Paradigm Initiative Holds Digital Rights Workshop in Cameroon

By | DigitalJobs

Paradigm Initiative, in partnership with Internews, will organize two capacity building workshops for civil society organizations working on human rights and digital rights in the anglophone and francophone regions of Cameroon. The workshop will hold from May 2 to 5, 2018

The main objectives of these workshops for the first phase are to raise the awareness of participating organizations about Internet rights and Internet policy issues; provide participants with advocacy skills to engage key stakeholders in all sectors; to mobilize their commitment to promote and defend digital rights in Cameroon.

These workshops are organized by Paradigm Initiative in partnership with Internews, an international NGO based in the United States. This training also benefits from the support of Afroleadership and the Center for Youth Education and Economic Development (CYEED), local partners of the event.

Following on from those organized in other African countries, this training is in line with Paradigm Initiative’s commitment to building the capacity of African organizations on digital rights issues to enable them to effectively advocate for freedom of expression and other human rights challenges on the continent.

According to the African Union’s Declaration on the Rights and Freedoms of the Internet, and the Declaration on Internet Governance, most African countries lack significant mechanisms to encourage inclusive citizen and stakeholder participation in the process of implementing Internet policies and digital rights.

These training workshops are organized to deepen the knowledge of participants from the North West, West and Central regions of Cameroon. A total of about 30 participants will be equipped on digital rights topics with participatory strategies to engage stakeholders at the local, national, regional and international levels.

Paradigm Initiative is a social enterprise that builds an ICT-enabled support system and advocates digital rights in order to improve livelihoods for under-served youth. Our programs include digital inclusion programs – such as the Life Skills. ICT. Financial Readiness. Entrepreneurship (LIFE) training program and Techtiary program – and a digital rights program. Through our offices in Nigeria (Aba, Abuja, Ajegunle, Kano, Yaba) and Yaounde Cameroon, we work to connect under-served youth with improved livelihoods through our digital inclusion and digital rights programs.. Paradigm Initiative works with experts across Eastern, Western, Southern and Central Africa. Paradigm Initiative has been working for nearly 10 years on digital rights in Africa with the support of local, national and international partners.

Internews is a non-profit, international organization, established in 1982, with offices in California, Washington DC, and London, as well as regional centers in Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Latin America and North America. For nearly 40 years, Internews has worked in more than 100 countries with local partners to build hundreds of sustainable organizations, build the capacity of thousands of media professionals, human rights activists and information entrepreneurs as well as improving lives and building sustainable development.


Paradigm Initiative at RightsCon

By | DigitalJobs

Paradigm Initiative is participating at RightsCon 2018 in Toronto, Canada. RightsCon holds from May 16 to May 18, 2018. Attending are Digital Rights Program Manager (Anglophone Africa), Boye Adegoke, the  Director of Programs, Tope Ogundipe, and the Executive Director of Paradigm ‘Gbenga Sesan,

Shared below are the three sessions we are organizing to help further conversation and cooperation on digital rights issues.

A- Session 47: Africa’s Digital Rights Secretariat: Net Rights Africa Coalition and its prospects

Date: May 17

Time: 16:00 – 17:00

Venue: Room 201A

Speakers: Sanja Kelly (Freedom House), Sheetal Kumar (Global Partners Digital), Julie Owono (Internet Sans Frontieres), Gbenga Sesan, Michael Moss (MLDI) and  Henry Maina (Article 19)

Moderator: Tope Ogundipe

Synopsis: The Net Rights Africa Coalition, originally a solution to solving a problem of digital rights in Nigeria by coming up with the globally-acclaimed Digital Rights and Freedom Bill for Nigeria, has now scaled Africa to replicate its successes across regions. In doing more of what it has done in the past, the Coalition seeks to recognize the prominent challenges of digital rights across African regions and work with a cluster of experts to resolve them. The Coalition is also currently being used as a feeder for the annual Digital Rights status in Africa report.

This session seeks to rally major experts on digital rights issues in Africa and have them discuss how to make this Coalition a bigger reality and success.


B- Session 45: Electoral Choices and Artificial Intelligence: The Need for Transnational Collaboration in Africa

Date: Thursday, May 17

Time: 17:15 – 18:15

Venue: Room 204C

Moderator: Adeboye Adegoke 

Speakers: Grace Githaiga (KICKTANet), Grace Bomu (KICKTANet), Henry Maina (Article 19), Titi Akinsanmi (Google).

