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Cyber-activism in Nigeria, Join the revolution!

Monday 4 April 2011 by Oulimata Gueye Tags: telecommunication, hacktivism, media, society
More discreet than the “Arab revolutions“, the Internet citizen movements are also developing in sub-Saharan Africa. In Nigeria, citizens and artists are mobilizing via social networks and self-organizing to influence public power, lending visibility to a resistance unsuspected until now. A quick overview before the elections being held April 9.
 

Electricity for all !

In Nigeria, a country of many scandals, there is one scandal that is no longer tolerated:  the power cuts! In this country, Africa's most populous (152 million) and the seventh largest oil exporter in the world, some areas remain for days or even weeks without power --and this has been the case for decades.  Between "cartels that import generators, sub-contractors who do not complete the electrical work sites, citizens who vandalize electrical lines and installations, from the nonchalant attitude of government to the manufacturers of gensets (installed in developed countries) ", many actors have an interest in the status quo.  But Nigerians are finding it increasingly difficult to live in such a situation.

Exasperated, a handful of media activists, led by Amara Nwankpa, launched on July 19, 2009, via Twitter, the slogan "LightupNigeria, which went to become the marker for the radicalization of the protest. This online campaign that relies on the Internet, Facebook and YouTube, aims to gather as many votes as possible and to directly challenge government members until they take action and put the issue of electricity at the top the political agenda.
 
The initiative was soon taken over by bloggers, traditional media, television, the Nigerian diaspora and even CNN.  As for the website afripopmag, it called Amara Nwankpa one of ten people to follow in 2011!

 

Light up Nigeria Presentation

Enough is Enough

Beyond the issue of electricity infrastructure, what is at stake is information, awareness and the education of all Nigerians so that they can participate actively in social change. LightUpNigeria recently joined forces with a new cyber initiative, "Enough is Enough" (EIA), whose objective is to establish a social network for Nigerian youth and build interest in matters of "opinion leadership "and good governance.

 
Enough is Enough is also a movement born out of outrage over energy problems. In March 2010, Jude Jideonwo , 25, artistic director of media group Redstrat, returned from a trip abroad to find that – as had been the case for months— one had to wait hours in line for fuel. Having had enough, he organized a protest march  in Abuja, the capital, then in Lagos, denouncing problems related to energy. Initially conceived as demonstrations for media and entertainment industry professionals, thousands of young people joined these marches, thus giving them the reputation necessary to sustain the movement.
 
For the upcoming elections, EIA has launched the campaign "RSVP: Register. Select. Vote. Protect "on Twitter, Facebook and local social networks such as Nairaland, Naijatalk and Gnaiga, cell phone networks, radio and television, to encourage young people across the country to register and vote, to learn about candidate programs and to track down fraud. EIA has just made ​​available an application, "RevoDS,” modeled on the Kenyan site Ushahidi , that will help collect information in different polling stations on election day.
 
Reaching young people is the objective for these social networks: ever since the election campaign was launched, LightUpNigeria, EIA, Sleeve up, as well as many blogs, feature the slogan "What About Us " as a rally cry for the youth:  people under the age of 35 make up 70% of the population and want to become political players of significance. 

Nigerian artists sign up

Nigerian artists are also actively participating in this movement for the awakening of civic consciousness and for the taking charge of development. The R&B and hip hop galaxies seem to have taken over for the great figures of artistic protest, Fela and Sonny Okosun. Thus local stars: eldee The Don, EMX, MI, Sound Sultan, have played an important role in publicizing LightUpNigeria and Enough is Enough, by giving interviews or making videos. 

Sound Sultan ft M.I 2010

Olanrewaju FASAS, aka Sound Sultan or Naija Ninja, is the rising star of R&B. Far from naijapop, he is a committed artist who, from his first album in 2000, has denounced the ills of society. The themes of his latest album released in 2010, Mission 2010 - Back From The Future, point to hypocrisy, corruption, materialism, bureaucratic inertia and power cuts ... 

Premier épisode de N-report

On a completely different note, Blackhouse Studios, an animation studio based in Abuja, has also conceived the N-report series as a tool to inform, educate and encourage citizens to intervene in public areas. By addressing sensitive issues, N-report hopes to deconstruct the mental patterns that hinder the development of the country while focusing on humor and the second degree. The first episode of the series is devoted to the issue of electricity 

Documents and links

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