Hello Blogfam!!

Happy new year, albeit a very belated one.

My 2018 has started on a relatively slow note as I take out time to finalise my plans and strategies for the year. I am excited, giddy, nervous, anxious and optimistic- yes all of these emotions- as this year may turn out to be the most consequential year yet given the significance of the multiple projects in my life right now – I hope  one day I get to share all of it with you!

2017 in review

2017 was a great year for the blog, I wrote more consistently than I had ever written although it tapered down significantly in the last quarter because I was just so overwhelmed. I published 28 posts with the following being the most popular:

  1. How to get an internship with the United Nations
  2. Economic diversification: understanding it within the Nigerian context – part 1
  3. Understanding Nigeria’s $1 billion Eurobond sale:opportunities and risks
  4. Nigeria’s exchange rate falls below N400/$1 for the first time since August 2016, what could possibly be wrong with that?
  5. British Council Future Leaders Connect diaries: Part 1 – Application and selection process

I also had the opportunity to write for external publications such as the Africa Research Institute; the International Growth Centre and Stears.  I enjoyed each and every one of the posts published on my blog as they were borne out of a strong desire to contribute to critical issues and debates concerning Nigeria. I love blogging/writing because of the power of information to force debates and change mindsets. Indeed, in Nigeria, serious government accountability can only occur when people are equipped with the information needed to ask the right questions and this is what I hope to achieve with my blog.

Every opportunity to blog was an intense learning opportunity given the amount of research, analysis and revisions that go into every blog piece. Having people visit the blog and read articles is therefore a huge deal for me as I feel that I am contributing in my way albeit very little to solve Nigeria’s governance problems, so I say thank you everybody! For those of you that text me on social media and via email, thank you for the compliments, it is highly appreciated and extremely encouraging.

In my personal life, 2017 was a year on intense personal growth and learning – the year I became a bona fide Nigerian adult. There were so many lows and great highs and in retrospect I am thankful for each and every experience. Certainly one of my high points was being selected by the British Council as one of the 50 emerging Policy Leaders out of over 11,000 applications from across the world (I talk about the experience here, here & here) – a timely and life-changing experience! Application open soon, please feel very free to reach out to me for assistance, would be more than willing to help.

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Image Credits : Here

2018 – Expectations from the blog

  • I have spent some time especially over the holidays thinking about new features/content for the blog. Going by back-end data on the most viewed/shared posts, I would be writing more Explainers as it appears that people are interested in the nitty-gritty/breakdown of basic concepts or contemporary issues.
  • I also want to add a glossary tab to the Menu bar where I will provide brief descriptions to some commonly used terms on the blog and international development in general.
  • I started something last year ‘What’s hot’, it was supposed to be a weekly news wrap up,  I intend to continue that this year although with some revamp.
  • I also want to add a tab for resources and opportunities tab where I shall share things like reports, publication, scholarships and jobs.
  • Given how woeful my reading was last year, I have planned to read at least one book a month in 2018. I will be doing Book reviews year as a way of holding myself accountable.

I am totally open to new ideas on how this blog can be improved to serve you better. So if you have any ideas, drop a comment below or send me an email at nwamakachidera@gmail. com. Would be very pleased to hear them.


In the next post, I shall discuss my outlook for Nigeria in 2018, to be honest, it has taken me quite some time to get around writing this simply because Nigeria is hardly inspiring at the moment. Internal security is at an all time low, the economy remains very fragile and there appears to be a general feeling of despondency everywhere. When you now situate these issues within the context of being in a  pre-election year – it gets even more scary.

But I guess that it is in time like that well-informed discussions and debates even matter the most and so we should all try not to get weary. Ultimately, we are ultimately responsible for Nigeria, noone will develop our country except we do, so let us try to keep the faith.

I wish you a fabulous and successful new year filled with beautiful milestones!! I look forward to connecting to you all my dedicated readers on a personal level.

Cheers!

Amaka.

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