Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sheryl Sandberg's Keynote Address at the Grace Hopper Conference

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, gave a keynote address at the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in which she encourages women to consider and pursue careers in technology and explains why technology is such a key driver of the economy.


Watch live streaming video from fbtechtalks at livestream.com

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2nd Annual ICT Women Empowerment Summit, SA

CORPTRAIN (Pty) Ltd will be hosting their 2nd annual three-day summit on ICT Women Empowerment Africa Summit on the 28th-30th September 2011 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand- Johannesburg, South Africa. The event is aimed at exploring initiatives to effectively use ICT to empower Women in Africa and dwells on exclusive case studies from South Africa, Uganda, Kenya & Ghana.

For more information regarding this event, visit the blog ictwomensummit.blogspot.com or Facebook target="_blank"page www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=265197720173683.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

No Internet = More Reading

And while I've always known this, applying this basic tenet to my life has been a chore.

I'm away for work this week and more importantly away from my personal laptop and night-time internet connection. This means that:

1. I am in bed at a reasonable hour.
2. I have few distractions and read until I sleep.
3. I'm galloping through my books at an alarming rate.

So, the last point is actually not true, but I am reading faster than I would at home.

I sped through Above Suspicion by Lynda La Plante and I'm reading the Caine shortlist story collection for 2011, To See the Mountain and Other Stories right now.

I will try to do reviews of both if I get it together enough.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

E.C. Osondu Book Reading - Saturday, July 23 2011

Join us as Caine Prize winner & author E.C. Osondu reads from & signs his new book Voice of America.


Voice of America is a collection of short stories exploring themes like loneliness, anger, destitution, longing, frustration and displacement. It examines the struggles of immigrants as they realise America is not what they imagined.

E.C Osondu won the 2009 Caine Prize for his short story ‘Waiting’. Voice of America is his debut collection of short stories.

Date: Saturday, July 23 2011
Time: 3 – 5 PM
Venue: Patabah Books, Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall (Ground Floor), Surulere, Lagos

This event is hosted by:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Deluge in Lagos

What a day!!!! That's been my constant refrain today.

I woke-up by 6am to get ready for church. That it was raining already was no surprise, afterall it is the rainy season and the last 3 Sundays mornings have seen some fairly heavy rainfall. So how was I to know that today would be different?

Perhaps the first signs were when the rainfall did not relent at anytime during the service. After the first service, I stayed for about an hour and a half of the second service. The plan was to leave when the rain petered out. When my sister and I saw that wasn't happening, we left anyway and got a good soaking in the 10 minutes it took us to walk to the car.

On our way, we encountered a car that had broken down in the middle of the already narrow road. The guy had obviously called a friend to pick him up. As we waited behind his car, he opened the door of his car and clambered into the waiting SUV and without even bothering to lock his door (afterall who's going to bother stealing the car?) they drove off. It was quite funny.

The roads around my church and home were flooded as was expected, but the water levels seemed to be higher than normal.

So despite all this, why did I think it would be a good idea to go to the cinema? LOL!! Well, in my defence I did assume that the rain would stop eventually.

So I made my way there with my aunt. We went in and saw our film - The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, which is a good film BTW. When we came out of the Galleria, incredibly it was still raining. For the first time today I was actually stunned.

The guard at the entrance informed us matter-of-factly that we could not leave as the roads were flooded and cars were breaking down left right and center. Either that, or they were falling into gutters.

So what to do? I went back upstairs to the cinema floor to survey the extent of the flooding. And that's when I saw this:

Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island - Taken from Silverbird Galleria (Courtesy: Ore's Notes)

The small cars were almost swimming along on the road with water up to their windows in many cases.

Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island - Taken from Silverbird Galleria (Courtesy: Ore's Notes)

Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island - Taken from Silverbird Galleria (Courtesy: Ore's Notes)

Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island - Opposite Silverbird Galleria (Courtesy: Ore's Notes)

Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island - Taken from my car (Courtesy: Ore's Notes)

Today's weather was for big cars. On a normal day, I complain about the size of my car, but today I really thanked God for it. Although, even with my height from the ground, my heart was sometimes in my mouth.

Lekki Phase 1 (Taken by a friend)

Well, after some deliberation, we left afterall who knew when the rain would stop and driving conditions would only get worse when it got dark. This turned out to be a wise decision, as the rain did not stop for the rest of the day.

And this was in my corner of the Lekki-V/I axis. I've been hearing and reading horrible accounts from all over the state.

