As the world is moving at an unimaginable speed in the area of information use and dissemination, Nigerians are following along, that is , for those who have access and can effectively use the information technology tools.
“The technology ecosystem in Nigeria is diverse and evolving” says Country Manager for Intel Nigeria, Mr. Olubunmi Ekundare.
“As Information Technology penetration continues to deepen in the country, the number of users of the technology devices and solutions are also increasing.” continues Olubumni Ekundare. New media tools are helping people find, explore, analyse, exchange, and present information—most importantly, without discrimination. Take the issue of#EbolaOutbreak in Lagos, Nigeria where social media played a key role in empowering people with information on how to stop or prevent Ebola across Nigeria.
So when participants gathered in Abuja for the 2014 SocialGood Summit Meetup on Monday Sept. 22nd 2014 information use and dissemination was top of the agenda for discussion. With the theme Nigeria Connecting for Good, how technology can help shape Nigeria’s growth and development was explored. From crowd-sourcing volunteers for an education project by HolyHill Relief Foundation to using social media to share correct information on sexual and reproductive health and rights, participants shared how information shared via social media is connecting Nigerians and Africans for good.
When Asked what is the biggest issue that social media can solve, Fasoranti Damilola an Abuja based entrepreneur explains that social media can solved “information poverty” in Nigeria. Explaining what that means, he emphasized that to end poverty, people need to get access to correct information that empowers them to find jobs, create jobs, stay healthier, protect the environment and mentor others. Not having access to information keeps people in the circle of poverty. Social media plays a key role in connecting people with the correction information for desired change.
During the session on Blogging, Jenny Chisom of LOGiN Bloggers Network led the discussion on Bloggers at the heart of Connecting Nigeria for Social Good. Many bloggers in Nigeria consider themselves as entrepreneurs and are making a living off blogging but most started as simple bloggers connecting people to information that empowers. For instance, My blog which is primarily proving information that empowers readers gave me first scholarship to travel aboard for a conference and that encouraged me to get more involved in international development efforts around issues of climate change and reproductive rights.
What #socialgood means differs from person to persons as an emerging concept in Nigeria, the #2030Now conversation during the Meetup presented an enormous opportunity for participants to get first hand understanding of what social good means. Winners from the Abuja #Hack4good presented their winning project EMERGY, an online application that provides a platform for Nigerians to report emergencies and support efforts to reduce impact of such disasters.
At the end of the event, participants were introduced to Social Good Nigeria and the plus socialgood platform and ask to continue the conversation. Social Good Nigeria will be officially unveiled this October in Abuja with the launch of Abuja Social Good hub in partnership with Enspire Incubator, at the Abuja Technology Village.