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Tony Elumelu Foundation And Google Partner To Support 1m African Entrepreneurs

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Photo: Tony Elumelu, Founder Tony Elumelu Foundation with Google.org Fellows at the announcement of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Google.Org Inaugural Fellowship Program

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and Google have announced an inaugural Google.org Fellowship to provide one million additional Africans with access to TEFConnect, as part of the Foundation’s mission to empower young African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries.

The announcement was made during an event held at the Foundation’s headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, which was attended by several African political and business leaders. 

This partnership is the first Google.org Fellowship in Africa and will offer enormous opportunities for Africa’s digital community. Nine full-time Google employees, including software engineers, UI/UX researchers, and policy experts, will work with the Foundation to design and build an upgraded version of the TEFConnect platform. TEFConnect is already home to over one million African entrepreneurs and offers tailored tools, market partnerships, and access to coaches and investors to small businesses.

This fellowship builds on an initial $3 million grant by Google.org to support the 2021 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme by empowering an additional 500 African women to start or scale their businesses.  The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is a US$ 100m initiative that has supported over 15,000 African entrepreneurs and is the largest entrepreneurship programme in Africa.

“Before the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, my water company suffered financial setbacks. Since TEF support, I have purchased new machines and impacted more communities to ease the water purification process. I deliver clean water to villages that lack access to clean water at an affordable price. The Tony Elumelu Foundation Grant was a dream come true for me and a great opportunity. More people should partake, this is the most innovative platform in Africa,” TEF Beneficiary, Lungile Marhungane, CEO, Jesu Puro Water.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and job creation across all 54 African countries. TEF has disbursed over $85 million in seed capital to date to support small business growth across Africa.

Speaking, the co-Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Dr. Awele V. Elumelu said, “We are pleased to continue to share our unique ability and platform to identify, train, mentor and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa with like-minded institutions like Google.org who share in our commitment to empower young African entrepreneurs. It will be exciting to see the ways in which the refreshed TEFConnect platform will continue to provide a space for growth, personal development, and meaningful exchange for African entrepreneurs. In line with our founding philosophy of Africapitalism, we believe that entrepreneurs are the catalyst for the social and economic development of the African continent.”

Jen Carter, global head of technology at Google.org, commented on this exciting partnership, “We are delighted to kick off our first Google.org Fellowship in Africa. The Tony Elumelu Foundation does so much to empower African entrepreneurs, and we are thrilled to be able to lend the expertise of Googlers to expand the reach of the TEFConnect platform to an additional 1 million entrepreneurs.”

“Google’s commitment in Africa has progressed from sponsoring projects to collaborative partnerships with established African organisations like the Tony Elumelu Foundation, dedicated to developing young African talent. As Africa’s digital economy grows, African entrepreneurs are in a prime position to establish a powerful digital footprint, and this fellowship is one step closer to transforming the landscape” she added.’

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Andela Rwanda Launches Apprenticeship Program to Connect Africa’s Top Organizations with Talent

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Andela, the global network for remote technical talent, has announced the launch of the Andela Rwanda Apprenticeship Program, a 12-week program that aims to introduce global organizations to the vast potential of up-and-coming Rwandese tech talent.

The apprenticeship program offers companies the chance to build their team with graduate apprentices from the Andela Technical Leadership Program (ATLP). The ATLP is Andela Rwanda’s signature accelerator program, in partnership with the country’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation,  empowering Rwandese nationals with the prerequisite software engineering they need to be future tech leaders. 

The ATLP simulates a real-world technology product setup, where participants learn to work within a team to build web applications with best practices based on Javascript and its associated frameworks. The program has so far successfully trained 380 junior engineers from across ten different African countries, with over 70% of the graduates from the ATLP currently employed. There are currently 150 additional learners in the program. 

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Innovations

Why 60 Million Youths Honoured New Horizons CEO, Tim Akano

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The CEO of New Horizons Nigeria, Mr Tim Akano has been honoured by Nigerian youths for his relentless commitment and unparalleled passion for youths’ empowerment.

 The nine groups with over 60 million strong memberships cut across Nigeria, Africa and in diaspora came through their representatives to recognise and honour the CEO with various awards at New Horizons Head office in Lagos.

