Nearly half the people in the world remain unconnected. Those who are connected face new and growing challenges to fully realizing the Internet’s potential. Even as more people come online, it is critically important that the Internet be a platform that enables people to connect, communicate, and innovate. It was on the backdrop of this that the Nigeria Chapter of Internet Society, Nigeria Chapter; a non-profit organization was founded on January 19, 1998 to provide leadership in Internet-related standards, education, access and regulatory policy advisory. The Chapter members recently elected new members into its executive arm to pilot the affairs of the organization for another three years.
Earlier, the chapter was rejuvenated in the year 2017 after a long period of inactivity. This birthed the constitutional 3-year tenure of the outgone executives which came to an end on November 10, 2020. Hence the need for the election of new executives to continue the work of piloting the affairs of the chapter.
In a keenly contested election organized for the Internet Society, Nigeria Chapter by a constituted Election Committee led by Akinloye Okinbaloye, the following officers were elected.
|Ahmed Bola Tijani
The handing over ceremony which was conducted virtually on 11th November 2020 was presided over by the outgoing President Mr. Dewole Ajao who in his welcome remarks, congratulated all the newly elected executive members. He also introduced the outgoing executives to everyone present during the handing over ceremony and commended them for their efforts and team spirit during their tenure as executive council members. He mentioned that several webinars were conducted during the last regime and chapterthon calls were also made, these events had an encouraging number of participants in attendance. He also acknowledged the effort of the members of the Protocol and Standards Working Group in delivering a technical paper on behalf of the chapter ( titled: “Impact of COVID-19 Contagion on Digital Transformation and Economy”) which was presented in an IEEE academic conference in August 2020. Finally, he encouraged the new executive members to work as a team in order to take the chapter to greater heights.
In his acceptance speech, the new President, Mr. Caleb Ogundele accepted the responsibilities of being the new chapter President and also spoke on behalf of all the newly elected executives. He appreciated all the members of the outgoing executive members and went further to recognize the veterans and several stakeholders that have partnered with the Internet Society, Nigeria Chapter for the growth of the Internet in the Nigeria Ecosystem. He further appreciated the electoral Committee and every member of the Chapter who participated in the electoral process.
Speaking to our reporter, after the handover, the newly elected President Mr. Caleb Ogundele, who was also the program secretary for the out-gone executive council members, said that his tenure as president would focus on the T.O.G.E.T.H.E.R Agenda based on his manifesto (Transparency; Opportunities; Growing members knowledge base through capacity building; Engaging and expanding chapter’s stakeholders; Tailored and active regulatory and policy engagement; Harnessing the powers of the member for more volunteer work; Enlarging the chapter’s finances and Reaching out to the community) which would be blended with the manifestoes of other newly elected executives.
Further explaining the focus of the newly elected executive team, Mr. Ogundele emphasized that there will be lots of regulatory engagements, capacity building for members through several initiatives which include the Nigeria School on Internet Governance as well as several Technical Workshops for Engineers and Academics, Community Networks advocates. Giving more insight, top of the agenda will be to work with the Internet Society Global body on the action plan for 2020 and 2021 to achieve the strategic and shared vision to make the Internet safe, secured, affordable and accessible.
While old members are encouraged to be more active, the chapter welcomes new members and innovative partnerships and collaborations to make the Internet available for everyone.