By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Anambra State ICT Agency, Mr Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata,CFA, has expressed deep worry over what he described as poor presence and visibility of the people of Anambra State on Wikimedia Nigeria User Group, as well as other online spaces, regretting that outsiders are now telling the state’s stories without their knowledge and involvement.
Speaking during a One-Day Digital Literacy Workshop organized for members of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) tagged ”Building Tech-Forward Change makers”, a digital literacy training for members of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) by Anambrathe state ICT agency in collaboration with Wikimedia Nigeria User Group, the Anambra Network stressed the need for all to join the trend, stating that it was designed to empower participants with the fundamental digital skills they needed to succeed in the rapidly evolving technological space.
According to him, the training was all about enhancing the CSOs’ work visibility and also equip them effectively and efficiently with the required technical Know-how on how best to expand their horizons.
He disclosed that this idea stemmed from his operational background as a journalist, Techpreneur and start-ups supporter, noting that one of the platforms that helped him then was Wikipedia.
‘The reason for this event is because of our strong belief that the South East needs a stronger voice on Wikipedia.
‘Wikimedia Nigeria User Group is a very powerful network and I am even more glad that they have an Anambra Network. Leveraging the platform can do a lot of wonders in promoting brands’ visibility in unimaginable ways.
‘If we do not tell our stories, nobody will. We have lots of successful people in various fields of expertise in Anambra but they are not well known. Instead, what thrives in the digital space are few negative stories that account for less than 20 percent of the things that happen in the state.
‘That is why we must not allow them tell our stories.I hope that the participants will gain a lot of knowledge that they can use to propagate the work they are doing. One of the good things about Wikipedia is that once your platform is indexed, it puts you on the world map and I thank the Wikimedia group who are here to guide us on how best to put these articles out there
‘Tech isn’t just about Lagos, other places need to be abreast with this knowledge and I hope that they are able to use this knowledge accordingly.
‘We have it as a duty to jointly support Mr Governor, Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo, to make Anambra a livable and prosperous state.
‘So, I encourage the CSOs to work with us, collaborate with us and let’s make a difference,’ he said.
For her part, the Head, Wikimedia User Group, Anambra Network, Dr. Ngozi Osuchukwu, explained that the training would among other things, provide the right visibility which would in turn create possibilities for great partnerships that would enhance the diverse developments that the Civil Society Organizations were carrying out in their various communities.
‘Civil Society Organizations in Anambra are doing a lot of work in their communities but these works and their impacts are not out there. Hence, our decision to partner with the State ICT Agency to ensure that we start telling our stories right like our counterparts in the western part of the country,’ she said, Dr. Osuchukwu also stressed that Wikimedia platforms enhanced research spirit.
‘Anyone can freely edit Wikipedia articles following the allowed guidelines
‘By updating existing articles on Wikipedia with factual and referential information, you not only contribute to the encyclopedia of knowledge but also create opportunities for grants and scholarship opportunities,’ she added
She described the partnership with the state ICT agency as quite rewarding, especially in engendering effective uptake of technology in the work they were doing.
Highlights of the event included tips on internet safety, content creation, using AI tools, as well as free editing procedures on Wikipedia to boost wealth creation.
The training, which was held at the agency’s Conference Room at the State Government House, Awka, had select CSOs in attendance, as well as media practitioners and digital knowledge seekers.
The participants, who were representatives of various civil society organizations from across the state, were taken through series of interactions, presentations, and hands-on sessions designed to enhance their digital proficiency and promote effective utilization of online resources.