Among the groups are the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), Northern Nigeria Students (ANNS), Nigeria Youth Representative Council (NYRC), Coalition of Nigerian Young Patriots (CNYP), Nigerian Youths Initiative for Peace and Good Governance (NYIPGG), Students Coalition Rebirth of Nigeria (SCRN), Inter-Faith Youth Council of Nigeria (IFYCN), National Association of Mathematical Science Students of Nigeria(NAMSSN) and League of African Development Students (LEAD Africa).

Recently, the federal government of Nigeria named Akano as Nigeria’s Icon of Youth Empowerment through the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Skills Acquisitions and Empowerment Department (SAED). Similarly, over 120 national, continental and international organisations including the Students Union Council (Nigeria Universities Students), Northern Youth Council, Oodua Youths Parliament, Trans Africa Youth Initiatives (TAYI) and Nigeria Committee of Vice-Chancellors have conferred different honours in appreciation of his contributions to mankind. 

Speaking for the Association of Northern Nigeria Students( ANNS), the national secretary, Amb. Nafiu Danlami, said, “We want to appreciate you for what you have been doing for Nigerian and African youths. You have given us a better platform to showcase Africa to the world through what we produce on the continent and also earn money from it. With this, I am challenging everyone that we can make Nigeria a force to be reckoned with again because you are a man of substance and we encourage you to leave your comfort zone and seek political office to liberate the youth from the shackles of poverty” 

Also speaking, the president of the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), Sunday Asuku said Akano has proven that he has the interest of the youth at heart even when the leaders of the country are not looking at the youth. “I want to tell you that you have rekindled our hope with all you are doing for us and we are glad. So, on behalf of 20 million Nigerian students home and abroad, we honour you with the most prestigious NAPS award, The 2022 Beacon of Hope award, which is given yearly to just one most outstanding Nigerian,” he said.

Vice President, Inter-Faith Youth Council of Nigeria (IFYCN), Daniel Friday, on his part, said: “We are here to honour Tim Akano with the Ambassador of Peace Award because we see him as a leader with an innovative mind and the impact he has made in the lives of youths that once took to violence but now living in peace with others. We appreciate him for that.” 

Receiving the awards from the groups, an elated Akano said he appreciated the thoughts and the thinking that went into it and assured them that it would challenge him to do more. He said many people have seen the work his company has been doing to transform the lives of youth and this prompted them to give him the awards. 

Akano, however, said he was not doing it because of the recognition but narrated a story of how he met a Nigerian graduate refugee graduate seeking employment many years ago in Switzerland which challenged him to stand in the gap for millions of Nigerian youths who need help and mentorship to identify their talents and guide them to success.

“Over the last two years, I have been receiving dozens of awards from all over the world, and they [these groups] validate the decision I made 18 years ago to leave my job at Coca-Cola and dedicate my life to youth empowerment. I do not do it for the recognition, but it feels good to know that we are truly making an impact in the lives of these young people” 

“This forms the imperative of the establishment of One Africa Initiatives Academy where we Mentor African youths from over 50 countries worldwide. The soon-to-be-unveiled FABAAW is the platform set up to bring prosperity to Africa, especially to the youth. With FABAAW, African youths can network, showcase their talents and do genuine businesses with the global community on mutually beneficial terms, better terms than what is obtainable today on e-commerce and social media platforms”

The New Horizons Nigeria CEO believes that poverty and unemployment are Africa’s twin problems. “Our problems in Africa are the same. Go to Uganda, South Africa, or Nigeria it is the same. Africa has the largest unemployment rate in the world”

Akano said across the globe, African people are known for going to school, graduating and earning certificates. “If you want to be successful in life today, the youth need 4th Industrial skills in Data Science, Cloud Architect, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence, among others.

“For instance, India’s raw materials are its population and it decided to develop along software line. China toed the line of manufacturing, Israeli owns military security, and Germans are known for their machinery. So for us in Africa, what we can bring to the table that would make our youth prosperous are 4.0 skills.”

He said there is a solution to every problem and the solution to this present generation’s problem is knowing how to use technology to solve the poverty problem, using the newly created FABAAW platform due to be launched in July.

“I have committed the rest of my life to concentrate on the transformation of Africa by raising and grooming the Youths that will take Africa to the promised land before 2063,” concluded Akano.

