing’, there could not have been a better phrase to decribe the world in which we live in, where the only thing that has remained constant is change. Change indeed is something we ought to embrace especially as young people. The onus lies on us to create the things we want to see, to develop skills that would help us remain relevant in a rapidly changing world (a global village) with seemingly overwhelming challenges.

Realising that these challenges are still solvable, the EAYS summit made us understand that as young people of Africa and Europe, we can not afford to lay back, fold our arms and make the same mistakes the older generation had made. We can not even afford to do the same things using the same old methods that did not work. We need to creatively and proactively re-think, re-design and re-invent to produce the kind of future we want to see. We are young, active and strong. It is indeed our time! Let’s make the world a better place through Social Entrepreneurship.

The interactions over coffee and lunch breaks gave me the opportunity to speak to the other 59 Global Changemakers from the European and African origins. This gave me the opportunity to view the world differently. It was like wearing the lenses of over 40 country representatives to see and understand the world. The summit provided the platform to be part of a Global Community, to learn, network, share ideas and best practices. All stereotyped opinions about African and the European culture in our minds were completely erased during and after the summit. The usefulness of such a cross-cultural learning experience can not be over-emphasized.

The summit was a complete energizer for me. The ice-breakers, and the combination of various spices (team work activities, networking sessions, sketches, individual and team presentations, interactive talks, Q & A sessions, tours around Brussels, Peer Mentoring group discussions) made the learning experience indelible and truly unforgettable. It was great learning from Arnoud Raskin, founder of Mobile School and Streetwize and Mrs. Osayi Oruene, ED at Fate Foundation and many others.

The highpoint for me was the MarketPlace skills session that took place on June 25, 2012. This was the most exciting learning method used at the 5-day summit. Imagine going to the market to buy tickets for a 45 minute slot per skill. We basically went shopping, buying tickets for 5 different skills we wanted to have or wanted to improve upon. The Market stalls to buy tickets from included: Time Management, Managing a Team, Leadership, Monitoring and Evaluation, Fundraising, Technology and Social Entrereneurship, Media and Presentation skills. The stalls were in different rooms and were facilitated by some individuals with expertise in their areas of work. It was the most insightful and productive time for Global Changemakers as we all sharpened our skills.

Another major highlight was the European Union (EU) Day which held at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) building next to the EU Parliament. I had the opportunity to meet with some Ambassadors, EESC members and Entrepreneurs including EESC Vice President herself, Anna Maria Darmanin, Jose-Fernando Costa Pereira, who is the head of Unit of Pan-African Affairs, European External Action Service, Diane Mbarushimana, a designer and social entrepreneur as well as Madi Sharma, Global Entrepreneur and member, Employers’ Group of the EESC. The entrepreneurs told their inspiring stories and charged us to focus not just on making profit but making an impact.

Post-EAYS plans are to build on my current project, RYPE Initiative, speak to and inspire many young people as well as contribute effectively towards nation building. If you are a young person and you have just read this, I am charging you with this wake up call. You cannot let your dreams and purpose on earth die. If you have not discovered them yet, you have got to do so and begin to work. Take that step, take that risk, take that challenge and be productive. Your generation needs you and the change we dream about which only YOU can help create. Special thanks go to British Council and the entire Global Changemakers team for an incredible GCM experience.

The Euro-Africa Youth Summit 2012 Participants

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chevron Corporation Supports Press Freedom

WASHINGTON – In a move to support press freedom around the world, Chevron Corporation will serve as West Coast Event Chair for the International Women’s Media Foundation’s 2012 Courage in Journalism Awards.

“At Chevron, we invest in strengthening our communities because business succeeds when people prosper. A free and active media is essential for success. Empowering women journalists is part of that equation. The IWMF believes that no media is truly free unless women have an equal voice. Chevron agrees. By supporting women journalists, the transparency that is necessary for the success of our stakeholders – investors, customers, host governments, local communities and our employees – will flourish,” said Dave Samson, general manager of public affairs for Chevron Corporation.

Chevron, a long-time contributor to the IWMF’s work supporting women journalists, returns to play a key role in recognizing the outstanding bravery of women journalists and reiterating their commitment to freedom of expression by providing invaluable support for the work of the IWMF. The 2012 Courage Awards will be presented in Los Angeles on October 29 and hosted by Cindi Leive, editor-in-chief of Glamour magazine.

This year’s Courage Award winners are Reeyot Alemu of Ethiopia, currently imprisoned on charges of terrorism after writing critiques of her country’s government; Asmaa al-Ghoul of Palestine, a blogger and freelance writer who has received death threats for her commentary on the culture and politics of Gaza; Khadija Ismayilova of Azerbaijan who was blackmailed and threatened after her investigation into charges of malfeasance against members of the Azerbaijani president’s family and Zubeida Mustafa of Pakistan, who will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Chevron’s participation in the Courage event is a testament to their dedication to the IWMF’s mission and makes our work possible,” said IWMF Board Co-Chair Katty Kay.

The IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards honor women journalists who have shown extraordinary strength of character and integrity while reporting the news under extreme danger and hardship. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a woman journalist whose determination has paved the way for women in the news media.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Visualization: Motivation Theory and Journalists' Productivity

Journalists view themselves as creative people whose work requires critical judgement, a story sense of events and the ability to act quickly (Giles 1991). But the ability of these creative people are sometimes undermined by lack of motivation in the organization where they work.

Some media houses run their newsroom like a factory while others make theirs feel like Disney World. While some find the former less motivating, others would gladly embrace it, depending on what factors influence them. As I continue to read through different researches on motivation theory and employees' productivity, in this case journalists, I'm intrigued by the dynamic industry.

Anyway, I'm excited (like I'm sometimes excited by every challenge) about administering questionnaires that will shape my research and help visualize how the issue of motivation affects Nigerian media houses. I will be surveying two popular media organizations in Nigeria (print media).

Hopefully, Visual.ly will come handy in sharing my findings, for consumption online :-)

While reading through textbooks and journals, some words kept jumping out at me :-). Here are some of the excerpts that did not make it into my Chapter Two:

On the importance of utilising staff:
"The only real difference between one newspaper and another is the performance of the people on their staffs. Electronic editing systems, marketing strategies, modern presses and reliable delivery trucks are important but don't make the critical difference in performance. Only people can do that." Robert H. Giles, Newsroom Management. Media Management Books Inc (1991).
On the need for newsroom managers to actually learn and develop managerial skills:
"The people managing the newsroom are professional journalists- reporters and writers who have spent the better part of their careers developing and using their journalistic skills. They are experts in their fields- skilled in developing story ideas, news judgement and editing- but they have spent little or no time developing managerial skills or looking at issues of organizational structure and development, hiring practices and similar concerns." Paul Pohlman, codirector of management-development seminars at the University of Chicago (quoted in Newsroom management).

How are we doing in Nigeria? Case-study report coming soon!

Enjoy your weekend :-)