Moderator. Adeboye Adegoke (Paradigm Initiative)

Synopsis: This session will focus on the intersection of civic participation, algorithms/artificial intelligence, and human rights. Patterning has become a key identifier of results especially as it has to do with machine learning. With the huge exchange of data in Africa and with no means of measuring for accountability, these patterns are said to open to several manipulations and even selection of predetermined choices of citizens especially during the performance of the most civic obligation of all – voting. Several pieces of evidence point to these facts in the past with respect to the US elections, the UK Brexit process and more recently in Kenya. More emphasis will be placed on Africa as a virgin ground and how this ground can be protected from the likely perversion of technologies to the detriment of the people.


C- Session 46: Litigating Internet Shutdowns in Africa: Identifying Blurred Lines and Roadmaps:

Date: Friday, May 18

Time: 09:00 – 10:15

Venue: Room 205C

Speakers: Titi Akinsanmi (Google),  Padraig Hughes (Media Legal Defence Initiative), Peter Micek (Access Now) and Gbenga Sesan (Paradigm Initiative)

Moderator: Boye Adegoke (Paradigm Initiative)

Synopsis: This panel discussion will address the proliferation of instances where states have blocked or partially restricted access to the internet, and civil society strategies to challenge internet shutdowns using litigation before domestic and regional courts.

Besides these sessions, our team members would also be participating in other sessions. You can follow @ParadigmHQ on twitter for a regular update on our activities at RightsCon.

Call for Application: Fully-sponsored participation at the 2018 Nigeria Internet Governance Forum

By | DigitalJobs, ICTs

Paradigm Initiative is pleased to announce its fully funded Fellowships to the Nigerian Internet Governance Forum 2018.  

The fellowship is open to all undergraduates in their penultimate year (year before final year), irrespective of field of study.

Selected fellows will be sponsored to attend the 2018 Nigeria Internet Governance Forum in Abuja in July 2018. The fellowship will cover flight, accommodation and per diem.

Selection will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Keen interest in ICT Policy issues in general, and Digital Rights in particular
  2. Willingness to complete a final year project related to Digital Rights, irrespective of field of study and angle (legal, technical, social, etc) of approach to the relevant issues
  3. Availability to travel to — and from Abuja — between July 1 and 4, 2018

Fellows who dedicate their final year thesis to a digital rights issue may also be supported by Paradigm Initiative in their research.  

If you would like to secure one of the five (5) fellowship slots, please do the following:

  1. Record a 3-minute video of yourself speaking on what “Digital Rights” means to you as a young Nigerian.
  2. Upload the video online and share on social media, using the hashtag #NIGF18withPI, and copy @ParadigmHQ
  3. Fill this form and make sure to include the link to your video:


You must complete all three steps above before 12 midnight June 15, 2018, when the competition will end. Please note that applications after this deadline will not be considered.   

Vacancy: Google Policy Fellow, East/Southern Africa

By | DigitalJobs

Advertised Position

Google Policy Fellow, East/Southern Africa


Paradigm Initiative is recruiting to fill a vacant Google Policy Fellow position in the organisation. The Fellow will be working on the Digital Rights Program of Paradigm Initiative, with focus on East and Southern Africa. The fellowship will run for six months from May 2018 to November 2018.

The Fellow will have the opportunity to work at the forefront of debates on digital rights policy, broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and creativity, consumer privacy, open government, government surveillance, data security, data innovation, free expression and more.

The Fellow will lead Paradigm Initiative’s Magoyi (digital rights-focused) program in East and Southern Africa, with a strong focus on communication and advocacy; training; stakeholder engagement; research and publications; and policy.

Line Manager

Director of Programs

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Provide expertise and counseling on regional and global policies in accordance with international best practices in order to ensure maximum output
  • Participate in public hearings of ICT-related policies and ensure contribution/inputs
  • Monitor digital rights violations in the region and work with a team to document, communicate and seek redress for violations, where necessary
  • Fund (and other resources’) mobilization for the Digital Rights program
  • Establish, manage, maintain and review programs and operations
  • Strategically develop key policies that enhance organizational growth and development
  • Engage relevant national, regional and global institutions on digital rights issues for East and Southern Africa
  • Take decisions that promote the organization’s procedural standards
  • Disseminate information on digital rights issues and take initiatives on new trends so as to add value to the organization
  • Consistently review, monitor and evaluate policies that support growth and development
  • Conduct research on policies and procedural standards in order to achieve goals and objectives
  • Manage and maximize team output and performance, where necessary
  • Plan and develop policies that support equity, transparency, and accountability


