This is RISE Networks

Learning, Research and Work Readiness Centre powered by Emerging Technologies and Disruptive Innovation such as Data Science, Machine Learning, Internet of Things & Data Analytics.

About Us

Rise Networks is a Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Powered Learning, Research and Work Readiness Center working to improve the skill set of young professionals for industry fitness in the evolving digital world of work. We’re leveraging deep technologies and disruptive innovation to build progressive Careers and a first-rate National Workforce capable of driving the economic growth for Companies and Countries and we designed and built the first Career Coaching Chat-bot in West Africa.

RISE Networks also owns The Rise Labs, a talent pipeline and work readiness center that leverages artificial intelligence, big data and people analytics to improve the skills sets of job seekers for industry fitness before placing them on Jobs within Organizations. They designed and built the first Career Coaching Chatbot in West Africa.

Our flagship project, Passnownow.com is Nigeria’s most sought after mobile learning portal with access to curriculum-based education content with standardized assessments and exam review questions in digital format distributed via web and mobile to underserved high School Students and Teachers. Rise Networks’ annual Youth Debate Championships [formerly known as Rise National Youth Forum] are arguably the largest gatherings of young people for Youth Engagement Programs at different locations across Nigeria. In addition, Rise Networks’ annual RISE National Youth Forum is arguably the largest gathering of young people for Empowerment Programs at different locations across Nigeria.

Our Strategic focus is hinged on advancing vital human capital Development issues and their relationship to economic growth and democratic consolidation within Sub Saharan Africa. Rise Networks connotes the very idea which its name suggests: a deliberate rousing from inactivity to activity; the conscious replacement of a former state with the new; and the golden promise of life, rebirth and renewed energy.

It is upon these concepts that our organisation is founded, and especially for these reasons that we are Nigeria’s leading social enterprise whose fires burn with passion for youth and education development in Africa and for whom innovation and technology serve as kindle. Seeing how the greatest resources of a nation are measured in terms of the gems between her people’s ears – those few ounces of precious grey matter; our strategic focus is on human capital development and their unfailing link to sustainable economic growth, democracies that are built on the foundation of social justice, and improved quality of life for the general mass.

Our Mission

  • To revitalise values by inculcating positive behaviour in the representatives of the future
  • To create a springboard for young, unsung, uncelebrated heroes to explore their talents and express their creative voices
  • To empower young people in developing business-building initiatives that will enable a viable Nigerian economy
  • To build a new generation of responsible leaders and worthy role models who will make a difference in the world

Our Vision

Our Vision is to be the ultimate reference point in Africa and the World as a hub of relevant knowledge resource and a facilitator of opportunities and platforms that improve the lives and livelihoods of Nigeria’s Youths, with an affirming commitment to empower and prepare them to restore the dignity of Nigeria’s Democracy and her steady Economic Growth.

Our Commitment

RISE will make substantial contributions to society in terms of concrete actions and changes. We represent a new optimistic generation that will work to make history and hope rhyme.

Our Board of Trustees

Tonye Cole

Co-Founder/ Executive Director: Sahara Energy (Nigeria)

Tonye Cole was born in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on 11 January 1967. He attended Corona School, Victoria Island and later King’s College, Lagos before proceeding to King’s School, Ely, Cambridge shire, United Kingdom.

He is an alumnus of the University of Lagos and Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil. A merit honours graduate of Architecture, Tonye Cole worked as an architect for frontline Brazilian architectural firm Grupo Quartro SA in Goiania Brazil (’90-92) where he was involved in the design and implementation of the urban planning and city development of Palmas, the capital city of the newly created state of Tocantins. The city of Palmas was designed as a ‘green fields’ project and built up from scratch. Amongst the projects he worked on in Palmas are the State Ministry of Justice HQ and the City Hall.

Upon his return to Nigeria, Tonye Cole was recruited in 1993 as the Director of Operations EMSA S.A. a Brazilian civil engineering company, the 7th largest engineering firm in Brazil that was awarded the World Bank-financed water projects for Lagos State Water Corporation. He was responsible for incorporating and setting up the Nigerian office, recruiting the local staff and managing the office. Tonye Cole is currently the Co-Founder/Executive Director of Sahara Energy.

