Gadgets Technology

ICT Change Lives – A Taste of My Dreams

My name is Victoria Aduwo, the only female child of my parents and the first of two. I am from Ondo State, Nigeria and I grew up in Navy Town, Festac area of Lagos. My father is a retired Nigerian Naval officer and my mother is an entrepreneur. I studied Chemical Engineering at the Lagos State University, LASU.

Growing up, I always wondered what it was like to be an innovator. As a little girl, I had dreams of being one of the world’s most prominent female innovators. I loved to create things. I enjoyed exploring and experimenting. This shaped all I thought about and all I aspired to do with my time. It fueled my passion. I spent my time experimenting and trying to develop solutions.

Unfortunately, this sort of behavior was generally regarded as masculine, especially as the male gender dominated the sciences, and information technology. I had little or no encouragement from my parents or the people around me. But I was not deterred.


I remember what it was like trying to convince my parents to allow me study Chemical Engineering in the University. My Dad wanted me to be a Medical Doctor. He clearly had his plans for me especially given my position in the family.

I was constantly reminded me that I needed to spend more time building myself as a woman, and not chasing ‘unrealistic’ dreams. The African society still considers the woman’s role as being primarily in the home. I do not entirely disagree, because the home and family should remain important to a woman. However, I do not agree with the idea that a woman should spend the better part of her life in the kitchen, or in the other room for that matter.

The world is itself the woman’s kitchen – a place she prepares and incubates her dreams before serving it to the world to enjoy. I am glad there are many more women in ICT, and that these women are looking to make a difference.

I remember studying Chemical Engineering at LASU. The course was expectedly male dominated and I faced the typical challenges women face being in such environments. People doubted my ability when I tried to prove myself. I was either not given the full credit for my work, or not rewarded for it at all.

This was very discouraging. For the first time in my life, I understood what it meant being in a man’s world. When I tried to be a voice, I was shut down; sometimes by threats. There were times when I would have spent all week building a model or perfecting an experiment. Yet the focus of students and teachers alike seemed to dwell lower down my anatomy than where my mind occupied. My hard work was often times secondary. However, I was determined to keep on trying and I am glad I did because all the hard work eventually paid off.

I had heard a lot about China but like many people of my generation, China meant Kung Fu. China meant the place where anything could be manufactured at low quality. I also innocently had the impression that it was a big country with poor people, poor housing and electricity problems. I had thought generators were used for power at night like most Nigerian neighborhoods. Although I knew it was a tech-driven society, I didn’t know to what extent until I was given the opportunity to see for myself.

My trip to China was facilitated by the ‘Seeds for the Future’ project championed by Huawei Technologies in partnership with the Nigerian Government. I had heard of the Seeds for the Future program through a friend who sent me the ICT for Change website link. When I told my parents about it, they thought it was one of those scams or ‘promise and fail’ offers by the Nigerian Government.

Though my parents agreed that I apply, no one really expected me to be shortlisted. After all, applications had come from all over Nigeria. Having applied via the online portal, we got feedback after three months that I was one of the shortlisted students. I was so excited but this was just the first phase.
My parents had slowly started to believe but they still had doubts of my final selection. We were invited for the training program, and scheduled to write an exam afterwards. Forty (40) out of two thousand (2000) students from different Nigerian universities were eventually selected.

The next phase was the interview, after which, ten finalists were selected, and I was one of the ten (10). I was so thrilled when I got the call informing me that I was one of the successful ten. I was commended for my effort and informed of my trip to China. My parents could not have been prouder! To be a top ten candidate from a pan Nigeria exercise, which only required intellectual input was an achievement almost unparalleled in my entire existence so far. Getting the B.Sc. in engineering was special but this was a completely different kind of rush.

Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw in China. Guangzhou airport alone was a wonder. On our trip to Shenzhen, I was completely blown away. During my stay, I realized China was made up of ultra modern cities, high level technologies, state of the art transport systems, great infrastructure. My original perception was completely wrong.
I particularly loved the Yellow Bike Park, which has bicycles accessible for public use via a mobile app. The app grants access to use the bike and makes payment when returned. I saw cars and buses running on electricity. What a wonderland!

Through the Seeds for the Future platform, we learnt so much about ICT and got first-hand experiences in a global ICT firm from leading ICT facilitators. I got hands-on with state of the art technologies.

My knowledge of ICT prior to the trip was clearly limited. I was introduced to the endless possibilities of information technology. I learnt about Smart Cities, Smart Banking, Smart Housing, Smart Digital Pipelines, Smart Agriculture, and Telemedicine. I learnt so much. My desire for innovation and to make an impact soared to an all-time high. Once again, I dared to dream. I could truly achieve anything I set my mind to.