Qualifications and Skills

  • Degree in Law, Public Policy, Public Administration or relevant body of knowledge along with relevant experience
  • Knowledgeable about digital rights and current policies/trends that promote ICT-related growth and development
  • Experience in policy planning, research, implementation, program monitoring and program evaluation

Key Result Areas

  • Train media, civil society, activists, at-risk citizens, policymakers and relevant stakeholders on digital rights in the East/Southern Africa region
  • Advocate for, and communicate around, digital rights issues in the East/Southern Africa region
  • Engage relevant national, regional and global institutions for digital rights issues in the East/Southern Africa region
  • Promote best practice policy efforts and instruments in the East/Southern Africa region
  • Complete relevant research and publication of timely policy briefs, reports, blogs, articles, etc, for digital rights issues in the East/Southern Africa region
  • Mobilize funds for the Digital Rights program, especially in the East/Southern Africa region
  • Periodic analysis and review of policies, strategies, and procedures
  • Develop and implement policies that enhance the organization’s output and services
  • Undertake other tasks in accordance with job expectations

Application Details

Fill the application here on or before April 15, 2018. Please note that this position is open to only candidates from the East/Southern Africa region.

Vacancy: Program Officer (Election News Fact Checking Project)

By | DigitalJobs

Job Title: Program Officer (Election News Fact Checking Project)

Project Duration: May 1, 2018 – April 30, 2019

As fake news online becomes a serious menace, there is a need for lovers of free speech to combat it before haters of free speech use it as an excuse to curtail citizens’ right to free speech online. To this end, Paradigm Initiative is collaborating with Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism to leverage Dubawa, a fact-checking platform, in debunking fake news and propaganda during the coming election season, thereby ensuring only factual news thrive online and citizens are able to make informed decisions.

Paradigm Initiative, therefore, seeks a Program Officer to manage this crucial project. The Program Officer is responsible for managing partner relationships and overseeing project implementation in its entirety. He/she will also:

  • Manage the project’s narrative reporting, budgets, and  financial reporting
  • Manage a team of volunteers that would work with her/him on the project
  • Work closely with team members to identify and develop new strategic partnerships and activities.
  • Regularly identify fake news with consequence for the 2019 elections and craft well-written, research-based articles to debunk them
  • Use the tools of infographics, short videos, illustrations, etc, to advance the cause of the project
  • Lead the advocacy efforts against fake news  during the 2019 elections
  • Work with traditional and online media outfits to identify fake news and leverage their platforms to neutralize the effect of such fake news
  • Organise events with high profile politicians and policymakers in attendance to address election-related fake news and propaganda
  • Represent Paradigm Initiative on television shows, conferences, events to discuss the project

Who should apply:

  • You enjoy excellent journalism; consuming it and producing it
  • You are concerned about the negative impact of fake news and are ready to do  something about it
  • You love advocacy and have experience running a successful advocacy project, or at least being an important part of it
  • You can and do regularly write, with evidence of your writing on major media platforms
  • You have experience in journalism
  • You have a tested ability to engage in quality research, both desk and field
  • You have a good nose for identifying plain or deodorised bullshit
  • You have a keen eye for details
  • You have experience in managing, developing or supporting programs
  • You have experience developing and managing monitoring and evaluation efforts
  • You have demonstrated interpersonal skills
  • You have excellent communication skills: speaking, writing, and listening.
  • You have an excellent handle on digital tools and social media usage


Interested? Fill the application form on/or before April 15, 2018. Only shortlisted candidates would be contacted for the interview session. The selected qualified candidate will resume immediately.

Call for Paradigm Initiative Media Fellowship 2018

By | DigitalJobs

Paradigm Initiative Digital Rights and Inclusion Media Fellowship is a 5-month program designed to immerse outstanding, early career, journalists in digital rights and digital inclusion advocacy – and intervention efforts – in Africa. Selected journalists will work with Paradigm Initiative on various projects and contribute to improving public understanding of digital rights and inclusion issues.

