Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Apply: Become an OLPCorps volunteer!

OLPCorps is One Laptop Per Child’s official field volunteer program. It is a worldwide community dedicated to transforming education for children who have had little or no access to modern information technology. OLPCorps gives young people the opportunity to contribute their minds, bodies, time and skills to delivering better education for children living in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.

Who should apply?

OLPCorps represents an exciting opportunity for tertiary students and young adults working in fields such as education, computer science, health and social sciences to help local communities build their 1:1 learning programs using the OLPC’s XO laptop.

We are looking for energetic, self-motivated, independent thinkers who are able to build upon OLPC projects in innovative ways. We want people who are passionate about education and technology, and who relish solving complex problems in challenging environments. We need people who not only want to make a difference, but are sensitive to the cultural differences they may encounter in the communities where they will be living and working.

We welcome applicants from anywhere in the world, however applicants must be 18 or older and conversant in the first language of the country to which they are applying. For example, applicants for Cameroun, Mali and Haiti must be fluent in written and spoken French. Applicants for the Palestinian Occupied Territories must be able to speak Arabic. Those applying for Afghanistan will need to be fluent in Pashto and/or Dari.

Successful applicants will be seen as ambassadors for OLPC in the field and must therefore demonstrate the highest standards in personal integrity and respect for the rights of others. We expect them to be committed to professionalism, honesty and transparency in their actions; to act creatively in resource-poor settings, work proactively without oversight, and have had significant experience working cross-culturally.

They must be committed to respecting local cultural practices and beliefs, and, most importantly, to protecting the rights and welfare of children above all else.

To apply: please click here

Applications closes tomorrow March 31, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

LOTS, Dustbin Children, gorgeous girl

I was at The Future Awards in Lagos in February. BellaNaija has a sweet roundup of the event, with pictures and all.

You know when you just adore someone at first sight, like the person is so full of light and warmth? That was my first moment with Tolu Sangosanya who later that evening was awarded for "Best Use of Advocacy." Here is a story on 234next.com , with details of how you can help now with your talents (like teaching children in your spare time, building decent shelter for their families, etc) and/or money (account information included.) Her charity is called Love on The Street, aka Dustbin Children Foundation.

Cool perk of living in Lagos: meeting many of the people on that BellaNaija page at one gig or the other.

Apply: internship at the Global Fund

The Global Fund is currently seeking applicants for a three month internship starting in September 2010. The internship will help build evidence around Global Fund grant proposals in relation to HIV and men who have sex with men; transgender communities and sex workers. Applicants will need a university degree focused on either public health; international development; public affairs; international politics; human rights; gender studies; queer studies; sexualities studies or a related area.

Details of this opportunity are posted on our website at

The deadline for applications is 13 April 2010. Qualified applicants from or working with MSM, transgender and/or sex worker communities are particularly encouraged to apply – as are qualified people living with HIV.

For more information see the website or contact Andy Seale at andy.seale@theglobalfund.org

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Have a great idea?

CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards 2010

The 2010 CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards, made possible by Walmart, are grants given to exceptional student Commitments to Action aimed at improving communities and lives around the world. All currently-enrolled students (both undergraduate and graduate) may apply for these awards. We recommend reviewing our application tips before submitting an awards application. The final deadline is April 23, 2010.

Winners will receive funding to implement their CGI U commitments, which are new, specific, and measurable plans which make a difference in one or more of CGI U’s five global challenge areas: Education, Environment & Climate Change, Peace & Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health. (Read More...)
Apply Now

You may also take a look at CGI LEAD, a leadership development program which "convenes the world's most promising young leaders leading public, private, and nonprofit institutions around the world to develop unique solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges." Good Luck.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Goodluck jonathan: How to choose your Ministers

Dear Goodluck Jonathan,

I have said it times without number, this is the most difficult time to rule Nigeria. The closest person that has been in your shoes is Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who after the sudden death of General Sanni Abacha was made Head of State and was responsible for steering the Nigerian ship back to democracy.

I know the usual Nigerian Government practice of selecting Ministers - speak to entrenched interests, General Obasanjo, General Babangida, the PDP block, the Governor's forum, the ex-Governors forum, the National Assembly and the other powerful behind the scene lobbyists that we never know and come up with a draft list. then you check again whether one of the powerful blocs is not vehemently against one of the persons on the draft list. The list changes, additions here and there, caucus meetings, schemings, threats and promises and the President is stuck: what should i do? You send the 7th draft as the final list to the national Assembly for approval WITHOUT THEIR CORRESPONDING PORTFOLIOS while the lobbying for juicy posts and who gets what continues behind the scene.

