Following an extensive selection process involving 261 applications from 39 countries, Paradigm Initiative is pleased to announce the 2019 Digital Rights and Inclusion Media Fellows.
The Digital Rights and Inclusion Media Fellowship was designed to embed early-career media professionals in the digital rights and digital inclusion ecosystem in Africa, through the work that Paradigm Initiative does in advancing digital rights and digital inclusion, in order to bring them closer to the issues and empower them as digital rights and inclusion champions during and after their Fellowship.
The inaugural 2018 Fellowship saw two fellows, Victor Ekwealor (Nigeria) and Emmanuel Vitus (Togo), immersed in the ecosystem, touring our offices, and authoring illuminating articles on the role digital rights and digital inclusion play in Africa, focusing on the work of Paradigm Initiative.
Tope Ogundipe, Director of Programs at Paradigm Initiative, stated that “the Fellowship experience begins with a briefing session that connects Fellows with Paradigm Initiative’s team members from Cameroon (Francophone Africa), Nigeria (covering Anglophone West Africa), Tanzania (Eastern Africa), Togo and Zambia (Southern Africa).
That session is followed by a tour of Paradigm Initiative’s Nigerian offices in Ajegunle, Yaba, Aba, Abuja and Kano. Focusing on digital inclusion and digital rights, Fellows are immediately immersed into the work our organization does in connecting youths in underserved communities to ICT-enabled opportunities, while also advocating for their rights in the digital space”.
Adeboye Adegoke, Paradigm Initiative’s Program Manager on Digital Rights for Anglophone West Africa noted, “Although the work of expanding digital access to underserved communities and advocating for the digital rights of people across Africa have become very important in light of their connections to the emergence of progressive, open and inclusive societies, little is known of what this work entails, and public awareness of the work of advocates working in this field is poor.
“Our Media Fellows will work to help improve public awareness of the issues, and raise the profile of digital inclusion and digital rights advocacy in Africa. Their tour of our Abuja office, focusing on digital rights, will deepen their appreciation of the work done by actors in the ecosystem.”
Tosin Abolaji, Program Manager, Digital Inclusion, added: “By touring our digital inclusion centres in Ajegunle, Aba and Kano, the Fellows will experience, first-hand, the impact of our work in improving the livelihoods of underserved youth in Nigeria through digital skills”.
He added: “Our 2019 Digital Rights and Inclusion Media Fellows are young and accomplished media professionals with a track record of impact in Africa. Both 2019 Fellows, Damilola Adeniran and Rose ‘Matlhohonolofatso Moremoholo, are early-career media professionals who have gained rich experiences in media practice and will benefit greatly from the Fellowship that runs from September 2019 to January 2019.”
Damilola Adeniran, with OrderPaper Nigeria, is a young multiple-award winning writer and sustainable development advocate based in Abuja, Nigeria. He was the first Nigerian to win the blog4dev contest organised by the World Bank. Damilola also represents Nigeria in the Youth Transforming Africa Program.
In addition, his writing on violent extremism and sustainable peace in Nigeria won a PeaceWriteNow prize from the Embassy of Ireland in June, 2018. His works have been published in Nigeria and the United States of America both in English and in French.
At OrderPaper Nigeria, Damilola has produced several reports on legislation, corruption, digital inclusion, and human rights. He has also been involved in a community development project known as ConsTrack, designed to ensure the transparent implementation of constituency projects by members of Parliament in Nigeria.
The ConsTrack project won at the inaugural Global Tech4Dev competition organised by Chemonics International in the U.S.A in 2017. Damilola is an alumnus of the Federal University of Technology Akure and also completed a leadership and management course at the prestigious Lagos Business School in 2017.
Rose ‘Matlhohonolofatso Moremoholo is a Journalist and a mother born and raised in Lesotho. She obtained her Postgraduate Diploma in Media Management (PDMM) at Rhodes University’s Sol Plaantje Institute (SPI) through the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) scholarship for African women.
Prior to this she completed her BA (Hons) in Broadcasting and Journalism from the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in 2014 and has been working as a journalist at The Post Newspaper for four years.
During her enrollment in PDMM Rose was appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of the institution’s annual newsletter called IlizwiLolwazi (Voice of Knowledge), produced by students. The newsletter was themed Women in Media. Having been a practicing journalist for at least four years, Rose has been fortunate to write feature stories on issues of not only of national but also global concern.
She values teamwork, trust, integrity and communication and believes that without these values it is impossible to break limitless boundaries of success. She finds peace and strength in giving a platform to the voiceless to see them have a say in policy making, national reforms and service delivery from politicians who often forget their constituencies.