Emmanuel Asika: Social entrepreneur, digital advocate.
Emmanuel Asika is a recipient of numerous academic, and awards for his commitment to digital advocacy. He is indeed a strong believer in the transformative benefits of technology.
Asika brings to bear an 18-year multi-national experience in telecommunication and IT. He’s currently at the forefront of driving sustainability initiatives that address digital inequality, diversity, inclusion, and better opportunities for the underprivileged.
According to him, the ultimate goal of advocacy is to achieve digital equity, noting that the pillars for digital equity included devices, access to the internet, and digital literacy.
“As far as the definition goes, the objective is to get individuals and communities to a place where they have the IT capacity required for full participation in society, democracy, and the economy.”
He noted that at the heart of IT drive is Inclusion. How can we get the vast number of the digitally excluded into the digital net? he asked, “of course, the basic first step is how do we get more people educated,” he noted.
Speaking on his is mum – Victoria Nnenna Asika, who also inspired him, applied passion in teaching during her time as a teacher.
“She was a magnet for children and always used every opportunity as a didactic moment. She taught in Schools, in church, and in kids clubs and had the nickname ‘Maman Yara’, meaning Mother of all Children.”
According to him, tech can and will transform the world, as it can transform education, governance, health, and security and has continued to do so in increasing measures.
Describing the kind of work he does in his advocacy and how is it solving societal problems, he said his organisation has been part of the ‘Slum2school’ project, the Innovation and Digital Education Academy, and has collaborated in several Hackathons all in Nigeria and across Africa.
The digital advocate opined that with the myriad of challenges that confront the country at almost every level, is a low level of awareness about the criticality of education and digital inclusion.
On key achievements since plunging into digital advocacy, Asika noted that there have been lots of interesting moments on his new journey but is still far from the ultimate goal of making Nigeria and the continent properly educated and digitally agile.
On whether there are plans of raising more digital advocates in the future the tech expert explained that his organisation plans to raise an army of digital advocates joining the conversation, bringing attention to the issues, and participating in programs to address the digital and educational divide across the continent.
“This support structure is what is required in our educational and digital sector in Nigeria. And while this should be driven by the government, it should also include every well-meaning citizen,” he said.
“I am an eager mentor and mentee and both have been key in pointing me in the right direction in critical periods in my career,” he stated.
“I consider this a solemn responsibility and will continue to actively recruit like minds into digital advocacy,” he added.