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Meet The 20 MTN-MIP 2022 Fellows

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Twenty media professionals across the country have been selected for the maiden Media Innovation Programme by MTN Nigeria in partnership with the School of Media and Communications, Pan-Atlantic University. 

The six-month fully funded fellowship  is for innovative storytellers and media leaders that will equip them with new skills needed to function in the rapidly changing media world.

The MTN Media Innovation Programme began on May 23, 2022 and will run until October 28, 2022. The MTN-MIP Fellows cut across print, broadcast, online and social media. 

Wondering who the 2022 MTN-MIP Fellows are? See their bios below! 

  1. Abidemi Diaro
, SiliconNigeria

Abidemi Dairo is a Senior producer/reporter with Channels Television and has been reporting on the showbiz industry since November 2008. He is a seasoned journalist with a background in traditional print media. Before transiting to broadcast, Dairo received certification in journalism and special reporting from the Timbuktu Media Training Institute.

From movies to music, fashion and general lifestyle stories, he has reported from within and outside the shores of the country and has interviewed celebrities from Nigeria and abroad.

He has displayed exemplary knowledge of the showbiz industry and has been featured as a subject matter analyst on some other media platforms. He currently produces the daily Entertainment News on Channels Television.

  • Adeyemi Adepetun 
, SiliconNigeria

Adeyemi Adepetun is the Assistant Editor, Communications and Technology Desk at The Guardian Newspaper. He holds both an MSc and BSc in Mass Communications; MBA in Finance and HND in Banking and Finance. He is also an Associate of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (ANIPR). 

Adeyemi has 15 years of journalism experience and nine years specifically in the reportage of information and communications technology (ICT). On the ICT desk, he has written several stories that have shaped the sector and equally set the agenda for government at the different levels.

He is a well-travelled journalist, within and outside Africa, for training, and coverage of telecoms, ICT and business conferences. He has also won several industry recognitions and awards. He is currently the MTN Telecoms Reporter of the Year 2020 at the prestigious Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA). Adeyemi is married with kids. He is gentle, inquisitive, helpful and loves reading and travelling.  

  • Agbonkhese Oboh
, SiliconNigeria

Agbonkhese Oboh is a hands-on and motivated team player. He is an expert communicator, writer and editor. 

He is Deputy Online Editor – currently acting as Online Editor – of Vanguard Newspapers. He has a strong background in newspaper publication, networking in the media space and creating a presence in the multi-media space.

Currently, he is getting grounded in videography, video and photo editing, digital reporting, audience interaction and engagement and specific writing for a specific online audience.

He has a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication, Auchi Polytechnic; Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, both in Literature-in-English. The first is from Lagos State University (LASU), and the other, the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

Agbonkhese has been commended for his emotional intelligence and enjoys learning and teaching. 

  • Ameh Ejekwonyilo
, SiliconNigeria

Ameh Ejekwonyilo is a Senior Reporter on the Judiciary, Human Rights and Anti-corruption Desk of Premium Times Newspaper. He is also a joint winner of Premium Times’ Best Story of the Year 2021.

Ameh is also a 2021 grantee of the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists, which was sponsored by the National Geographic Society, Washington, U.S.

He writes on the impacts of violent conflicts on vulnerable people.

He applied for the MTN Nigeria Media Innovation Programme (MIP) with hopes to acquire innovative skills in the telecommunications sector.  He also sought to be a part of the MIP in order to horn his journalistic skills with a view to exploring entrepreneurial opportunities in the media and technology industry.

  • Chima Akwaja
, SiliconNigeria

Chima Akwaja is the Technology Editor of Leadership..  He elevates ICT reporting in Nigeria with major exclusives, breaking news, and incisive and carefully researched feature articles. 

Popularly called “The HOD”, Chima has covered numerous ICT events across the globe. His working experiences cut across National Newspapers, International Tech Magazines and Online Media. He was a Lead Contributor to the INVEST IN NIGERIA 2010 Handbook, a foreign investment publication for Nigerian High Commission, United Kingdom.

Chima is a winner of the 2006 AISI Media Awards of the ECA/AISI/IICD; 2009 IT Champion Award by the Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria (ITAN); ICT Journalist of the Year at the Titans of Tech 2019 Awards; Most Outstanding ICT Editor 2019 and ICT Editor of the Decade 2020 at the Africa Digital Awards respectively.

