This week's online UK-Nigeria Skype meeting went ahead as usual - and left yours truly in a mini-panic.
For a change there were no startling revelations about new health programmes to report, no horror tales about children accused of witchcraft, and no news on ground-breaking collaborations with telecom giants.
So what, then, could I blog about? The answer didn't take long to arrive. The fact that the meeting took place at all - and how these sessions have evolved and grown immensely in sophistication over the past 18 months is cause for a bulletin in itself!
With John Dada in the chair we were able to sort out the outstanding business from the previous meeting. The Nigerian team were able to send the UK links to ongoing projects and recent reports and photos were agreed to be shared.
Meanwhile, the UK participants were able to update their Nigerian counterparts regarding the progress concerning networking and raising the visibility of Fantsuam. Additional information about the collaboration with NITEL was sent via email as the meeting progressed. And in the middle of it all, it emerged that one of our Nigerian colleagues was actually attending from Kaduna Town where he was waiting for his training on Microtik to begin!
I would have been impressed with the level of detail and the electronic exchange of information had this been a meeting between two large multi-nationals. However, this was a meeting between individuals in the UK working as Dadamac and a rural community in Nigeria! These sessions demonstrate that it is possible to successfully bridge the cultural and technical divide delivering ICT for development and ICT for education.
The hope is that these two teams will continue to develop this new way of collaboration for the benefit of the local community. Any knowledge gained will then be shared and hopefully replicated.
Our meetings are testament to the relationship, persistence and vision of John and Pam and quite rightly justify a blog of their own!