Travelling to China broadened my horizon. I had a rich experience of the Chinese culture and visited so many historical centers like the Great Wall of China, the Zoo and Pearl Market in Beijing, Folk Town and Luohu Market in Shenzhen. I met other students from all over the world.

I made new friends from different countries like Ecuador, Sweden, Peru, and we still keep in touch up till now. I was thrilled to receive birthday messages from my new friends just a few weeks ago. And the people in China are so friendly. The food is exquisite, with a variety of delicacies to pick from like fried duck, crystal noodles, and dried beef. I really cannot wait to go back.

Professionally, my trip to China inspired me to keep believing that I had a future in ICT. I have developed more passion for innovation. I hope to acquire my Masters degree and probably get a doctorate degree in Information and communication technology, ICT.

Now I am back in Nigeria, with my nine colleagues, and I have new skills ready to execute on projects I am currently running. ICT is clearly the future, and has the capacity to change lives. I am so fired up and excited for the future of ICT in Nigeria, especially with my desire to train the coming generation of ICT enthusiasts.

I recommend that the Nigerian government explores the endless possibilities of ICT just like China has done to tremendously enhance its economy, particularly in the areas of human capacity building, knowledge acquisition and the creation of innumerable opportunities for individuals to optimize their potentials. ICT can be a part of our everyday lives, from smart education to smart telemedicine, smart communities, smart banking.

As Nigeria climbs back from its recent recession, the need for diversification increases and ICT can most definitely fast track the process. Currently, according to International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Nigeria is ranks 143 on the 2017 global ranking on ICT Development Index (IDI). This status can be improved with the joint effort of the Federal Government, academia, and the private sector.

With the appropriate funding for research and telecommunication infrastructure, and with the presence of leading ICT organizations like Huawei Technologies in Nigeria, the potential for success is without limit.

Through structured exchange programs, Nigerian ICT students can attend foreign programs in China and other leading ICT countries, to improve their skills. An ICT University with global facilitators can also be built in Nigeria. These skills and exposure can be used to improve the Nigerian economy.

My message to the other young people in the ICT space is that the possibilities are truly endless and with hard work, determination and dedication, their dreams are totally within reach. Federal Ministry of CommunicationsFederal Ministry of Science and Technology (Nigeria)Federal Ministry of Labour and EmploymentProfessor Yemi Osinbajo

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like

Announcements Business Education Government News Society Technology Technology Trends Telecoms Tourism Trends

NCC commits to bridging digital gender divide

post-image

 

…As Danbatta Bags ‘Icon of Digital Revolution Award’

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated its unwavering commitment to bridging growing gender-oriented digital divide to accelerate inclusive economic prosperity for all Nigerian citizens.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta who restated this commitment in Lagos at the 2022 Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs and Executives in Tech Summit (WEETS), Thursday, September 15, 2022, where he was conferred with the ‘Icon of Digital Revolution Award’ for his role in stimulating digital connectivity in Nigeria, said promotion of gender equality is a major component of ICT development.

He noted that the gender dimensions of ICT, manifests in access and use; capacity-building opportunities; employment and potential for empowerment, and that all these dimensions need to be explicitly identified and addressed, to leverage on technology and communication as powerful catalysts for political, economic, and social empowerment of women, and the promotion of gender equality.

Speaking…

Read More
Announcements Business Events Government Society Technology Technology Trends Telecoms

NCC Deploys 84 IT Projects to Support Persons with Disabilities

post-image

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has deployed 84 assistive Information Technology projects at different locations in Nigeria to support people with special needs while supporting policies that enable disadvantaged members of the society to live a more qualitative life.

“The E-Accessibility project seeks to meet the ICT needs of persons living with disabilities in Nigeria by providing ICT tools, assistive technologies, training, and Internet provision in the identified locations. Between 2012 to 2020, the NCC has deployed the E-Accessibility Projects in, at least, 84 locations nationwide.”

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this during a courtesy visit by a delegation from National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) to the NCC over the weekend in Abuja, where the EVC also restated NCC’s commitment to continually support people with special needs across the country.

Danbatta, while receiving the NCPWD team led by its Executive Secretary, James Lalu,…

Read More
Business Society Technology Technology Trends Telecoms

CX is just the tip of the competitive spear

post-image

Following the successful introduction of a reinvigorated brand at the recent CEM Africa Summit in Cape Town, Immersion Group’s bold new vision of creating a new industry standard where all experience disciplines work together to fully maximise profitability and growth is best articulated by the Group’s newly appointed Head of Experience Design, Ismail Dawjee. He believes experience design should be viewed as a strategic lever in gaining a competitive advantage and that multi-disciplinary skills integration in end-to-end experience design will have an unprecedented impact on the industry and organisations that adopt this fresh approach.