Chima holds M.A and B.Sc degrees in Mass Communications from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and Imo State University, Owerri (IMSU). He has attended training sessions at Pan Atlantic University, and the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ), among others.  

  • Damilola Fajinmi 
, SiliconNigeria

Damilola Fajinmi is a Media & Communications Professional with a demonstrated history of over eight years working in the media production industry.  She is a radio broadcaster, content creator, voice actor, and scriptwriter, and is also skilled in marketing communications, and media buying.

Dami Faj as she is called by her faves is a family and health enthusiast. This passion led to the creation of her radio shows; Parenting Conversations with Dami Faj on Beat 97.9 FM Ibadan and Sabi Ya Health. She also co-anchors Toko Taya (Mr & Mrs ) an indigenous program on Naija 102.7 Ibadan.

She is outgoing and very energetic with strong communication and interpersonal skills. She is a well-organised professional with a track record that demonstrates self-motivation, creativity and initiative to achieve corporate and personal goals. In November 2021 she won an award for best performance in Media Plan Compliance in the southwest region.

Damilola is interested in young adults and she enjoys helping them discover who they are so they can think bigger and build better.

Damilola loves music, podcasts and checklists and loves to learn and apply. She enjoys quiet moments, reading, watching movies and spending quality time with her family.

  • Daniel Adeyemi 
, SiliconNigeria

Daniel Adeyemi is curious about how technology is impacting the lives of Africans. As a senior reporter at TechCabal, Daniel writes mostly about big tech and high growth companies operating in Africa. He shares insights from investors in the African ecosystem through his bi-monthly column, Ask an Investor.

Before joining TechCabal, he spent the past 4 years working in the tech and consulting industry as an Accountant. Outside work, Daniel spends his time reading, playing/watching soccer, volunteering with the TEDxLagos team and occasionally painting masterpieces.

He applied for the Media Innovation Programme in order to gain an expanded view of the media space and to become more valuable to his organisation and society. 

  • Elsie Godwin 
, SiliconNigeria

Elsie Godwin is a versatile Media Personality – TV/Radio Presenter & Producer, Blogger, Writer, Conversationalist, Content Creator, Facilitator and Marketing, Brands & Corporate Communication Specialist.  She is a Co-Anchor & Co-Producer on WAYS Show Africa showing weekdays on DSTV CH 408/Startimes Ch 308/GOTV Ch 112 and the producer and Anchor of Reviews on the Couch. 

Her passion for creating content and impactful conversation led her into broadcasting where she has interviewed over 300 successful businessmen and women, across different industries in Nigeria, Africa & Beyond. She is passionate about telling stories of and having conversations with successful people in order to help shape the Nigerian and African narrative and to mentor the younger generation.  

In her capacity as a media influencer, she works closely with media agencies (BHM, Plaqad, H+K Strategies, DottsMedia, Alder Consulting, Anakle, etc) to help create and share amazing brand stories. She’s also a Google influencer affiliate.

  • Esther Ndu
, SiliconNigeria

Esther Ndu is a News Producer currently working at Arise News. She co-produces the mid-day news, the exchange news and the entertainment news daily. In addition to her day job as a journalist, she is also a member of the board of trustees in a private primary school. 

Esther believes in broadcasting authentic news in a simple and easy to understand manner. She has been named producer of the year and is reliable when given tasks. 

Esther holds a BA in Classics from the University of Ibadan and a professional certificate in Basic Presentation from the National Broadcast Academy, Nigeria. She is always seeking knowledge in order to impact her generation meaningfully, as she believes that everything should be done to better humankind and honour God. 

She joined the Media Innovation Programme in order to learn more about the nexus between information and communication technology and how to use these to improve the media sector in Nigeria.

She loves children and hopes to write about them. She also cherishes her quiet time.

  1. Mike Okwoche
, SiliconNigeria

Mike Okwoche is an award-winning international broadcast journalist. He is a Senior Anchor and Head of Newscasters at Television Continental (TVC) in Lagos, Nigeria.

He is a graduate of Public Administration from the University of Maiduguri in Borno State. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the National Open University of Nigeria.

He is an Associate Lecturer at the Nigeria Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Lagos as an instructor on Broadcast Presentation. He is the Country Director of media and communications for Mater Africa, an international NGO on humanitarian aid based in Italy and Nigeria.