Components of the Fellowship

  • 2-day Orientation and Digital Rights/Inclusion training
  • 2-week residency at Paradigm Initiative’s offices in Nigeria. The Fellow will spend time at the Yaba HQ, Aba LIFE Centre, Abuja office, Ajegunle LIFE Centre and Kano LIFE Centre
  • 4-month virtual collaboration with Paradigm Initiative
  • Fellowship may also include fully-funded local and international travels to participate in and cover relevant events
  • Interaction with leading stakeholders in digital rights advocacy


  • Fellows will be expected to participate in all scheduled activities
  • Fellows will be expected to publish, in their affiliated newspapers or magazines, at least twelve reports on digital rights and inclusion issues during the fellowship period. Fellows will retain full editorial direction on the stories
  • Fellows will be expected to continue to provide coverage to digital rights and inclusion issues after their fellowship
  • Paradigm Initiative will provide fellows with a monthly stipend, and a one-time research grant, during the fellowship period

Who can apply?

  • The Fellowship is open to journalists affiliated with mainstream print and online newspapers in Africa
  • Interested candidates must demonstrate previous coverage of human rights and/or tech issues and interest in advocacy journalism
  • Interested candidates must not have spent more than ten years in journalism. We are most interested in outstanding, early career journalists

How to apply

Fill the application form here:


Deadline: May 30, 2018.

Fellowship will run from July to December 2018.

Stakeholders Hold Roundtable on Digital Rights and Engagement in Lagos  

By | #PINternetFreedom, DigitalJobs, ICT Policy

Effective digital engagement by government agencies remains a big priority for the Federal Government because of its immense potential, this was the position of Tolu Ogunlesi, the Head of Presidency Office of Digital Engagement (PODE). Ogunlesi was speaking at a stakeholder roundtable on digital rights and digital engagement organised by Paradigm Initiative, Facebook and PODE.

The roundtable, which held on February 22, in Lagos, brought together stakeholders from government agencies, the private sector and the civil society.  It provided an engaging atmosphere for a lively debate on issues affecting internet freedom and digital engagement by government agencies in Nigeria. Issues discussed at the roundtable include data privacy and protection, law enforcement, libel, fake news, and digital engagement by the government. The roundtable followed the first edition held in Abuja last year.

Speaking at the roundtable, the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, ‘Gbenga Sesan emphasised the need for continuous conversation between stakeholders in the private sector, civil society and the government on digital rights issues in Nigeria. He said, “Digital right issues are far too important to our democracy and it is crucial that we engage in conversation with security agencies and public servants on how we can ensure freedom of people online while keeping the nation and citizens safe.”

In her remarks, Public Policy Manager, Africa of Facebook,  Akua Gyeke said, “Facebook is an important platform for political conversation in Nigeria, and we are happy to be a part of this. Facebook is dedicated to keeping people safe online, foster civility and responsible behaviour and promoting free expression and sharing.”

Tolu Ogunlesi, who led the conversation on a proposed Digital Engagement Policy for Federal Government, said that his office was working hard on creating digital engagement standards that would guide all government offices in their use of digital tools to ensure effective communication with the public.

“There is currently no social media policy for the Federal Govt. This is understandable as social media use is relatively new in government circle. But this situation has led to inconsistency in the way government offices use digital media. We are currently working on creating a digital engagement policy for the federal government. It will provide guidelines on platforms to use, accounts administration, logo and naming standard, editorial policies, archival system, content process and management, among other things”

Participants at the roundtable include Anselm Ozioko of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission representing the Acting Chairman of the Commission and the Acting Director of Defence Information Brigadier General John Agim, who provided perspectives from the national security and law enforcement side. Other participants are Chioma Okee-Aguguo representing the CEO of  National Information Technology Development Agency, Olufemi Fadare of the National Identity Management Commission, Olusola Teniola, President, Association Of Telecommunication Companies Of Nigeria (ATCON), Edet Ojo, Executive Director at Media Rights Agenda.

Brenda Okoro’s MobbiCheck Story: Lessons in Digital Innovation and Persistence

By | Coding, DigitalJobs, ICTs

By Babatunde Okunoye

Every story has its beginning and Brenda Okoro’s story must be told from its very beginning. Brenda’s programming passion was born out of deep curiosity for all things technical. While in Secondary School she had a friend who was exposed to computers early so Brenda would usually go to her house and beg to be allowed to play with her personal Computer (to play games of course!). When fancy mobile phones started evolving, Brenda’s Mom bought her an LG flip phone which she used to play games. However, she noticed that every time she launched a game application, an image popped up with the text ‘Java’ so that triggered her to begin researching what Java was all about.

