Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Microsoft, PIN host Alternative 2.0

Lagos, June 1 2010 – Everyone is concerned about Internet safety. The prevalence of social networking Web sites, online communities, and Internet-enabled processes is great news for individual, corporate, and government users, but the concern for safety remains paramount. Our increased dependence on the Internet for work, life, and play, is exploited daily by those who make the Internet unsafe for others. Walking into most cybercaf├ęs in Nigeria today, one can see clusters of young people gathered around public computers for the purpose of manipulating the powers of technology to defraud others and disturb the desired safety of the Internet.

This explains why Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) teamed up with Microsoft Nigeria in July 2008 to start the Microsoft Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria (MISSPIN). “Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), an organization that connects people, institutions, and communities with the socio-economic opportunities of information and communication technologies (ICT), is proud to be the implementation partner on the MISSPIN campaign” said ‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of PIN.

“One of the projects of the campaign, led by a project ambassador, led to the recording of the ‘Maga No Need Pay’ song – and the production of a video to help spread the message. The song title was introduced as part of the sticker campaign during the first edition ‘The Alternative’, MISSPIN’s public event, in 2008,” he added.

Citizenship Manager for Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Dr. Jummai Umar-Ajijola, said, “Maga No Need Pay has become a popular phrase, both online and offline. From deep-seated comments, that ask questions about how cybercriminals can have an alternative in a nation with extremely high unemployment, to commendations going the way of Microsoft for choosing to “put its money here its mouth is” on such a relevant issue as cybercrime, there is no denying the fact that the impact of the song and video is already being felt.”

She continued, “Reaching a viewership of over 111,000 in less than 3 months, the video has demonstrated the importance of MISSPIN. As the song makes its way through local radio stations, the video gets airplay on TV and the CD continues to be distributed across various cities in Nigeria (and also the US and UK), the message of the campaign continues to ring true: young Nigerians do not need to follow the vicious path of cybercrime.”

In line with the objectives of the campaign, Microsoft and PIN are glad to announce another public event, The Alternative 2.0, where the song/video project will be presented to the public and other campaign updates will be provided. The event will hold between 9am and 1pm on Saturday, June 12, at the Main Auditorium of the University of Lagos.

“We are glad to announce that the artistes who volunteered their time to make the song happen, the multi-talented producer of the song and the director of the music video will attend the event. We already have confirmations from Cobhams (song producer), MI, Rooftop MCs, Modele, Bez, Wordsmith and Kemi Adetiba (video director)”, added Dr. Umar-Ajijola. The event will also feature a presentation by Deolu Akinyemi, MD of Generis Solutions, – on the alternatives that exist for young people who want to earn legitimate money through the power of the internet – and a special appearance by Commonwealth Prize winner Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani who will read from her award-winning book, I Do Not Come To You By Chance, a novel that is the first to touch on the subject of cybercrime in Nigeria.

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