He is an Alumnus of the United States International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP), a program he ran in Washington DC, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina and California.

He has bagged the Newscaster of the Year award by the prestigious Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA) in 2019. He also won the Nigeria Broadcasters Merit Award (NBMA) in 2014.

He was the project coordinator of the Media Literacy campaign for the U.S. Department of State in Nigeria which was administered by AlumniTIES in Washington DC.

Mike is the President of the United States Government Exchange Alumni Association in Nigeria, an association created by the United States Mission in Nigeria to rally U.S. exchange alumni members in partnership to cause positive social change wherever they are.

He is the founder of Rewired Africa Media Network, a media content agency passionate about civic education, training,  advocacy and mentoring in Nigeria.

He is married to Emem Okwoche with two lovely daughters, Elsie and Eliana.

  1. Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen
, SiliconNigeria

Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen is the Founder and Lead Strategist at TenticP Communications Nigeria Limited. She is a seasoned journalist and media practitioner with over 14 years of experience in the Media industry. She is currently the Managing Editor, AP News published by TenticP Communications.

Nahimah has a keen history of working in the media industry with excellent skill demonstrations in Corporate Communications, Strategic Planning, Marketing Communication, News Writing and Editing as well as Advocacy/ Communication for Social Change. 

Having worked previously with Daily Trust newspapers covering several sectors of the Nigerian economy, she has deep knowledge of the nation’s business environment and social, cultural and political landscape. 

Nahimah holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of Lagos and is currently a PhD student at the Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo.

She is widely travelled for both local and international workshops and training.

  1. Peter Oluka 
, SiliconNigeria

Oluka, Peter Ikenna is a practising ICT Journalist; Technopreneur, and Speech Writer, amongst other Media & Public Relations interests. 

He is currently running TechEconomy.ng, a digital news platform that focuses on Business-People-Platforms-Institutions leveraging technology to enhance productivity and challenge the quantum of inadequacies in emerging economies like Nigeria/Africa.

Prior to that, he worked at the Nigeria CommunicationsWeek – a medium with a penchant for ICT reportage – as a Senior Reporter. 

Peter started his mainstream journalism in 2010 with the Nigerian NewsDirect Newspaper based in Ogun State. 

He also co-founded GrassRoots.ng, a news platform rooted in speaking for the global citizen. He also superintended the launch of NewsRepublic247.com. 

Peter is currently the Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Njalo.ng; an online marketplace for ‘Classified’.

He obtained PGD (Mass Communications) from NOUN in 2015 and HND (Mass Communication) from the Institute of Management and Technology, IMT, Enugu in 2008.

Peter describes his quest for journalism and media practices as exceptional.

  1. Rasaq Ayinla 
, SiliconNigeria

Razaq Adesanya Ayinla is a journalist with over 15 years of practice. He has valuable experience in both Broadcast and Print Journalism. He began his career as a Graduate Intern at Cub Reporter and graduated as Staff Reporter, Proof-Reader, Assistant Editor, Regional Editor and News Editor. 

He currently prepares, collates and edits news stories and features from Southwest and Kwara States. He edits and produces news across western Nigeria for BusinessDay and makes daily editorial contributions to the paper’s general and specialised pages. 

  1. Sakina Ahmed
, SiliconNigeria

Sakina Ahmed began her career in broadcast journalism when she was employed by the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria as an Assistant Translator and posted to one of its FM stations in Yola in 2011. 

She is currently working as a Reporter for Fombina FM Yola with a passion for reporting on health, the environment and women and girl child rights.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Language and Communication Arts from Modibbo Adamawa University, Yola

She applied for the MTN Media innovation program to gain the required innovative skills needed to recognize opportunities that will help her improve her career prospects and equally be an important contribution to society.

  1. Samson Akintaro
, SiliconNigeria

Samson Akintaro is a seasoned journalist with a knack for technology reporting. Akintaro started his journalism career in 2005 at the now-defunct Financial Standard Newspaper, from where he was drafted to the ICT Desk as a young reporter.

Being a versatile reporter, he joined another special publication, Stockswatch, in 2008, where he became a Capital Market correspondent for the paper. However, his love of tech reporting saw him move to a specialised and one of the leading ICT Magazines in the country, IT & Telecom Digest, in April 2011. 