While in secondary school also Brenda studied Computer Science which did not a great impression on her. She, however, learnt how to draw using the paint application at that time. When she completed secondary school, Brenda told her parents of her desire to attend a computer training institute. Luckily they agreed and enrolled her in a 6-months diploma program while she continued seeking admission into a tertiary institution. During the training, Brenda was introduced to QBASIC, her very first programming language. She did well in the training and finished with a distinction and was offered employment in the computer institute.

In 2012, when Brenda gained admission into Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU, #GreatIfe) to study Computer Science & Engineering, she dreamt of making a first class. She also planned to make a meaningful societal impact through the use of information technology. While she did not make the first class, she did succeed on the second objective of acquiring tech skills for social development.

The tech for good journey took one fateful day when a team from Paradigm Initiative landed on the OAU campus. The team was visited Brenda’s department in OAU and students were asked to wait behind after lectures. The Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, Mr. ‘Gbenga Sesan, who spoke to the students, narrated his success story to the students and encouraged them to think outside the box in their pursuit of career success. When Sesan, himself an alumnus of OAU, concluded his speech, his team introduced the student to TENT (Techie Entrepreneurial Nigeria Talented, now TECHTIARY), a new program Paradigm Initiative chose to pioneer in OAU.  The aim of TENT was to encourage university students to build startups/tech products & services of their own so that when they graduate they wouldn’t need to loiter around looking for virtually nonexistent jobs. At the very least TENT would help the students pick up relevant skills. The OAU students were encouraged to come up with ideas which would solve local problems around them. Some 100 students signed up for TENT at OAU that year, and Brenda was one of them.

At the first TENT Gathering (the national annual meeting of students involved in TENT in Nigeria), students were asked to present a tech idea to solve a societal problem. Brenda presented an idea delivering a health solution (later to be called MobbiCheck) which helps citizens locate the nearest health centre and provides critical health information. At the end of the three-day event, the best three ideas were chosen and Brenda’s idea wasn’t among them. Naturally, she felt bad though but was determined to succeed next time and never gave up on her idea. Brenda consulted a senior colleague in Google Developer Group (GDG) OAU on how best to develop her idea for future success. His advice, which was prescient, was for her to pick up a programming language.

Luckily Brenda’s department organized programming tutorials on Java so she borrowed her roommate’s laptop and installed Netbeans (integrated development environment for Java) on it. She attended the Java tutorials but didn’t follow through at all, because initially, everything seemed like Spanish. Then came the long break due to the university strike action so Brenda went home and was finally able to learn the rudiments of Java at the same computer training institute she was enrolled in prior to joining OAU.

Then all of a sudden, with more study and practice, Java started making sense to Brenda but she didn’t have a Personal Computer to practice with so she usually went early to the training institute to do assignments and practice. Then the University strike was called off and Brenda went back to school. It was during this term she was introduced to Python but it was mostly theory. Like most students, Brenda opted for the usual ‘cram and pass’ reading. However, her recent knowledge of Java helped her flow much more easily with the course.

In her second year at OAU, as part of TENT OAU activities ahead of 2013 national TENT Gathering, Brenda was asked to build a prototype of the idea she submitted in the last competition. She again asked a senior colleague the best implementation course for the project and he suggested building the prototype on J2ME (Java 2 Mobile Edition). Brenda travelled all the way back to school, borrowed a computer from a friend and learnt J2ME, implemented the prototype on a Nokia phone and presented it during TENT gathering 2013. At the end of the event when the 3 best prototypes were chosen, Brenda’s project was selected and was chosen to partake in Paradigm Initiative’s TENT Angel Investment Scheme – which is a program of long-term support for technopreneurs, created with the support of Nick Jekogian, a board member of Paradigm Initiative and an entrepreneur based in the United States. This represented a victory and change of fortune for Brenda, whose project now received funding and support from one of the leading organizations working in digital inclusion in Africa.

When school resumed Brenda became a superstar and received a lot of calls from participants, congratulatory messages from her course mates and from her lecturers. She became so popular and got her first laptop as a gift from her Mom. She later joined a research lab (iLAB) to sharpen her skills and find team members because an important expert advice and feedback she obtained during TENT 2013 was to work with a team to improve her project’s chances of success. Later that year the Open Technology Movement (OTM) was organized on OAU campus and there she met her team mates. There the new team extensively discussed Brenda’s TENT project and decided to implement it on the Android platform. They also chose a name for the new app – MobbiCheck. Brenda’s knowledge of Android development was limited at the time so she left the implementation to a member of her team who was an Android developer.

