As a follow up to a series of interviews with fellows on different Internet governance activities, today we have our friend Emmanuel Edet.
Emmanuel and Diplo fellows during the Internet governance negotiation simulation in Hyderabad, playing the role of the US government.
SEIITI: Emmanuel, which events have you attended with a fellowship? Can you tell the story?
EMMANUEL: I have only attended one event with a fellowship. However I have actually received two fellowships though one was not for an event but for service in the UN Secretariat for the IGF.
SEIITI: Please tell us more about the fellowship at the Secretariat of the IGF in Geneva, Switzerland.
EMMANUEL: I was detailed as a fellow from a developing country after successfully concluding a course on Internet Governance offered by DiploFoundation
As part of my fellowship I was designated to deliver support services to the IGF Secretariat. Accordingly I was assigned various duties in the Secretariat. My duties included assistance in hosting the Open Consultations and the Multistakeholder Advisory Group Meetings (MAG), drafting of response to inquiries regarding the IGF and preparations for the next IGF in Hyderabad, India.
For the Open Consultations and the MAG Meetings held in May 2008, I was specifically assigned to accreditation of attendees for both meetings. My duties included restricting the attendance to only members for the MAG Meeting, ensuring that accredited attendees received all materials necessary for the meetings and I also assisted in the review of the report of the meetings for publication on the IGF Secretariat website.
I also attended to inquiries by emails and regular mails as well as via telephone. With the help of other fellows and an Intern, we attended to a volume of inquiries on the IGF scheduled for Hyderabad, India in December 2008 and the nomination of new members for the MAG.
My duties extended to preparations for the IGF in Hyderabad, India. I was assigned with the task of attending to the workshop proposals scheduled for the Forum. I assisted in the development and remodeling of the various workshops into the format proposed by the Program adopted by the MAG. I also served as the contact person for most workshop proponents in the merging and updating of workshop proposals.
SEIITI: Interesting! What can you say from the overall experience in terms of growth?
EMMANUEL: During my time at the IGF Secretariat I had the privilege of experiencing how the United Nations Secretariat functions and working with various individuals in a muti-cultural and multi-lingual environment. Also I saw the dynamics of the new approach to mutistakeholder diplomacy, the IGF, and its practical application in providing a platform for equal expressions by all categories if stakeholders. I returned to Nigeria after 3 months in Geneva. It is an experience I will never forget.
SEIITI: Can you now say something about the second fellowship, to attend the IGF itself in Hyderabad?
EMMANUEL: The fellowship was sponsored by the Canadian Government in collaboration with the ITU. I was exposed to at the various issues within the IGF dunring my stay in Hyderabad. One of the most intruiging areas for me was access for people with disabilities. In most developing countries access to the Internet for people without disabilities is an issue.
Thus the thought of access to people with disabilities is rarely considered. The IGF gave me an opportunity to learn about some technologies that assist people with disabilities to have access to information.
The IGF really afforded an opportunity to me to attend a forum designed to discuss issues for the future as far as Nigeria is concerned. I had the opportunity to meet legends in the field of information technology development. It also provided me with networking opportunities for developmental projects. I got to meet the enlarged Diplo Team and made new friends in Africa. I still talk to most of them on collaborations.
SEIITI: From your experience, what are your 3 best tips and advice to share with those interested to seek a fellowship to the IGF?
EMMANUEL: If you are interested in a fellowship, first of all ensure that you meet the minimum criteria for awarding the fellowship. If there are some qualities or qualifications which the sponsors of the fellowship require, make sure you meet those qualifications before you apply.
Secondly think of something you can do to help those offering the fellowship achieve their aims and objectives. Something extra and additional that will make you stand out in the crowd.
Finally if you have to apply for a fellowship, be sincere. Don't make promises you will not keep or lie about an achievement you have not attained. It spoils the fun.
SEIITI: Thanks a lot, Emmanuel. A rich story and I am glad to be friends with you. For those interested to connect to Emmanuel's projects, I'd recommend checking his story at the publication Capacity Development and add him as a friend here on the Community. He is a great guy, always smiling and a top professional who I can only say good things about!