Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Creative Economy at The Interface

Last Saturday was the first meeting of The Interface, held in Victoria Island, Lagos. This is the kind of initiative (about solutions) that I can really get excited about. From their Facebook Page, The Interface is a business network forum and creative platform that is focused on setting the stage for engaging some of Nigeria's brightest minds. Every month guests are drawn from different professions and careers in cross fertilization conversations that will advance their individual enterprises and by extension our nation's economy.
It is essentially about integrating creativity, strategy, technology, ideas and the spirit of enterprise.

The resource persons were Pai Gamde, Uche Eze, Tolu Oloketuyi, Uche Nworah, and moi. The organisers were a group of betta Nigerians including Ferdinand Adimefe. The theme was Nigeria and Creative Economy. The audience was typically mid-late 20s and upward (or forward) mobile. It was a very valuable event for me and the forty or fifty other attendees (see the event at 234next.com), and if there's anything the organizers want to fix for next time, they say it's to have fewer resource persons at once because the wealth of information was just...plenty. I also think that next time the crowd will be at least double, so...

I can really say I learned a lot, from Uche Eze of the young company that produces BellaNaija for example, or from the Brand specialist and longtime online personality Uche Nworah. Pai Gamde gave us the expert HR context with a talk about expanding your comfort zone, while Tolu Oloketuyi gave a great expo about how his passion for discounting led him to the leading edge of ecommerce in Nigeria. His product (YPM) basically means that you're eligible for automatic discounts at many big shops in Nigeria when you pay with your plastic card. Most people didn't know that.

My slides from the event are here:
What Do You Read (clickable PDF slides or PowerPoint SlideShow)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Electricity on Demand

The NERC and the NCC. One works, the other...not quite.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is an independent regulatory agency which was inuagurated on 31st October 2005 as provided in the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.
The Commission is mandated to carry out:
  • The monitoring and regulation of the electricity industry
  • Issuance of licences to market participants, and
  • Ensure compliance with market rules and operating guidelines.

The Nigerian Communications Commission is the independent National Regulatory Authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria.
The Commission is responsible for creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry as well as ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout the country.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Inside 419

The Nigerian edition of Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's novel, I DO NOT COME TO YOU BY CHANCE has my favourite of the covers - pictured above.
"Chance" has been dubbed the 419 novel for its insider spill on advance fee fraud in Nigeria. It's a nice novel, easy to digest sort of like a John Grisham or Sidney Sheldon, not a documentary. I hope more people read it so that the author can make more money (and because I really enjoyed the story.)

Excerpt from Page 222/223:
"The Bon Bonny Hotel was a popular hangout for people in our line of business. The car park was jammed with all manner of exotic cars and the lobby was equally jammed. Men in dark glasses and dark suits waited as their masters dined or womanised. There were also yellow-skinned, scantily clad ladies who had probably come to see if they could get their hands on some of the International Cake.
So, no matter what the media proclaimed, we were not villains, and the good people of Eastern Nigeria knew it."

Read it on the plane, or one of these weekends. Stay scam-free.
Update: See the author interview on bellanaija

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Career Fair

Recruitment Summits in New York (July 16-18), Jo'Burg (September), and London (October 2010)

Global Career Company
helps professionals find rewarding careers with leading employers back home in Africa, working with successful multinationals as well as some of Africa's most progressive companies to recruit internationally-based Africans across a range of functions and sectors.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Burning Question

I like "By Invitation," an "expert" polls feature at The Economist. The question this time is:
Will the financial crisis and its aftermath lower the world economy's potential rate of growth?

Answers by contributing guests include:
[Yes] "previous potential growth rate...was, we now know, artificially inflated by counting the upside of risky investments made without properly accounting for their downside potential"
"No. History suggests the global economy will snap back to its pre-crisis trend"
"I will focus on the question of permanent v temporary effects..." blah blah blah.
Read more and comment here.

Previously on UpNaira