As the head of the team, Brenda’s plan was to implement MobbiCheck on both web and mobile so she had to allocate tasks among her group members. Although this division of labour seemed to work for a while, the team eventually fell apart and Brenda was devastated, torn apart and broken. She didn’t know what to do but somehow found the strength to move on. Fortunately she had a plan B, an emergency team. Essentially this involved calling her friends that were very good developers and together they were able to build something worth presenting within a few hours to 2014 TENT gathering held at Benson Idahosa University Edo state. The TENT gathering was a success that year and there were 11 participants from OAU Ife alone. Against all odds, Brenda’s team had a good outing at the TENT program.

Brenda reorganized her team after settling disputes and misunderstandings.  The team also changed their focus to major on Android development. Luckily, Android Code jams organized by the Google Development Group (GDG) had begun at that time so she used the opportunity to learn Android in-depth. During this process, the project lagged behind as a result of the time spent trying to set up the Android studio. The increasing workload of university 300 level courses at OAU Ife too did not help matters. So Brenda opted for online tutorials to help bridge the time and knowledge gap. The project however suffered as Brenda struggled to balance school work and her entrepreneurship pursuits.

TENT gathering 2015 was once again approaching and Brenda, now in 400 level, was already attached to an organization for SIWES (Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme). During her SIWES she worked as an Android developer and improved her skills in Android but was so tied up with SIWES work that she had little time to focus on her TENT project.

When it was time for final year projects, Brenda chose to work on a home automation project to control appliances using voice activation. Although it was the model for the TENT program, she couldn’t use her TENT project as her final year project because it was purely software and her departmental requirements required her to work on a hardware project as a computer engineer. At this stage she was sufficiently proficient in Android development and so could assist her team in the development. In the meantime, a member of her team graduated and got a job and couldn’t continue so yet there was a critical manpower shortage in her team. There was pressure now to Brenda to give up but she didn’t. She instead went for yet another Tech event – a hackathon organized by Konga and participated with a makeshift team of three for the event. Her team members, on hearing of her Mobbi-check project decided to become her project team members. It was then decided to change the Mobbicheck user interface and add content to it. The team then made considerable progress, and Brenda became more experienced in balancing this project with her school work.

At around this time, Brenda got a scholarship for the Udacity Android development Nanodegree. She was elated and immediately downloaded the videos and got busy with projects. There was also a deadline to launch the app on PlayStore before the end of November 2017 as there was a planned presentation of the finished product in Lagos during Techiary Forum 2017. Just towards the end of October however her Nanodegree training was terminated because she did something against the rules (unintentionally). This new setback devastated Brenda and she became somewhat depressed to the point of deciding not to code again. Nevertheless, somehow she did not give up, in part as a result of encouragement from her sponsor and mentor who encouraged her to keep learning even though she wouldn’t get the certificate from Udacity.

November 2017 is one month Brenda won’t forget in a hurry because she worked round the clock to complete the MobbiCheck app ahead of the deadlines imposed by Playstore and the Techtiary team. As a result of the closeness of the deadlines, Brenda met a friend to help work on an app feature while she focused on other aspects of the project. Together they completed the app and launched it on Playstore. This represented a major breakthrough and milestone for her. In the feeling of elation, joy and fulfillment that followed, Brenda shared the link to the app with a few of her contacts to get feedback for improvement of a better version. All considered, in Brenda’s own reckoning and I’m sure many will agree with her, MobbiCheck is gearing up to be a success story. The MobbiCheck app, which helps Nigerians locate local health care centres closest to them and provides important health information, is a story of a locally developed solution, and how its development is overcoming the odds usually stacked against technopreneurs in Nigeria.

You can check out MobbiCheck on the Google PlayStore via the link:


Lessons learned

  1. Don’t rush into just picking anyone as a team mate. Take your time and choose wisely.
  2. Learn the skill if you must it’s very important.
  3. Try hard not to procrastinate and be determined to finish a course (whatever it is) you started.




Paradigm Initiative Fetes Volunteers and Partners 

By | AjegunleLIFE, DigitalJobs, ICT Policy, Press Release

In a show of appreciation to its partners and volunteers for the AjegunleLIFE and Techtiary Programs, Paradigm Initiative feted them on Friday 15th October 2017 at a cocktail held at Golden Tulip Hotel, Lagos.