At IT & Telecom Digest, he rose from the position of a reporter to become a senior editorial staff of the publication, taking responsibility for the editorial content of the Magazine, while projecting the industry to the world through his reportage. 

In April 2018, he joined the New Telegraph Newspaper as ICT Editor, a position he currently occupies. His incisive and illuminating writings about the Nigerian ICT/Telecom industry earned him a nomination for the Telecom Reporter of the Year in 2019 at the Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA). In 2020, he emerged as ICT Reporter of The Year, at the prestigious Africa Digital Awards (ADA). 

In April 2022, he joined Nairametrics as Tech Analyst, where he continues to report and analyse issues in the ICT industry.

  1. Temitayo Jaiyeola
, SiliconNigeria

Temitayo Jaiyeola is a technology correspondent at the PUNCH newspaper. He is interested in stories that explore the intersection between tech and human activities. He is a data enthusiast, loves numbers, and insists that he should have studied Economics. 

He writes prose and poetry when he isn’t haunted by the ghost of deadlines. Some of his writings have received positive nods — he was second runner-up for the Quramo Writers Prize in 2019. 

When he is not writing or reading, he often folds inwards or takes random strolls.

  1. Ugo Unwuaso 
, SiliconNigeria

Onwuaso Ugochukwu Francis, is a tech and ICT enthusiast, working with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek as a Senior Correspondent covering ICT, Business and Logistics.  

He believes that technology is at the core of our ever-changing and evolving world and has written several articles on technology since he started covering the sector.

He has received several professional and capacity trainings on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) organized by reputable companies like Google, Microsoft, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), etc.

Ugochukwu is the 2019 and 2021 winner of CommunicationsWeek’s Best Employee of the Year award. 

Ugochukwu is a native of Awka, in Anambra State and is married with four beautiful children. 

He holds a post-graduate degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Lagos State University, and an HND degree in Business Administration and Management from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo.

  1. Uhuotu Omilabu 
, SiliconNigeria

Uhuotu Omilabu is a young, aspiring and resourceful broadcast journalist with a strong passion to stay above mediocrity as a reporter, editor and compere.

With a degree in Communication Arts, Uhuotu has contributed to the media space with reports on topical issues bothering on women and girls’ issues, health, education, agriculture etc. 

She has been a part of several training sessions within her state of practice and across the nation. Uhuotu currently serves in the News Department of Inspiration FM, Uyo as a producer, reporter, editor and show host which highlights her versatility in the media profession.

Holding fast to honesty and integrity as core values, her philosophy is to treat people the way you want to be treated. She strongly believes that this will make the world a better place. Uhuotu is married with children.

  1. Vanessa Obioha 
, SiliconNigeria

Vanessa Obioha, a writer and a journalist joined THISDAY Newspapers in 2012 as a contributing writer. She became a staff member in 2016, covering lifestyle and entertainment. However, she has ranged broadly across the newspaper pages, reporting on politics, business, sports, tourism, human interest, and other subjects. 

She has also profiled prominent personalities in the entertainment and lifestyle sector in the lifestyle section of the Sunday paper, The Glitterati.

In 2015, she was nominated for the prestigious Nigeria Media Merit Awards.

Vanessa is also interested in poetry and has taken a screenwriting course with the New York Film Academy.  She is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism with distinction in Mass Communication.

With an eclectic taste in music, she enjoys listening to beautiful sounds, watching films and TV series, reading, travelling and discovering new cultures.

  • Wasilat Azeez
, SiliconNigeria

Wasilat Azeez is a finance journalist, data enthusiast and fact-checker. She holds a first-class honours bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. 

She began her journalism career as a graduate intern with the Cable Newspaper Journalism Foundation (CNJF) in 2020. Upon completing the programme, she got automatic employment at TheCable, Nigeria’s independent online newspaper. 

She is passionate about spotlighting women and persons with disabilities (PWDs), especially those who have made outstanding records in their respective fields by overcoming barriers and beating the odds to reach their goals.

As a budding academic in gender and development, Wasilat has co-authored a research paper on The Role of Associations of Women Journalists in Promoting the Interests of Female Journalists in Nigeria.

She believes that the MTN-MIP will help her grow in her journalism career by increasing her knowledge of the telecoms industry. 

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