Igbo Entrepreneur Under 30: COSIGN’s Esosa Ighodaro

April 6, 2015 | Michael Luchies We were so pleased and honored to have Esosa Ighodaro at #UIU2014 last year, the young under 30 entrepreneur taking the world by storm. Read Michael Luchie’s interview with one of our very own. The viral world we live in allows us to have nearly anything we want at our fingertips. Want to find out who starred in that movie you watched last night? Check IMDB. Who won the game last night? Check ESPN. What shoes is she wearing? This is where COSIGN hopes to be your go-to answer. Inspired by trying to find the product information of a pair of shoes in a commercial, Esosa Ighodaro and Abiodun Johnson started COSIGN. After searching for information online about the shoes, the co-founders realized that hundreds of other people were actively trying to find the information, but that information was not easily accessible. The manufacturers of the shoes would want the product information available, but there was no incentive for the advertiser to share details about the shoes because they were not the featured item in the ad. COSIGN is a social-based business that allows people to easily tag and find product information within a picture, making a post “shoppable” and allowing the tagger to earn commission if a sale is made from the post. After coming up with the initial idea, the pair worked on putting the legal structure of the business in place and started working on creating the MVP (minimum viable product) version of the app. To get the business off the ground, capital was needed in order to develop the...

The Experience Series: ATLANTA #UIU 2014, "Heeding the Call"

March 13, 2015|By Dr. C. Frank Igwe (Philadelphia, PA) UIU 2014 was my third go ‘round, so I guess you can call me a veteran at this point.  Each time it gets better, and I learn a little bit more about the culture, while appreciating just how sacred it is to have shared ancestry with a thousand other attendees, whose forefathers may have gathered for community festivities hundreds or thousands of years ago…much like their descendants do every year at UIU.  There is something comforting about being around people who can correctly pronounce my name, Chukwudi Igwe, or know the ancient, and yet familiar call and response: “IGBO KWENU!!!!” “YAAAA!!!” From the moment that Yours Truly hopped off the plane, it was like a reunion, as I hugged and laughed with those that I had met at the conference in previous years, and made friends with those that were attending for the first time.  It gave me a chance to practice my spotty Igbo with the fellas… “Nwanne!  Kedu?” ..and with the ladies “Omalicha nwa!” My Igbo goes downhill for there (Don’t judge me).  Numbers exchanged, expectations declared, and the fire lit, as we looked forward to whatever the weekend held. UIU 2014 began slightly differently than years past, as we were treated to a comedy show with 4 hilarious comedians that honestly brought the house down! If you were there, then you KNOW what I’m talking about. Everyone looked fly, the room was packed, with no seats in sight. NaMo Skee is still the funniest host to do it (I swear, when I get married, I’m forcing him...

International Women's Day – UIU Recognizes DAMBISA MOYO, International Economist

March 8, 2015 In celebration of International Women’s Day, Umu Igbo Unite would like to recognize Dambisa Moyo, International Economist. From TED Talks to keynote speeches, the Zambian economist can’t help but continue the conversation about Africa and our global economy. Moyo is best known for her highly controversial book, Dead Aid, which criticizes Western aid interventions in Africa. Bill Gates and others have criticized this book openly and in 2013 there were several public opinionsregarding her book. Named by TIME MAGAZINE as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World and as a recipient of theFriedich von Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award, we cannot help but notice and recoginze this woman on the rise. To learn more, read about the biography of Dr. Dambisa...

As World’s Hottest Economy Unravels, Nigerians Feel the Squeeze

March 6, 2015 By: Gavin Serkin and Chris Kay In a four-day sweep through Nigeria early last year, Aberdeen Asset Management’s Kevin Daly detected trouble. Yes, the country was a rising African power and yes, it had become the world’s fastest-growing major economy, but things weren’t quite right. An Islamic insurgency was heating up in the north and there were early signs that a nasty presidential campaign was brewing. Then financial disaster struck. Oil, the lifeblood of the country, collapsed in a breath-taking free fall. Daly had seen enough. By November, he had sold all of his Nigerian government bonds. Back in Lagos again last month for a fresh look, Daly found a country ravaged by crisis from all sides: the bloody clashes with Boko Haram insurgents had intensified; the violence had spurred authorities to postpone elections the president was in danger of losing; and the plunge in oil prices had depleted government coffers and triggered back-to-back currency devaluations. Nigeria’s benchmark equity gauge is the second-worst performer in the world this year — only war-torn Ukraine’s has fallen more — and the government’s local bonds have posted the biggest losses in emerging markets. “Nigeria is very high risk right now,” Daly said after returning to London, where he oversees $13 billion of emerging-market bonds at Aberdeen, Europe’s largest publicly traded fund manager. His only investments left in the country are bank bonds. Africa’s ‘Capital’ That Daly, 54, has soured to such an extent on the West African nation is telling in of itself. He considers himself a long-term Nigeria bull, attracted by the economic growth potential, booming population and natural resources. (In addition to...

"Igbo in Diaspora are keener on reviving their language than the ones at home."

February 9, 2015|BY CHIKA ABANOBI That was the keen observation of William Eleje-Abili, an authoritative researcher in Igbo language whose Mkpanaka Okowa-Okwu Igbo (A Handbook of Igbo Glossary): The English-Igbo Dictionary, published by University of Lagos Press and Bookshop Ltd, is making waves in many Igbo quarters. “You will be surprised that those that live outside the Igbo states treasure the Igbo language more than those that live inside,” Eleje-Abili said, in a chat with Education Review during the recent marking of UNESCO International Mother Tongue Day, on Saturday, February 21. “I have a friend in Canada. He said he is paying an Igbo teacher to teach his children because the farther away you move from your people, the more concerned you are in your ability to tell your children where you come from so that they don’t get lost. But you see people in Igbo villages speaking English as something trendy while they see Igbo-speaking as something primordial, something that doesn’t show you as somebody that is sophisticated. So these notions must be addressed. A lot of people don’t know that language and people are coterminous. Hausa is not just a people; it is a linguistic group. Even in the Bible, especially in the Book of Daniel, you will see the Bible saying, ‘every people, nations and tongues.’ So, language is an attribute of statehood or nationhood. If you remove language from peoplehood, there is nothing left.” Eleje-Abili, a graduate of Geography from University of Jos, a Master degree holder in International Law and Diplomacy, from University of Lagos, besides some courses he did in Warsaw, Poland, said that the idea to write...
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