According to Tosin Abolaji, a program manager at Paradigm Initiative, “our digital inclusion programs, Techtiary and LIFE, leverage the support of a pool of volunteers and partners who offer their talent, time and resources. This is an integral of part of what we do in providing better livelihood through the programs.

Hence, we do not take their efforts for granted without expressing how grateful we are for their valuable contribution to providing excellent support for our work.”

At the event, Paradigm Initiative’s Director of Programs, Tope Ogundipe opened the evening with a welcome note.

“Without the support of volunteers, the LIFE program would have folded up long ago. We are grateful to you all; your contribution to the program has led to the empowerment of hundreds of youth.  We are here to celebrate & thank you,” Ogundipe enthused.

This was followed by a Thank You speech from the Executive Director, ‘Gbenga Sesan who commended the contributions of the partners and volunteers make in supporting and serving. After thanking our partners and volunteers, there was a networking session which allowed the attendees engage and get to know each other.
Paradigm Initiative recognized each volunteer and partner, acknowledging their service with an award of voluntary service and partnership.

For further information about becoming a volunteer or a partner, please visit or email hello(@)

My Journey to Tech Via T.E.N.T- Oladotun Aluko

By | DigitalJobs, ICT Policy, ICTs, TENT, Web Design

“Is there chops?”. That is the official attention grabber for most Obafemi Awolowo University students whenever an event is announced. It was a quiet evening in 2012 in a lecture room where we sat and listened to a team we were meeting for the first time. The question that played in our head was, “What is this going to be about?”. Well, it was what would eventually become one of the best things that ever happened during my stay in the University.

It turned out that an organisation called Paradigm Initiative was kicking off a new programme and we were just given the opportunity to be the pioneers of Techie Entrepreneurial Nigerian Talented or T.E.N.T (now known as Techtiary). So here came ‘Gbenga Sesan doing one of the things he does best, inspiring younger ones to pick up the challenge of making themselves self-employed through entrepreneurial activities. Believe me, he sure knows how to activate the entrepreneurial nature in people.

T.E.N.T’s structure was very simple; come up with a viable, scalable idea that tackles a problem and find a technological solution to it and develop it into something marketable without necessarily waiting to be out of school before thinking ‘big’. His primary emphasis was that one should not be at the mercy of anyone when there is the option of entrepreneurship and created jobs for others.

It sounds easy or so I thought until the time came to actually generate the ideas (possibly the next big thing). We had several group brainstorming sessions and personal brainstorming sessions. But of course, we had a rather naive approach to generating these ideas. In fact, a friend had spoken around developing a Time Machine. In one part of my mind, my response was, “Bro, just forget it”.

The very first set of ideas were simply just too fancy so I am not going to mention them. However, the real journey started a few months down the line in 2013. It was during this period that I found something more substantial to work on. And then, here came an extended semester break in form of a general university  Strike. This period was really the time I got to work on very substantial things. So I decided to go change the idea. This time, I went for something along the lines of matching skilled and talented people with those that may be looking for skilled personnel.

In essence, it was like an online Marketplace for soft skills. I named this one “Expose” for lack of a better name (you can laugh at me – it was the best I could find). I proceeded with it up until sometime in 2015. At which time, I collaborated with another TENT participant to develop another product which was centred around identifying different places based on the principle of Augmented Reality. This one was named “FINDA”(still not the best name – I know).

Working on these ideas served as the impetus for study and research, to find out what works and what doesn’t and afterwards find out why what works, works and vice versa. During these periods, I picked up a number of skills and learnt a couple of things that have enriched my experience. And sure enough, it has paid off in huge terms. It’s then you find out why the statement, “99% of startups fail” is not an exaggeration. And in fact, the major takeaway is more about developing an attitude towards finding the simplest approach to solving a particular problem.

Developing the Entrepreneurial mindset was the key takeaway. Since then, I have served on a number of startup teams trying to develop simple solutions to seemingly complicated problems and believe me, it’s so much fun. The experience with T.E.N.T, on the whole, was interesting. I do not feel that not succeeding with the ideas is a sign of failure (at least by my own standards), it is actually the foundation for something much bigger. This experience and lessons learnt are quite invaluable.


Oladotun Aluko participated in T.E.N.T (now Techtiary) between 2012 and 2017. He is available on Twitter, @nutod_20.

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