 

Forward-thinking organisations are beginning to see that experience design isn’t just another business capability, but rather a fundamental ingredient to commercial success. Conversations are rightly shifting from how many UX (user experience) professionals a business might need or what an ideal journey map looks like to how organisations can plan…

Read More
Business Government Investments Society Tourism

NIGERIA HOSTS GLOBAL INVESTMENT FORUM IN NEW YORK

post-image

 

In its continued bid to further open up the country’s economy to international capital and attract foreign investment, the Nigerian government, in collaboration with the Africa Business Roundtable, is organizing the second edition of the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum (NIEPF), a global economic investment platform, this time in New York, United States.

This high-level event is scheduled for Thursday, September 22, 2022, on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly taking place in the American city.
Holding alongside the annual global gathering, the NIEPF is expected to draw the presence of world leaders in politics, economy, media as well as Civil Society Oganisations and international media to focus on the vast economic potentials of Nigeria and Africa’s leading economy.

Most significantly, President Muhammadu Buhari will deliver the keynote address at the event and will also host a High-Level Presidential Session with fellow Presidents and Heads of delegations on Issues…

Read More
Business Featured Finance Investments Technology Technology Trends

Sidestepping complex payments through the power of one platform

post-image

 

 

The fast pace of digital transformation for financial services is vital for the empowerment of small businesses and their customers. However, in this transformation process, traditional payment methodologies are being bypassed by new technology and products.

 

Understandably, merchants are finding it increasingly difficult to keep abreast of all the latest payment products and solutions that are available. “It is complex and costly for merchants to manage their own integrations into multiple solution providers. Merchants should be focusing on their core businesses and leave payment complexities to specialist companies,” says Andrew Springate, CEO of tech and financial gateway service provider PAYM8.

 

Founded in 2001, PAYM8 quickly expanded its footprint across the African continent and now processes over R3 billion in annual transaction value for its clients, and is one of the few payment solution providers in Africa capable of providing a single offering to merchants spanning both payer and payee-initiated…

Read More
Business Technology Technology Trends Telecoms Trends

NCC Deploys 84 IT Projects to Support Persons with Disabilities

post-image

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has deployed 84 assistive Information Technology projects at different locations in Nigeria to support people with special needs while supporting policies that enable disadvantaged members of the society to live a more qualitative life.

“The E-Accessibility project seeks to meet the ICT needs of persons living with disabilities in Nigeria by providing ICT tools, assistive technologies, training, and Internet provision in the identified locations. Between 2012 to 2020, the NCC has deployed the E-Accessibility Projects in, at least, 84 locations nationwide.”

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this during a courtesy visit by a delegation from National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) to the NCC over the weekend in Abuja, where the EVC also restated NCC’s commitment to continually support people with special needs across the country.

Danbatta, while receiving the NCPWD team led by its Executive Secretary, James Lalu, said…

Read More
Business Finance Gadgets Investments News Technology Technology Trends Telecoms

The most common Facebook Marketplace scams and how to avoid them

post-image

 

 

Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO of ESET South Africa shares critical safety tips when buying or selling on Facebook Marketplace and how to tell if you’re being scammed.

 

Last year, Facebook Marketplace passed one billion global users. With this, it has become a giant in the consumer-to-consumer commerce space, allowing individual Facebook users to buy and sell seamlessly. Online retail in South Africa has more than doubled in just two years and with 29.5 million-strong Facebook users, more than half of the country’s population has a Facebook account.

 

Dominating the online classifieds

Marketplace has become so popular in South Africa that similar platforms are struggling to compete. Previously-popular OLX has closed its doors, while Gumtree still hangs on by a thread. Facebook Marketplace has outstripped the popularity of these online classifieds portals for several reasons. It is free and simple to use, as most people already have a Facebook account….

Read More
Business Investments Technology Technology Trends Telecoms

Clickatell Helps Nigerians Access eNaira Services, Boosting Financial Inclusion

post-image

Clickatell (https://www.Clickatell.com), a CPaaS innovator and Chat Commerce leader, has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) (https://www.CBN.gov.ng) to deliver fast, simple, and cost effective eNaira banking services to all Nigerians using the USSD channel, eliminating the need for data and available on all handsets.

 

Clickatell has collaborated with the CBN to launch a USSD channel for its eNaira Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) (www.eNaira.gov.ng) as part of the country’s drive to make basic banking accessible to all Nigerians, ultimately driving financial inclusion.

The eNaira was launched in October 2021 when the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, said Africa’s first central bank-backed digital currency would help boost remittances, foster cross-border trade, and help his government make welfare payments more easily. With financial inclusion at the heart of the eNaira goals, President Buhari also said that he believed the CBDC…

Read More