Hacking Benin City … two months later
As the heartbeat of Nigeria, launching a Hacks/Hackers chapter in Benin City seemed the obvious decision.
Edo State is regarded as the ‘heartbeat of Nigeria’ — strategically linking the west, east and north through its road network. With more than five universities in Benin City alone and more than 13 news and media agencies, Edo State is an innovation hub for South-South of Nigeria and home to the Edo Innovation Hub.
When Code for Africa launched it’s South-South community at the Edo Innovation Hub, the WanaData and Hacks/Hackers event saw more than 70 people in attendance. It included journalists from several news media organisations, data scientists and undergrad students with a keen interest in data journalism.
During the three-hour event, Code for Nigeria’s country lead Nkechi Okwuone Coker spoke about the benefits available for journalists and civic tech enthusiasts as members of the Hacks/Hackers network. Andie Okon, project manager at Code for Nigeria, talked about the WanaData community for female journalists, which provides an opportunity to access resources while developing stories.
State chair of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Roland Osakue, gave a word of thanks for establishing these communities in Benin City and the opportunities it brings in training and support for journalists in this region.
The Hacks/Hackers digital activist community provides the logistics for monthly meetups, helps develop learning materials and offers project-focused technology and editorial production. The WanaData community has grown from seven to 24 members in the past year and has published more than 60 multimedia stories with support from Code for Africa, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Google News Initiative, the US Department of State and the World Bank.
At our meetup in October, we looked at the benefits of Youtube for journalists. Nigeria has the second largest mobile internet penetration level, according to internetworldstat.com with more than 100-million subscribers from its 187-million population.
Blaise Aboh, a veteran trainer for Code for Nigeria, left nobody confused as he taught in an exciting and ingenious way that would make anyone who walked in think he was running a comedy session.
One participant commented, “Learning has never been such fun.”
Hosted at the Edo Innovates Hub, 21 people attended from various media houses across Benin City — including a female journalist working with Ghana Business News and data science students from Curators University. Participants left feeling well informed to begin engaging with their audience on the platform.
Community Assistant, Code for Nigeria, Benin
John has the mind of a photographer and captures wonderful moments that obstructs his lens, just to take it away and store it in time. Taking him at face value, you would fail to see the tech enthusiast and problem solver in front of you. He loves to research and strategise around ideas and problems. John loves God, watches cartoons and spend time on the internet.