I just read that Monday has been declared a public holiday for all public and private schools in Lagos, so that clean-up can be done on the roads. What type of clean-up can be done though? I'm not an expert on the environment, but I believe that this flooding problem is due to a number of factors, including Lagos being below water level, a poor state-wide drainage system and climate changes. I'm also sure that all the sand-filling that has taken place especially along the Lagos lagoon to create space to build fancy new hotels, which has probably pushed water levels up hasn't helped either.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Participate: Action Blogging Campaign—Universal Internet Access

What does "Universal Internet Access and Digital Freedom" mean to YOU?
“[This issue] is about whether we live on a planet with one Internet, one global community, and a common body of knowledge that benefits and unites us all, or a fragmented planet in which access to information and opportunity is dependent on where you live and the whims of censors.”—Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State

World Pulse invites women worldwide to share their personal testimonies on obstacles faced and risks taken in accessing the Internet to seek information, speak freely, and connect globally.

Share your personal testimony on the World Pulse website.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Natural Hair: Turning Your Passion into Profit

As if we didn't know...... natural haired women are still in the minority and getting accurate hair care advice can still be a challenge for many. However, with the growing number of online resources available, if you're fortunate enough to have access to a computer and the Internet, you will find a wealth of information in the form of websites, blogs and video blogs (or vlogs) - there are many of these on YouTube.

This New York Times article highlights some of today's popular go-to sites for natural hair care tips. I am already subscribed to Curly Nikki, however the article has introduced me to Natural Chica and the online store Luv Natural.

Less explored is the financial dimension of owning a popular online space. All three women profiled in the article are making a respectable amount of money from their blogs and websites. Although we don't know how much exactly, Maeling Tapp of Natural Chica makes more than she would in a minimum wage job; Alicia Nicole Walton of Curly Nikki earned the same in gross revenue from advertising on her site as she did from her pyschotherapy practice last year; while Kim Love of Luv Natural saw enough earning potential in a natural hair store to leave her six-figure management consulting job.

Of course, to make any kind of decent money, the sites must be regularly updated - preferably daily - with fresh content. And that, let's face it, is really a full-time job.

I thought that this article showed more than anything else the truth behind the saying "Follow your passion and the money will come." Many naturals already know about some of these hair care online resources, however it's great to know that there is also a possibility of earning a revenue by doing so and doing so well. I thought that the article writer was remiss in not mentioning Black Girl with Long Hair, which was I discovered before Curly Nikki and which I remember was innovative in it's incorporation of the commercial aspect.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Finding Your Energy

Nneoma commented that she liked my posts on work-life. I responded that learning to balance my work life (which has gone into overdrive this year) and my ORE time has been a project that I've been ardently working on.

And so true that it. This year, I had some major changes in the NGO which I run. I admit that it initially threw me for a loop, but I got things moving again and I feel that the organisation is much better for it. My sis and I also re-opened a family-owned bookshop, which was a monumental project. You know how they say that setting-up a business is like giving birth to a baby? Well, I've never given birth, but the process of bringing this shop into the world was as ridden with the anxiety and good old grunting (minus the pain, though that was not always true) that I imagine delivering a baby must feel like.

Most days this year, I've woken-up with a furrowed brow as I furiously recount all the items on my never-ending To Do list. Then I drag myself out of bed and push through the day with varying degrees of energy. Most often, I was just flat-out tired and struggled with the creative and problem-solving aspects of my work.

For at least the last 10 years, I've been quite dedicated to my physical health and fitness, working out at least thrice a week. From this January, all that flew out of the window, because I was too swamped with work to even have time to go to the gym.

I promised that when my work let-up just a bit, I would be back at the gym. It would be my treat, my reward to myself for persevering and pushing through the mountain of work.

How could I have gotten it so wrong?

So, my schedule did ease-up a teeny bit and, as planned, I was back to being a bonafide gym member. Since my days tend to end late now, I decided to switch my work-out times from the evenings to mornings.

So, the first day of this new schedule I tentatively got my things together in preparation to hit the gym for 7am - unheard of for me - and worried that I might not be able to hack it.

So you know what it feels like to find out that you couldn't have been further from the truth in your assessment of a particular situation?

That. Was It.

Not only was I able to complete 7am Yoga class, I was able to spend 30 minutes on the elliptical afterward. Not only that. The energy carried me through the rest of the day. Although I had a very busy day, I did not succumb to my usual bouts of fatigue.

