Today we have an interview with a Nigerian friend, Babatope Soremi, who was in the IGF Rio 2007 and has many interesting things to tell us.
DIPLO IGCBP: Babatope, you recently told me about a book you wrote with partners in Nigeria. Can you give us an outline of the publication and choose one specific issue that was discussed that you enjoyed and share it with us?
BABATOPE: Yes, as part of efforts at the time to record efforts by young Nigerians as regards ICT4D, I was part of a group of eight and contributed content for its publication . The download link is http://www.pinigeria.org/old/downloads/glocal.pdf
. I was one of seven contributors while Gbenga Sesan was editor for the publication sponsored by Heinrich-Boll Foundation, Lagos - Nigeria.
Basically at the time, our goal was to proactively engage in WSIS and subsequent processes that were global in scope and reach while documenting the 'local' ICT4D initiatives spread all across the country that sort to add action to Nigeria's Information Society.
DIPLO IGCBP: Please tell us more of your activities related to ICT policies and initiatives, Babatope.
BABATOPE: As an active participant in efforts since 2002 at influencing ICT policies and engaging in ICT4D initiatives, I was contributing content detailing specific initiatives made by young Nigerians over the years to positively impact their society. I was also documenting contributions made by young Nigerians into policy issues and/or Nigerian submissions to global ICT4D processes of which our country, Nigeria was a signatory. Interacting with a wide range of actors and stakeholders, our aim with the Policy Train was also to ensure Nigerian citizens canvassed follow-up action hence the term ''Glocal - Global Process, Local Realities"
DIPLO IGCBP: What are the most recent achievements of all these processes, Babatope?
BABATOPE: In the past two months, we've had a number of draft bills presented before the National Assembly here in Nigeria, one of which was a Cyber Security & Information Protection Agency Bill. Having reviewed the draft bill in detail, I made personal contributions to the Committee as the bill sought to deal with a number of IGF issues namely; access, Cyber security & Information Rights of citizens.
I am also commencing a research into a key IGF issue - Access. My goal with the survey which launches this month is to identify a trend and outline a pattern to access demands & needs of Nigerians (for starters) over the past five years. I hope to expand the scope of the research with specific linkages to education, capacity and impact projections.
Also, we are currently brainstorming on a second edition of the book adding to what was earlier done.
My core interest right now is heavily linked to access and exploring ways this can be improved upon to provide development goals of education for a wider range of young Nigerians with local participation in content/solutions provision.
The need to also ensure right policies are enacted & implemented correctly is paramount as well.
DIPLO IGCBP: Very good - we recommend those interested in similar projects to get in touch with Babatope and get engaged by sharing messsages. Thanks a lot, Babatope!