Awards Nominee Category: African ChangeMakers Technology & Innovation Award
Nominee Full Name: Carla Ceravolo
Nominee Country: Nigeria
Company Initiative Career Business: Velma Foundation
Nominee Title Role: Co-Founder and Director
Nominee Product/Service: Velma-ARC provides the solution to cyber security risks across all spectrum:
To the government, rehabilitated participants provide information and assistance to government agencies that would aid in investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes. To the IT companies, we help convert a cybercriminal to a cyber security expert, who would help test and identify loopholes in cyber security infrastructure. There is the need for adequate public awareness on the activities of fraudsters and consumer education on the usage of critical computer applications. To the society, participants undertake community services and engage in a wide range of outreach activities; teaching citizens about deterrence and prevention. Education is seen as the most vital weapon for protection. To the victims of cybercrime who seek justice, the Hub helps to investigate trends, identify and locate the crimes, provides investigation results to law enforcement agencies and offers relevant information that aids the prosecution of the cybercriminal. To the administration of the justice sector, ensuring reduction in re-offending through rehabilitation. To the repentant cybercriminals, we provide alternative sources of income and employability, reducing the number of unemployment in Nigeria and providing economic empowerment. To “be normal” or to lay more constructive social footprints by working, paying tax and contributing to wider society, we also give them an easy path back into society. Our intervention is a complementary intervention to aid the activities of law enforcement agencies in curbing cybercrimes. We believe that this intervention is required for a holistic fight against cybercrimes in Nigeria.
Describe how your Company /Initiative/ Career/ Business is turning Africa problems into solutions in your community e.g. technology partnerships reach coverage?
Velma-ARC is mobilizing the response to cyber incidents, defining cybersecurity standards, improving the cyber awareness of citizens, and fostering the development of the cybersecurity capabilities of professionals.
A reintegration program for previously convicted cybercriminals; adults, first-time offenders and juvenile offenders, Velma-ARC assists them to change their criminal behavior. Furnishing coping techniques for addressing their inherent problems; targeted youths are equipped with the necessary psychosocial and life skills to influence their own decisions about their lives, set their own goals, and act upon those decisions to achieve desired outcomes.
Leveraging the repentant youths’ cybercriminal skills for curbing the incidences of crime, we harnessing their ICT skills to be efficient stakeholders in fighting cybercrimes.
The ultimate goal for Velma-ARC is to increase the quantity and quality of the opportunities for youth for full effective and constructive participation in society and decision making as a means to increase tolerance among the different groups, build respect for the rule of law and human rights, and reduce violence in their politically and ethnically tense environments.
The importance of skills development for Africa’s youth thus mustn’t be overlooked. It represents one of the key drivers of innovation on the continent. To benefit from that relationship, the African workforce must start preparing today for tomorrow’s jobs.
How does the Company Initiative/Career/Business improve people s life, impact, affordability and reliability?
Our graduates from the 1st batch of 50 work providing income generating services, thus yielding financial income by the time the 2nd batch of 50 have graduated from camp, saving costs on IT training and facilitators, leveraging our experience to sustain operations.
The co-operative society being proposed will ensure that the project is sustainable. A co-operative society gives room for peer review and monitoring. The leadership of the society will be by consensus/election. Velma-ARC Staff will also be represented in the society in order to continue to provide support and guidance, and to ensure that the initiative succeeds. In 10 years, we would have trained and empowered 1000 students who, in turn, will provide free training to prospective students via a pool to be administered by the co-operative society on a yearly basis, thus producing entrepreneurs who can emigrate with their skills to provide vocational services to neighboring cities.
How can this service product or solution be expanded to new markets or areas in Africa?
It is critical that Velma-ARC address constraints to digital job creation broadly, as well as specific barriers to youth`s access to these jobs. Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria and Pakistan ranked at the bottom of the 2015 Workforce of the Future Index – their technological aptitude were limited by “weak education systems, meagre infrastructure, lower technology integration in everyday life and poor business and government environments.”
Our mission Velma-ARC is one solution; We eradicate cybercrimes in Nigeria, we replicate it in other low profile countries especially in Africa in order to discourage vulnerable youths from engaging in cybercrimes.
Voting Timeline: July 15 to July 30, 2021.