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By Marilyn Ezekwem (Info-Tech Reporter)

Former Secretary to the Government of Akwa-Ibom State (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, alongside the chairperson, Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), Mrs Ibukun Odusote and the Managing Director, Condata Systems Limited, Dr. Chris Nwannenna, led awardees at the inaugural DigitalSENSE Africa awards.

The Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo and the Managing Director, Wizzyhub Technologies, Mr. Francis Uzor, were also among those who led the awardees.

Other awardees included the Managing Director, Digital Realty Nigeria, Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), Mr. Gbenga Sesan, and Managing Director, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Mr. Muhammed Rudman, among others.

Confirming these at the weekend, the Lead Consulting Strategist, DigitalSENSE Africa and Group Executive Editor, ITREALMS Media group, Sir Remmy Nweke, said that recognition in the corporate category included Upland College, Digital Realty Nigeria, Welcome Centre Hotels and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

As said by him, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem emerged the DigitalSENSE Africa Broadband Advocate of the decade; Mrs. Ibukun Odusote was acknowledged as DigitalSENSE Africa Empowerment Advocate of the decade; Dr. Chris Nwannenna as DigitalSENSE Africa IG4D Advocate of the decade; Engr. Gbenga Adebayo was honoured as DigitalSENSE Africa Telecoms Advocate of the decade; and Mr. Muhammed Rudman was named the DigitalSENSE Africa Internet Personality of the decade.

Also, Engr. Ike Nnamani emerged as the DigitalSENSE Africa Connectivity Enabler of the decade; Mr. Francis Uzor was honoured as DigitalSENSE Africa IG4D Ambassador of the decade; Mr. Gbenga Sesan came top as DigitalSENSE Africa IG4D Influencer of the decade, while honour was bestowed on chairman, NDSF@15, Mr. Edetaen Ojo as the DigitalSENSE Africa Freedom of Information (FoI) Champion of the decade.

Dr. Ekuwem, he said, was represented at NDSF@15 by the Chief Technical Officer, Teledom Group, Engr. Joseph Enyia, and Mrs. Odusote likewise Mr. Rudman were represented by President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) Mr. Sola Akinsanya, while the legal adviser to DNS WomenNG, Barr. Mrs. Amaka Onumonu and Ms Peculiar Showale stood in for Engr. Ike Nnamani and Mr. Gbenga Sesan, respectively.

In the corporate category, he said that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) emerged DigitalSENSE Africa Telecoms Regulator of the Decade; Digital Realty Nigeria (formerly Medallion) was named the DigitalSENSE Africa Data Centre of the decade; Upland College come-forth as DigitalSENSE Africa Most Supporting School of the Decade; and Welcome Center Hotels went home with the DigitalSENSE Africa Valuable Partner of the Decade.

He also said that the recognition were part of the agenda to mark the 15th years of hosting the Nigeria DigitalSENSE forum on Internet Governance for Development presided over by the award-winning Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda, Mr. Edetaen Ojo with the theme: “IG4D: Innovative Digital Economy & Safer Civic Space in Nigeria.”

According to Nweke, NDSF@15, held at the prestigious Welcome Center Hotels, International Airport Road, Lagos, attracted civil societies, non-st actors, community based organisations, youth, students, media, men and women as well as internet and telecommunications enthusiasts in the country.

A panel session anchored by Nweke had speakers made up of seasoned industry experts including the NDSF@15 chairman, Mr. Ojo, Engr. Adebayo; Executive Director, Mr. Sesan, who was represented by Ms Peculiar Showale and Data Protection Officer, Upperlink Limited, Ms Francisca Iloezumma, whereas the open mic session was sponsored by the Domain Name System Women Foundation in Nigeria (DNS WomenNG).

Nweke recalled that in 2009, the Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum (NDSF) series on Internet Governance for Development made a debut at the Golden Gate Restaurant Ikoyi-Lagos and ever since, has remained firm in rallying stakeholders to take discourse on Internet access, openness, affordability, connectivity and ICT infrastructure among others.

“These awards are our own ways of appreciating both individual and corporate support over the years. It has not been easy but with God by our side and support of most of these persons and organisations in deepening and sustaining our contribution on Internet penetration, improving access, affordability, technological adaptation that bring forth digital sense in Nigeria. So, here we are today,” Nweke declared.

NDSF series on IG4D powered by ITREALMS Media group is hosted by DigitalSENSE Africa, an At-Large Structure (ALS) certified by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), in collaboration with relevant stakeholders not limited to Internet Society (ISOC), Nigeria chapter, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Digital Realty Nigeria, NNPC Limited, NLNG, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) among others. NNL.

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