5 Take Home lessons from the Civic X Launch

On Friday 27th of July, the Civic Foundation for Innovation hit another milestone with the official launching of its mobile learning lab – Civic X, an initiative of the Foundation.

Civic-X is a mobile hub transformed from a truck, into a 15-seater tech hub. Retrofitted with an LED screen, smart tabs and computers, electricity and internet facility. The truck is deployed to execute a specially designed program for women and children in rural areas.

The program seeks to create access and empower women between the ages of 18-35 years old and children aged 10-16 years old in rural communities with information and skill acquisition on issues relating to healthcare, agriculture, basic ICT and social equality using technology as a vehicle.

Civic Foundation launched the program in the School without Walls, a school for children at the Area 1- Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, Abuja.

Here are five points and lessons learnt from the event:

Breaking Boundaries, Building Synergy

Digital revolution is reaching rural areas in many developing countries. However, the rural digital divide continues to present considerable challenges, especially in a country like Nigeria.

One thing we are committed to is reducing the gap between rural areas and access to ICT and innovation in Nigeria. Rural residents remain largely marginalized; almost anyone seeking innovative products will look to the city centers and the perceived literates.

Civic X allows young children dare to dream by connecting them with Leaders of thought under the mentorship series of the program.

Anywhere innovation and technology thrives, community is formed. A community of change influencers and agents of development. The ripple effect of this can be as huge as total poverty elevation from our society.

 

Educational Continuity is Important: The IDPS were not always displaced.  

One thing we learnt from the launch was that the kids in the IDP camps had proper lives before tragedy struck.

Prior to becoming “displaced”, they attended and received basic and fundamental level of education, either completed or half way. There is an urgent need to build on the foundation already established in terms of education for these children. Also, we want to introduce ICT education amongst those that have hitherto, not had any form of ICT education.

Civic X seeks to build on this ‘foundation’ by raising the bar and exposing women and children to technology. Starting from the basics and a limited number of communities, it is our plan to scale operations, and increase the number of beneficiaries for this project.

 

Empowering Women Is Empowering the Society

The underdevelopment or slow development of any country is directly proportional to the marginalization of women in issues of nation building and entrepreneurial development in the past.

This is because statistics and research by business analysts and human resource managers have shown that women are greater maximizers of resources. Studies have shown that women channel a larger chunk of their earnings to building family and society.

The place of women in any endeavor cannot be over stretched. Given their huge contributions to socio-economic development, there can be no meaningful advancement when we exclude women from governance and the process of governance.  

The Civic X initiative for women is designed to help women make better and more informed decisions in their day-to-day lives. The women would be taught on a wide array of topics including but not limited to; personal and financial management, civic education & participation, health, agriculture and governance.


Harness the Energy of the Young

The energy and excitement with which the kids learnt was amazing. This energy is an untapped resource. This energy must be channeled into productive engagements. As a law of science, energy cannot be destroyed.

We can convert it into something impactful or we can watch these kids viciously engage in social crimes and vices.  Education and inculcation of societal values at a young age reduces the chances of kids engaging in such vices.

Moreover, growing in these camps and rural areas without adequate guidance exposes them to a wide range of vices. Educating and empowering these kids with skills that can be commercialized will have a positive ripple effect on the rural areas over the years because it will hugely reduce crime rate while boosting development.

Make the Move and Get the Push

There is a general notion that government is not supportive of indigenous initiatives. The launch of the Civic X proved contrary.

We got Oludolapo Osinbajo – the wife of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to engage the kids in a Skype call and watch them learn. Three days after, she invited two of the students to the Aso-Villa for an outing and practically spent her day with the kids.

They were treated to lunch and spent quality time with her Excellency. At Civic, we believe that what the government is looking for is a value proposition. Its the same thing every top social impact investor is looking for.

This article was written by Nwachuku Nnamdi for the Civic Innovation Lab.


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8 free business apps you should download right now

She Hive Lagos Participant on Email

We’re not going to point any fingers but some of you are addicted to your phones. Not in a cutesy ‘I just like to capture moments type of way’, but in an ‘if I don’t find network right now I will slap someone’ kind of way. 

It’s not our place to judge but that type of addiction might demonstrate your priorities aren’t straight. If you’re spending more time on your phone chatting and double tapping instead of getting work done, you might soon run out of money to pay for that data bill. Don’t fret —after all that doom and gloom you know your home girls at SLA have come to hook you up. 

What if you didn’t have to choose between work and play on your phone. What if there were these magical tools that could help you track your sales while you take your selfies?

That magical tool would obviously be two heads, and unfortunately for African parents across the world, we haven’t figured that one out yet. All we’ve done is find some cool mobile applications you can download right now to make it easier to get your work done while you’re on the go, looking for network signal.

1.Track My Life

Ever wondered how much time you spend watching makeup tutorials on YouTube? Track My Life can help you figure out how you’re spending your time. However, it won’t be able to stop you from clicking the next video.

This app can help you figure out which activities are taking up the majority of your time and if those aren’t high value tasks or helping you bring in more revenue, then they’ve got to go!

2. CamCard

Did you lose the business card you got from potential bae while you were “networking”? With Camcard you can manage and exchange business cards right from your phone.

Once you get a card, you scan details and they are stored directly in your phone. If you did mean to lose that card, what excuse are you going to use now? Your dog chewed it up?

3.Booksy Biz

Picture this, your side hustle as a makeup artist is starting to pick up, you’re getting booked every other weekend and it’s getting harder to keep track of your new clients. This is not the time for you to forget about appointments and lose the goodwill you’ve built up.

Booksy Bizz is a mobile appointment calendar and scheduling app that can help you manage staff, communicate with customers and manage appointments. This app will make it seem like you have a personal assistant working 24/7 when it’s actually just you in your pajamas, eating ice cream. 

4.QuickBooks Online

Keeping track of expenses is the worst!! Who even has time for receipts? says the person who doesn’t want their business running out of money. If you want to build a long term and financially sustainable business then you have to keep track of the numbers.

QuickBooks let’s you invoice clients and manage your expenses. Now you’ll have no more excuses figuring out where your money went.

5.Perch Small Business

Thanks to Perch Small Business you don’t need to reserve your Instagram stalking your friends and ex boyfriend’s new fiancée. You can now extend those skills to your competitors and their social media movements and know exactly what they’re up to.

Use Perch to get a bird’s eye view of reviews, social posts and promotion for you and your competition all in one place.

6. Tiny Scanner

Why is it that every single business transaction in Africa requires tons and tons of paperwork? I feel like the next time I go to KFC they’re going to ask for 2 passport pictures and a signed affidavit. If you’re in an industry that requires a lot of paperwork, then having access to your files in an organized manner is necessary.

Tiny Scanner let’s you scan your documents and save them on your mobile device, iPad, or tablet anywhere you go. 

7. HootSuite

It’s great that Instagram allows to switch between multiple accounts, but what about the wahala in switching between multiple social media platforms and keeping track of them?

Hootsuite allows you to manage multiple networks, schedule posts, and engage your audience all in one place.

8. Wunderlist

Few things can compare to the relief you feel after checking off something on your to do list. This app will keep your business in sync whether you are managing multiple projects, delegating assignments to co workers or just making sure you actually eat during lunch time one day this week.

Know any other cool apps that have helped you increase your productivity, keep your mind focused and helped your business grow? Share them with us.