We are pleased to present our 2017 Annual Report. At the beginning of 2017, Paradigm Initiative’s expansion plan took us back to the drawing board. From the search for team members – with the right mix of relevant expertise, local knowledge and context appreciation – to teaming up with new partners and expanding our existing coalition, we were able to extend our digital rights work into the rest of Anglophone West Africa, East/Southern Africa and Francophone Africa. We also deepened our digital inclusion reach within Nigeria, with the introduction of resident programs in secondary schools and tertiary institutions across the country.
It was a year that came with opportunities for our digital inclusion program as we expanded our LIFE training program beyond the Aba, Ajegunle and Kano centres and took the program into 5 secondary schools in Abia, Lagos and Kano state. The LIFE@School program graduates can now join their colleagues who benefit from the 10-week digital readiness program to start entrepreneurial activities or get internships/jobs early based on new skills acquired. In 2017, we trained 270 youth at the LIFE centres, 96 at various schools and 332 in digital readiness workshops.
Our Techtiary program also added 5 tertiary institutions while the 2017 Techtiary Forum was attended by students from 27 tertiary institutions from five of Nigeria’s six zones. The 2017 Techtiary Forum brought 170 undergraduates from 27 tertiary institutions across 5 geo-political zones. The One Million Naira Taiwo Bankole Prize was won by Oyinyechi Nmecha with her Extraclass.ng project.
In 2017, the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill was passed by the House of Representatives and while we know that a lot of work must now go towards completing the legislative process and implementing the landmark positive rights legislation, we wish to thank the sponsor, Hon. Chukwuemeka Ujam, for his dedication and sacrifice. To end the year, our bi-lingual (English and French) Digital Rights in Africa report, featuring 21 countries across Central, East, North, Southern and West Africa, was launched on December 19 at the 2017 Internet Governance Forum in Geneva. Our annual Internet Freedom Forum, which held in April 2017, was attended by stakeholders from 33 countries!
You can read more about our efforts at advancing digital rights and digital inclusion in Africa by downloading the Annual Report.