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Paradigm Initiative Nigeria

Microsoft Nigeria in collaboration with Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) has hosted the 2013 Microsoft NGO Connection Day Nigeria in Calabar. The two-day networking and information-sharing event brought together non-profit organizations from across the state to an interactive ICT capacity-building program enabling participants to learn more about Microsoft’s technologies and opportunities for non-profit organizations. Over 80 participants representing 42 NGOs from various parts of the state attended the forum. The 2013 Microsoft NGO Connection Day featured training sessions and technical demonstrations of Microsoft products such as Microsoft Office 2013, Windows 8 and Windows phone. There were also sessions on the Digital Literacy Standard Curriculum, Research Tools and Report Publishing, Internet Safety and Security, Social Media Tools and Website/Blog Development and Management. During the 2-day workshop, participants had the opportunity to discuss technology use in their work, learn more about relevant technology tools and establish a faster online presence that helped make information regarding their services available to a broader audience. Participants came from several parts of the state such as Calabar Municipality, Odukpani, Biase and Akampka. Congratulating Microsoft on her numerous efforts at ensuring technology penetration and growth in the region and especially the empowerment of the immediate community in which the company operates, His Excellency, the Governor of Cross Rivers, Senator Liyel Imoke who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Civil Society and NGOs, Barrister Margaret Ebokpo said, “Let me again commend the vision of the initiators of this important programme- Microsoft and its partner, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria and restate our goodwill. We will continue to welcome similar engagements that contribute to enhancing the progress and development of our society as we strive to offer knowledge-based and accountable Governance to our people”. Awawu Olumide-Sojinrin, Director Marketing and Operations Microsoft Anglophone West Africa who spoke at the opening ceremony said, “As part of the Access Pillar of the 4Afrika initiative launched in February this year, we know that access to technology alone is not enough. That’s why we’re committed to supporting NGOs by increasing access to IT services, solutions, and training to help them use technology to expand their reach, improve their services, and accelerate their impact”. According to Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria “The NGO space is changing as everything else. Since many of these NGOs work in rural areas or with underserved groups that could benefit by employing the use of cost-saving ICT tools, NGOs need to be equipped with the applicable technologies required to make their work relevant to and effective in the 21st century”. The high point of the event was the launch of Microsoft Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria (MISSPIN) documentary titled “Economic Cost of Cybercrime in Nigeria” which is in commemoration of the World IT day. Speaking at the launch, the State House Chairperson on Due Process, Internal Development and Corporation Honourable John Gual Lebo, shed light on reasons why the Legislative arm of government is yet to pass the cybercrime bill into law. In his words, “The Presidency is currently working on achieving 154 country signatories to this treaty, this will leapfrog the prosecution of offenders and then the possibility of the bill on cybercrime can be passed”. Also, airing his views and appreciating Microsoft on this symbolic feat, the Special Adviser on ICT Mr Odo-Effiong said, “We thank Microsoft on this laudable project for the people of Cross Rivers State and Nigeria as a whole and for the enthronement of equity, fairness, business investment and advancement of our Society”. Some delighted participants, Emmanuel Etim and Adidang Oyongha of the Supreme Coalition said, “We appreciate Microsoft for bringing this initiative to Calabar and making available tools and resources to achieve our objectives as NGOs, we also believe this initiative will go a long way in improving our environment; socially, politically and economically”. Other dignitaries at the event were Comrade Otu, Director of Administration in the Department of Civil Society & NGOs, Mr Iso Bassey in the Office of the Special Adviser on ICT, as well as other distinguished officials in the Department of Civil Society & NGOs. Microsoft NGO Connection Day 2013 will help fill a huge gap that will improve organizational efficiency while also helping many non-profits save cost. The event previously held in North Central Nigeria (Abuja) in 2011 and South West (Lagos) in 2012.

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This article was first published on 23rd May 2013

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