So, my conclusion is that exercise really does energise you. I've heard it said for so long that I started to believe it, although I wasn't sure that was the case for me (I think working out in the evenings may produce different results ..... or maybe it's different for individuals).

However, I can see that when you're busy - especially when you're so busy that you scarcely have time to sit and think - it's crucial to make time to work out. It'll do so much good for your mind and body.

This concept is discussed in How Remarkable Women Lead, a book I referred to in an earlier post, as a strategy to re-energise yourself and manage stress.

- In one chapter of the book, one of the women leaders interviewed stated that when things got especially hot in the office, she headed for the gym. After that, she was sufficiently calm and able to see the problem through fresh eyes.

- Another woman spoke of the therapeutic effects of long walks when she's faced with a crisis situation. By the time, she's done with her walk, she's figured out how to solve the problem.

- Another lady spoke about how her martial arts training since she was a girl had helped her learn to celebrate victories and accept defeats - a quality which was invaluable to her in the boardroom because the reality of work is that you win some, you lose some but you need to keep moving despite what comes your way.


So, as much as possible, I won't be putting myself last - easier said than done, right? Ah well, I can try very hard.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Women in Science

This New York times article Women Atop Their Fields Dissect the Scientific Life does just that. A group of women scientists share the joys and the challenges of life as a scientist - particularly life as a female scientist. They talk about the struggles of doing research and their dreams for their daughters.

I am experiencing the challenges of research right now. I have a research report (draft!!!! I keep reminding myself to somewhat alleviate the tension I am feeling) and amidst the plethora of other tasks that I have manage daily, some things that require time and concentration kind of get pushed to the back of my pile. And you know how it is, the more you push something away, the bigger it looms in your mind's eye, and more more terrifying it starts to feel.

The best way to deal with it is to push aside all the other less important or urgent things and get stuck in working on it. That usually does the trick for me and then when I'm able to truly focus and get into a zone, I start to feel the love for that aspect of my work.

I like what Dr. Hirsch, one of the scientists interviewed said:
The great discovery for me was the middle of the night. It’s all done, and everybody has gone to bed. You can go to your computer and sit down and work. The middle of the night has been what saved my life as a scientist.


And don't I know this so well. What time is again?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Apply: Pass-It-On Awards Program

The Anita Borg Systers Pass-It-On (PIO) Awards honor Anita Borg’s desire to create a network of technical women helping one another. The cash awards, funded by donations from the Systers Online Community, are intended as means for women established in technological fields to support women seeking their place in the fields of technology. The program is called “Pass-It-On” because it comes with the moral obligation to “pass on” the benefits gained from the award.

Pass-it-on Award applications are open to any woman over 18 years old in or aspiring to be in the fields of computing. Awards are open to women in all countries and range from $500.00 to $1000.00 USD. Applications covering a wide variety of needs and projects are encouraged, such as:

* Small amount to help with studies, job transfers or other transitions in life.
* A broader project that benefits girls and women.
* Projects that seek to inspire more girls and women to go into the computing field.
* Assistance with educational fees and materials.
* Partial funding source for larger scholarship.
* Mentoring and other supportive groups for women in technology or computing.

Spring 2011 PIO Award Cycle

* Applications open Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 12:00 noon PST (UT-8).
* Applications close Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 12:00 noon PST (UT-8).
* Reference letters due Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 5:00 PM PST (UT-8). Send letters by email to: passiton-2011spring at systers dot org or passiton-2011spring@systers.org

Get more information on the ABI website.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

'Dream Big' - Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook)



In this commencement speech by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook given at Barnard College this year, she urges women to be more ambitious and to think bigger.

In a speech peppered with statistics and results of studies, she states that although much progress has been made by women professionally, "... we are nowhere close to 50% of the jobs at the top. That means that when the big decisions are made, the decisions that affect all of our worlds, we do not have an equal voice at that table.”

Other key things she mentions are:
- Men are more ambitious that women. Of course, she does not speak specifically of every woman, but in her opinion, men (whether by nature or nurture) think bigger and bolder than women. While this might mean big risks, it might also mean big rewards.

- Women need to believe in themselves more. If a man succeeds at something, he's more likely to attribute it to his natural excellence while a woman in a similar position might downplay her success or chalk it up to other factors like luck or assistance from others.

- Men make fewer compromises in their work-life balance. This is because women generally carry at least twice as much housework and three times as much child-rearing duties.

Although these certainly do not apply to all men and women out there, I do realise that women are expected to be more modest about their desires and achievements, which might make it harder to push for what we *really* want.