Dear Goodluck, my message is short and simple,in less than 10 days from your announcemnt, announce your tentative ministerial lists and the corresponding portfolios that you intend to assign to them. This will save you a whole lot of trouble and headache and will even enrich debate at the National assembly and the people's parliament and newspaper stalls, on blogs, facebook and in TV stations across the country. Before any minister is rubber stamped by the national assembly, let him face the heat from the senators as regarding what he intends to achieve within the short time available.

Secondly, when you have your ministers, kindly write them a one page memo with a terms of reference and make this publicly available so that we can follow their actions and hold them accountable for being the custodians of tax payers cash and public trust.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The New Ministers: my Federal Executive Council

With the news of the sack of all the Ministers in Nigeria, our people dared to hope, again, for better. I dared to draw up a list of my dream team.


AGRICULTURE AND WATER RESOURCES - Mu'Azu, former Governor of Bauchi State.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY - Ernest Ndukwe, outgoing National Communications Commission chief.
CULTURE AND TOURISM - Duke, former Governor of Cross Rivers State.
DEFENSE - Gusau, newly appointed to the same post by Jonathan.
EDUCATION - Soyinka, our Nobel laureate.
ENVIRONMENT - Amina Moh'd Hassan, former classmate of mine. Give her an executive task...consider it done.
FCT - I don't know. Decide between Aliero, Odom, and Muhtar on merit. (Respectively, the three men are the outgoing minister of Federal Capital Territory, Minister of State for FCT, and Minister of Finance)
FINANCE - Tony Elumelu, recently idle CEO of UBA.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS - Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, bringing sexy back, former Minister of Finance.
HEALTH - Fatima Zara Isa-Modibbo/Iorfa Tor-Anyiin. Both are 26-year old doctors. Fatima was awarded this year for Excellence in Public Service at The Future Nigeria awards. I trust her, even if we've never talked. Iorfa is phenomenal and has a passion for delivering health care to people no matter how rural. Nominated in the same category at The Future.
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION - Akunyili. Let her keep talking and rebranding.
JUSTICE - I don't know. Keep Kayode, the one appointed weeks ago?
LABOUR - Pat Utomi. Nigerian economist and presidential candidate.
MINES AND STEEL - El-Rufai, former FCT Governor/Minister, that the impossible (steel production in Nigeria for example) may become possible.
NATIONAL PLANNING - Nuhu Ribadu, former head of Economic and Financial Crimes Comission, EFCC.
NIGER DELTA AFFAIRS - Saro Wiwa, Ken's son. The vision would be to achieve conflict resolution and dissolve this ministry within a year or two.
PETROLEUM RESOURCES - Shamsudeen Usman, economist, former Finance Minister, outgoing National Planning Minister.
POWER - Seke Shomolu, engineer, former chief of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and technical chief at NEPA.
POLICE AFFAIRS - Buhari, former military President and Commander in Chief of Nigeria, presidential candidate, and warrior against indiscipline and corruption.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - Fakinlede, my Head of Department at the University of Lagos. Crazy how he gets things done to advance technology education in this funky town.
SPORTS - Frank Nweke, Jnr. , former Minister for Special Duties, current chief of Nigerian Business Forum.
TRANSPORT AND AVIATION - wildcard, award on merit to one of the outgoing ministers.
WOMEN AFFAIRS - Hafsat Abiola-Costello, chairperson of KIND, a women's NGO.
WORKS AND HOUSING - Fashola, current governor of Lagos State. Yes o!
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT - Femi Falana, civil rights lawyer.
INTERIOR - Maryam Uwais, lawyer, on the Presidential Advisory Council.
SPECIAL DUTIES - Victoria Ezeokoli, former NTA Director.

Note: If there's a Minister, what is the need for a "Minister of State" with the same portfolio? I ended up with at most 27 ministers, down from 40. It was reported that the President Jonathan is considering cutting down from 40 to 30. Right direction, Prez.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You'll want to read this: especially the "blind bet" story

Vanity Fair next month is about money. Cover - Michael Douglas, Re: The Wall Street movie comeback. Other stories I'm yet to read, and one about a dude who made big money betting against sub-prime mortgages.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Recycling, African Style

AfriGadget is a classic blog with a zillion pictures of everyday solutions and gadgets designed and used in Africa. If you like Afrigadget, you may also like Timbuktu Chronicles which shows off a gazillion indigenous African companies.

Previously on UpNaira