My name is Gethrude Charles. Recently, I learnt about the opening to participate as a volunteer in the World Wide Web Foundation’s Alliance For Affordable Internet (A4AI) forum at Abuja through Volunteer in Nigeria’s blog. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to have a better perspective of the ICT industry in Nigeria and to network so I registered my interest on the page. When I was contacted by Volunteer in Nigeria that I have been selected along with Shadrach to participate, I waited for Tuesday-11th March-with great anticipation. I have always been interested and have been actively involved in ICT, how it can be improved in Nigeria, its use in our daily lives and how it can be used to boost productivity in different aspects of our lives.
Although Shadrach and I were there as volunteers and our responsibilities were the basics like registering the participants, the friendliness of the organisers from Web Foundation-Miss Emilie Yam and Miss Sonia-made our presence very comfortable as we were treated with respect and were given full access to the entirety of the event.
Participating in the A4AI gave me the opportunity to network and interact with professionals in the sector, many of whom I am still in contact with. The event which was graced with the honorable presence of the Minister of Communications Technology Ms. Omobola Johnson, Mrs Esther Agbarakwe of Devnovate, Ms. Blossom Nnodim- a social media enthusiast, Dr Eugene Juwah-Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Mr Abdullahi Maikano-secretary USPF and so many others was experiential and inspiring. It was amazing to see so many women speak with such authority and audacity that is infectiously inspiring. It brought hope to my spirit as to whether the Nigerian youth can take his place in the society and lead and as to whether the Nigerian females could dare dream to be leaders in their careers without fear.
In a particular segment of the event, participants were subdivided to groups each with a different topic and problem to discuss and resolve, this gave me insight into the vision of ICT in Nigeria and Nigerians as problems faced by the common man in relation to access to good affordable and quality internet were highlighted and possible solutions discussed.
Altogether, the event was enlightening and inspiring to say the least, from its very beginning to the closing statement and I am glad I was given the opportunity to be a part of it.