Since its inception in 2008, Naija Graphic Designers (“NGD”) has been a technologically-driven community of practice for creative professionals founded by Daniel Emeka and Olaolu Obende. This year, NGD was awarded the prestigious Facebook Community Accelerator Programme, a highly competitive Facebook Leadership Program aimed at expanding the worldwide positive impact of creative communities.
NGD is a brand-new platform for African artists to connect and share ideas. NGD is a forum for seasoned creatives and up-and-coming artists with roots in Nigeria, offering information exchange, training, development, and benchmarking. As a result, NGD facilitates the hiring of graphic designers in a country where access to professionals is becoming increasingly difficult. The NGD community includes creative designers from various disciplines, creative enthusiasts, and a slew of other business managers worldwide.
Aiming to enhance NGD’s impact and develop innovative offerings relevant for scaling up the activities of Naija Graphic Designers, Facebook would use its Accelerator Program to provide customized training with one-on-one mentorship to Naija Graphic Designers to optimize their value proposition to the wider ecosystem and global community. Additionally, Facebook has partnered with GlobalGiving to provide a grant of USD50,000 to NGD to help it build its new Initiatives and gain access to additional resources for faster growth. NGD’s Juliet Godwin, Manager and Principal Administrator hopes to use the Facebook Accelerator Program to strengthen the NGD community of practice in Nigeria and the broader African continent, to curate necessary partnerships for advancing the strategic objectives of the community, and, more importantly, to deepen the value propositions to the community’s growers during the next five months.
Announcing the Award, Facebook noted;
“In 2008, Naija Graphic Designers was created to give creative designers a voice and share practical approaches on being a successful creative in Nigeria. In the community, creative designers in Nigeria are able to learn, share experiences, participate in challenges, collaborate, grow and thrive as creativity entrepreneurs. Now with over 123,000 members, several community members have secured jobs from the exposure in design challenges, and have elevated the creative design practice.”
Speaking on the Award, Founder, Daniel Emeka said;
“It’s been a great and exciting journey, albeit not without challenges. I am proud of our growing members, who have over the past decade proven the power of collaboration, rekindled the creativity of youths and channeled their energy into productive activities helping to grow our economy and build a positive social environment. I am excited about the future, as NGD hopes to revolutionize the creative design practice and create value for all stakeholders.”
Also commenting on the Award, ‘Laolu Obende noted; “I would like to thank Facebook for this recognition. It validates the compelling potentials of NGD, creates new global learning experience for our administrators and more importantly affords new opportunities for our growing members, who we dedicate this award to. I, therefore, congratulate our members for the Award and also felicitate with peer winners in Africa; Prepare For Jamb UTME, Protect The Child Foundation, Wanderlust Dairies Limited, Mothers Kids and More (MKM), Natural Hair Babes, The Official Ocean View/Slangkop group, Tales of Nigerians, Naija Nurses Forum, Nigerian Teachers, Portfolio 9 Community, South African Arts & Culture Youth Forum, and Teachers’ Notice Board Kenya. NGD’s pride and strength lie in its membership, hence Daniel and I would continue to seek innovative ways of delivering value to our members, whose commitment to our vision of elevating the creative design practice remains our most fascinating motivation. Working with a reputable global institution like Facebook reinforces our strategy of forging global alliances and partnerships to create value for our community and the broader creative ecosystem.”
NGD has proven to be a grooming centre for thousands of creative professionals, helping to train and mentor youths for gainful employment and entrepreneurship, with thousands of its members headhunted by local and global media and entertainment firms, tech companies and creative agencies whilst hundreds have grown into entrepreneurs creating jobs for the teeming unemployed youths.
NGDs immediate Initiatives will seek to enhance collaborations in the creative community, leveraging Facebooks’ platform, optimize access to design resources for media agencies and direct corporates, including small, medium and large enterprises while engaging creative artists of several design disciplines on projects across the globe broadening their entrepreneurial potential with access to more income streams says NGD’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – Emeka Maduaeke. This initiative will help to enhance local content, in a country like Nigeria where skill-gaps continue to undermine confidence in native service providers.