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Imo State flags off a Cyber Security Awareness Campaign

The Imo state government through its Honourable Commissioner for Digital Economy and E-Government has promised to meet global best practices in providing services and enabling the environment for startups in Imo. Speaking at an Interactive Session among the government, young tech developers, online marketers, and several other industry leaders, the Honourable Commissioner, Dr Chimezie Amadi assured participants that a Co-Work Space (Digital Hub) comprising facilities like desk space, power, and internet data, will be provided for startups in Owerri the state capital.

He explained that startups were actually experiments, and in this case, by young school leavers; who need a conducive work environment whether free or for a small fee to take away the many burdens orchestrated by individual private funding of such experiments. The interactive session which was hosted by the Imo State Ministry of Digital Economy and E-Government attracted several government officials like Barr. Rex Anunobi, the Honourable Commissioner for Transport in the state; Special Advisers on Youth Affairs, Public Enlightenment, and Urban Water Supply; and startup ecosystem leaders like Messrs. Godwin Chike Ebere, Ikenna Okechukwu Hector and Chukwuma Anurunkem. It also had in attendance, 100 young tech developers, and monitors.

It was held on the sidelines of the first-ever Imo edition of the Cyberspace Awareness Month Campaign, in partnership with Cisco Networking Academy at the Imo Technology and Innovations Center. Beyond these, however, and in my own view, I understand that a Free or For-A-Small-Fee Co-Work Space environment providing the above government assurances, will also afford the users of such facilities the smart opportunity to seamlessly interface and network with similar or other ongoing experiments. A situation where a user, say a web developer, takes up a workspace, and is in need of a graphics design; meanwhile, there is also a graphics designer using the same I’ll hub; the web developer may approach the graphics designer for assistance to get his/her task done. They get the point, work out terms and agree to collaborate or partner with each other. Issues of understanding might include among several, a share in profits or credits, or returnable favours at the same or other time.

However they decide, the fact remains that there is increased productivity among the startups which are mainly the youth, who now find that they are never alone. The same analogy may also refer to a tech developer and a brand marketer; and other fields. Indeed, it was a pleasant surprise to participants and other guests at that forum, to find that already, a well-equipped and functional tech and digital innovations hub and workspace had been in existence in the state for two years now. The hub/workspace which is sited at the Imo Technology and Innovations Center (I.T.I.C) located at the former ‘ICAPS premises at Egbu Road, Owerri, was the venue for the interaction. ITIC is a public-private initiative engineered by the state ‘digital’ governor Hope Uzodinma’s administration in partnership with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (C.I.E). It is overseen by the Imo State Ministry of Digital Economy and E-Government (IMDEE-G) with the very digital-savvy Dr Chimezie Paulinus Amadi as Commissioner. It is also worthy of note that the IMDEE-G is a new creation of the state government, and the first of its kind to be so created in the nation. It has already brought the entire startup community in Imo state on one page to reap the expected benefits.

One such benefit is the partnership Training Program by the Ministry in conjunction with Cisco Networking Academy to be delivered for free to Imolites on Monday, October 17, 2022, at Bedrock Knowledge Center, #14, M.C.C. Road, Owerri by 10 am. According to a speech presented by Dr Chimezie Amadi’s at the earlier cybersecurity awareness session, beneficiaries in Imo State will be provided with free online cybersecurity training to educate them to spot hacking attempts and illegitimate emails and avoid potential incidents. At the end of the training, learners who actively participate to pass the Introduction to Cybersecurity Course and Cyber Essentials will be rewarded with a Cisco Digital Badge as well as a Certificate of Completion of training. The Commissioner explained: “A Cisco Digital Badge is an emblem distinguishing an achievement that can be shared and validated digitally on Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, Xing, via Email, shared link, embed code into a web page or blog”.

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