I just finished reading a wonderful book about many of the same issues called How Remarkable Women Lead by Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston. This book deserves it's own blog post and even then, I would not be able to do it justice (you'd just have to read the book). However, work-life balance (among the myriad issues often peculiar to women in their journey up the career ladder) was discussed and many women believe this to be unattainable, because being effective both at home and at work require constant negotiation. To say that there is an equilibrium point at which full harmony is achieved is a fantasy. I am inclined to believe that. Although I do not have children or a husband yet, I know the immense effort it takes to ensure that giving my best to work does not deprive me of my personal time.

And because in most parts of the world - even in the most liberal - men are still typically considered to be the head of the household and women the primary homemakers, women will always find themselves with more to do.

That is why Sheryl presciently states that although it sounds counter-intuitive, "the most important career decision you’re going to make is whether or not you have a life partner and who that partner is. If you pick someone who’s willing to share the burdens and the joys of your personal life, you’re going to go further.”

Another thing that helps makes success and happiness come that much easier is marrying your work with something you care about and which contributes to society.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

And now...

A full month since my last post!! Well, things will be changing around here. I've been plagued with a full plate this year and on top of that internet access issues. The ISP I was using has had some challenges, which were passed to their unfortunate customers. I suffered for that for most of this year, because I was simply too busy to do anything about it.

Well, I've changed ISPs as last and it's such a relief to have high-speed internet at home again. I look forward to writing more.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Learning to Do Business as a Woman

I attended a wonderful program last week for female entrepreneurs. It was especially fortuitous for me because my sister and I recently took over a family-owned bookshop and just the week before I had wished out loud that there was a program somewhere that could give us some guidance on this whole ‘managing a business thing.’

Then, Viola! It happened.

The Corporate Governance & Leadership Training was organized by Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ) and the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) and delivered all it promised to be and more.

Going in, I wasn’t quite sure what ‘corporate governance’ meant exactly, but figured that based on the course outline provide, the program would help us with some of the foundations of running a business.

The 3-day training sought to help small businesses and organizations build their capacity for successful growth by covering areas such as Institutional Frameworks; Leadership; Internal Control and Audit; Business Image Building and Ethics; Information Technology for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); Human Resource Management; and Accounting and Financial Management.

Aside from the amazing facilitators, it was an amazing opportunity to meet other women who run their own businesses (some of them also family-owned) and explore opportunities for partnership.

Some key things that I learnt were:
- Pay yourself first: Many business owners don’t do this and pay their staff, while failing to make themselves priority as they should - because if there was no you, there would be no business to start with). In addition, by not paying themselves, they under-estimating the true expenses of the business.
- Give your self a job description: Again, many (not all) entrepreneurs write out expectations for their staff, but fail to do the same for themselves.
- Know your business: For some women, their business is something to do, to pass time, to make a pretence of having a career. And these motivations come through in the way they manage their companies i.e. they are mostly absent and when they are there, they do not ask questions about the performance of the business, sales, customer trends and revenue earned. Even among women for who this business is their source of livelihood, they might not know their products or the ins and out of their operation as well as they should and so do not know the right questions to ask.
- Having good staff starts with recruiting right: This means knowing what type of person with what type of skills you need. Very often we focus more on the skills and the brilliant CV and less on the personality that might be best suited for the position we are recruiting for.

I learnt so much more and I am willing to share for a small fee. Alternatively, I recommend that you attend the next iteration.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Run/Walk for the Cure 2011

The 2011 edition of the breast cancer run and walk comes up on Saturday, March 19 2011 at 7 am sharp, rain or shine. Registration forms can be downloaded off the American International School of Lagos (AISL) website at www.aislagos.org.

Download the info sheet.

I've participated in the run for the last 2 years, though I walked. It was wonderful to be part of such a worthy initiative, which seeks to address a disease that affects countless women (and men) the world over. Research shows that cases of breast cancer in women of African descent can be particularly vicious, so it's definitely important to get involved.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Conversations about CSW55

Follow some conversations on GenderIT and on Twitter about the on-going Commission for the Status for Women annual summit.

Blogger Jac SM Kee writes about her challenges getting connected:

“It's been a real challenge with this non-connectivity! I am still using my phone as main point for connection, but it's really intermittent and slow, driving me up the wall. I cannot imagine how we can talk about science and technology as a theme and have so little access to the internet at the same time. Urgh!”

Monday, February 21, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Inspiring Woman: Tosin Ototoju

Photo Credit: Jide Odukoya for BellaNaija

I just read this interview with Tosin Otitoju on BellaNaija. Tosin is an incredibly accomplished woman whose story is very inspiring.

She graduated from Queens College, Lagos in 1996 with the best SSCE results in the entire country, graduated top of her Electrical Engineering class at Howard University in the U.S and was accepted to a PhD program at CalTech. On top of that, she was awarded a national honour in 2004.

Despite achieving immense academic success, she had the courage to take a break from her PhD program to explore other interests. So many of us get caught up by the trappings of success and stick with life choices which we no longer find fulfilling.

Friday, February 18, 2011

GenderIT.org CSW Newsletter: Can Technology Transform Women's Reality?

As the next United Nation's annual Commission on the Status of Women starts on February 22, the gender and ICT website genderIT.org releases its special CSW newsletter.

This GenderIT.org's special CSW edition brings together some of the work that
the Association for Progressive Communications is doing on these issues - including the latest recommendations on science and technology from the experiences of women and girls on the ground, how girls in the Congo are using SMS to stop teacher abuse and if are Simputers in rural women´s hands are empowering or generating e-waste.

The 55th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will be held in New York from 22nd February to 4 March 2011. The theme for this year's session is Access and participation of women and girls in education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women's equal access to full employment and decent work.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The National Stadium

Image credit: http://www.skyscrapercity.com

I paid a visit to the National Stadium today. My previous visits had been to attend Sunday services organised by God Bless Nigeria.

Today’s visit was actually sports-related. Following my recent decision to start a swim club, my love for the sport bubbled-up afresh within me and I decided to buy a kick board. A kick board is a rectangular board that swimmers (typically learners) hold on to while they practice their kicks. More experienced and competitive swimmers also use it for exercise and to improve their leg movements.

I’d been scouring Lagos’ sports shops (at Silverbird, the Palms, City Mall, the various Nike stores) looking for one to no avail. On a chance suggestion to try to stadium, I decided to give it a shot.

As I entered the complex, I looked around for the sports SHOP and instead I saw a square of several sports SHOPS. I was spoilt for choice. My sister and I parked and went into the first shop. They had a kick board … a child-sized board. We went into the next shop. The same story. Don’t adults use kick boards? Maybe they can all swim. Or more realistically – from my experience – maybe they can’t and can’t be bothered to learn.

Since we had a lot of options, I eventually found what I was looking for in one of the shops. I also met an acquaintance looking for tennis whites. The most amazing discovery for me was that this gem for sports people exists in Lagos. Each shop stocked a plethora of sports accouterments from equipment like punching bags, weights, balls, rackets, to machinery like treadmills to clothing to accessories like trophies and medals. Not only that, for the large part, the sales staff also seemed knowledgeable about their products. Then, of course the prices beat those I’d seen in island shops hands down!

The stadium has certainly fallen into quite a state of disrepair. Nevertheless, it was vibrant with activity as people abounded rollerblading, playing football, taking tennis lessons and running around the complex. It was heartening to see these activities even though institutional sports in Nigeria is much neglected and under-funded. One simple contribution that we can make – location permitting – is to check out and use the stadium facilities and to support the shops.

Swimming Blogs

I found a list of top 50 swimming blogs as ranked by Guide to Online Schools.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Swim Club

Photo Credit

After my swimming lessons ended last November, quite unbelievably, I have not swum a single stroke. How that happened is rather like a mirage to me, but the hard fact is that it’s due to work (an incredibly busy schedule, not enough hours in the day – that kind of thing …).

My sole form of exercise these days is walking, which I do for 1 to 2 hours every Saturday morning. A friend joined my sister and I today and we discussed the local running/walking club, which meets unfailingly every Saturday to sprint/amble/crawl (it’s open to different levels of ability) around our estate.

I mentioned that I wished for a similar association for swimmers. My sister – ever practical – retorted “Well, why don’t you start one?”

Hmmm. Now, why didn’t I think of that?

So, I started to mull over the idea. Well, why not? The lack of a readily available (and let’s be honest, cheap) pool might be an obstacle. Then another potential problem could be that I know far more people who cannot swim than who can. What else? Well, among the few women I know who can swim, most don’t because they’re averse to ruining their carefully coiffed hair dos and often monstrously expensive weaves. On top of that, Thursday’s surprise and very heavy downpour reminded us that the rainy season is on its way.

However, once I’m sold on an idea I tend to look beyond the challenges and trust that God will make a way.

So, the long and short of this is that I’ve decided to start a swimming club. What will we do, one might wonder? You mean, aside from swimming?

Swimming is a wonderful activity, but one that can get boring when done alone and frequently. Often once I find my rhythm, I enjoy the routine of the strokes, however some days I swim a lap or two and then can’t get out of the pool fast enough.

Swimming with other people would certainly be a lot more fun – especially when you’re there to swim and not just chit-chat. Though if you want to chit-chat too, there could be time for that. Structured routines and healthy competition could improve swimming performance. Then, we could share techniques too. The benefits are endless …..

So, now all we need are people who love to swim and somewhere to swim. I suppose an idea of how to go about this would help too.

I follow several swimming blogs and some mention swimming groups. My favourite blogs are:

www.swimwellblog.com
rorylbuck.wordpress.com
swimmingiseasy.blogspot.com
www.goldmedalmel.typepad.com

If anyone has ideas, resources and favourite blogs/sites to check out, I would certainly love to hear them.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

What's Reading?

I recently finished No Country For Old Men, which I really enjoyed. It was a taut, fast read - just the way I like them. It was my first Cormac McCarthy book and a good introduction to his writing. However, from what I gather, it's different from the rest of his books which meander their way through telling a story - or sometimes not, from one of the book reviews I read.

Then, I started Lionel Shriver's So Much for That, which I could not wait to read. Unfortunately, that experience was not what I expected. It was evident from the pages I read, that Ms. Shriver was passionate about the provision of quality, affordable health-care, which many would say is not available in the United States (where the book is set). However, her disdain for the American health-care system, which disenfranchises people with no money (unlike the U.K's National Health Service) was sharply evident in some of the characters' lengthy, impassioned rants. It was a bit too much for me and I've since put the book aside for now. I enjoy it when points are made a bit more subtly through the plot, as opposed through the dialogue.

Since I love Lionel Shriver's writing, I will go back to it at some point. I have since started what's her most famous book, We Need to Talk About Kevin. I am also reading Marian Christy's Conversations: Famous Women Speak Out.

I particularly want to highlight the new book by Nigerian writer Teju Cole. His first book Every Day For the Thief was published a few years ago in Nigeria by Cassava Republic. Now, he has his big international outing, Open City coming out this month, published by global publishing giant Random House. Read an interview with him on the literature social networking site Goodreads.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Contest: Blogging on Development Policy

The Communication Initiative (The CI) and the BBC World Service Trust (WST) invite entries for their first contest for blogging on development policy, soliciting persuasive critiques and encouraging discussion on development policy issues. CI Network members from around the world (as well as those who wish to become CI Network members) are requested to submit their opinion pieces to the collaborative blog at Communication, Media, and Development Policy.

THE CONTEST: OVERVIEW

The principal audience for the blogs is development policy makers and those interested in engaging with them. These include people working in donor and multilateral organisations, "mainstream" development non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society organisations, governments, and others who inform development policy. The aim of this contest is to highlight the relevance of media and communication to wider development policy concerns, and particularly governance concerns.

Bloggers must be/become registered members of The CI Networks in order to participate in this contest and process. If you are not registered please do so at www.comminit.com/user/register.

The top 10 outstanding bloggers from the network, as judged by The CI/BBC WST, will receive a stipend of 240 UK pounds each to support them writing 3 additional blog posts between March 15th and June 15th 2011.

The top 2 controversial bloggers from the network, as judged by The CI/BBC WST, will receive a stipend of 50 UK pounds to acknowledge their skill in inspiring dialogue.

For more information, please see www.comminit.com/en/node/328581/36 or contact Deborah at dheimann@comminit.com.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Find Your Polling Unit on the Nigerian Map

Voter registration for the upcoming Nigerian elections start on January 15th.


Visit the Enough is Enough Nigeria website to find the nearest polling unit to you. The polling units are shown on a Google map with information provided by INEC. To find your polling unit, zoom in by using the + sign and zoom out with the -. You can navigate up, down, left and right with the buttons above the +/-. Please note that the INEC map is work in progress, so all polling units have not been included.

Check the EiE site for more information.

Women and Mobiles



Watch interviews with some of the presenters from MobileActive.org's Women and Mobiles Tech Salon. How can mobile phones help women around the world improve their lives? And who are some of the women working in this amazing field? The tech salon looked at both questions, bringing together women in the M4D field to present their work.