Mrs Nike Ogunlesi

Founder/CEO: Ruff and Tumble (Nigeria)

Adenike Ogunlesi is the founder, CEO, and manufacturer of the Nigerian babies and kiddies clothing line called Ruff ‘n’ Tumble. An indigenous clothing company in Nigeria that specializes in children’s clothing, with a minimum of 15 stores spread across Nigeria currently.

She founded the brilliantly-named children’s clothing business and brand in 1996 in Lagos and It has being a success story ever since with exports along the West African coast, employing over 200 people, and growing into two more clothing brands, named, NaijaBoysZ and Trendsetters.

She has built a reputation for being one of the best manufacturers of children’s clothing in Nigeria. Nike was featured in the Africa Open for Business documentary and was recognized as the Fate Foundation Model Entrepreneur in 2005. She is a mentor to Junior Achievement of Nigeria and the Fate Foundation.

Mr. Simon Kolawole

Former Editor, This Day Newspapers (Nigeria). Founder/CEO, thecable.ng and Ideas Planet Ltd

He is the founder and chief executive officer of Cable Newspaper Limited, publisher of TheCable, Nigeria’s Independent online newspaper and former Editor of THISDAY, arguably Nigeria’s most influential newspaper.

He holds a B.Sc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos and a Master’s Degree in Governance and Development from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK. In January 2009, he was named among Africa’s Next Generation of Leaders by The Banker, a publication of the Financial Times of London.

Mr. Ituah Ighodalo

Managing Partner: SIAO Financial Advisory Firm (Nigeria)

Ighodalo attended King’s College, Lagos before going to England to study and graduate with a B.Sc combined honours degree in Economics and Accounting in 1982 from the University of Hull, England, qualified as a Chartered Accountant in July 1986 and attended a Business Management Course at the Harvard Business School, Boston in 2011.

Mr. Ighodalo trained and qualified as a professional with the firm of Price Waterhouse Coopers in 1986. He is a Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (1994) and the Nigeria Institute of Taxation (2000). He is an Associate, Nigerian Institute of Management (ANIM) (1992) and the American Institute of Management (1993).

In 1987, he started his accounting practice, Ighodalo and Co, which merged with three other firms to form SIAO in 2005. Today, SIAO is a one-stop shop for financial advisory services and business assurance. The company has consulted for various clients at all levels, providing a broad range of services, including strategic planning, financial advisory, project evaluation, and financial systems design and upgrade. He is the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of the TIMELESS Media Group, Chairman Trinity Media and Films, Celebr8 Music Festival and producer Courage Center TV series.

Mr. Frank Nweke Jnr.

Director General: Nigerian Economic Summit Group Former Minister of Information; Former Minister of Youth Development (Nigeria)

Frank Nweke was born on 18 September 1965. He obtained a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Zoology from the Federal University of Technology, Yola. Mr Nweke is an Edward S. Mason fellow and holds two Master’s degrees, in Public Policy and Public Administration from the prestigious Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria, respectively.

He became a resident consultant to the Enugu State government on development planning and general public sector reforms in 1999. He was Coordinator of the Enugu State Community Development Programme (2000–2001). In June 2001 he was appointed as the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Enugu State, a position he held until June 2003. In June 2003, he was appointed Federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Special Duties. He became Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs, Special Duties and Youth Development in April, 2004.

In July 2005, he was appointed Minister of Information and National Orientation, an office he occupied until May 2007. Mr. Frank Nweke Jr is the current Director General of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG); Nigeria’s most influential private sector led economic think tank and advocacy group.

Mr. Kachi Onubogu

Group Executive Director at Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group, Former Executive Director, Commercial for Promasidor Nigeria PLC

Kachi Onubogu is an experienced marketing and business development manager with cross functional and multinational working experience gained over 18years in the sales, marketing, finance and general management functions. He has a first degree in Physics from University of Jos, Nigeria and an MBA from University of Pretoria. South Africa.

He is currently the Commercial Director at Promasidor Nigeria PLC.

Our Advisory Board

Mr. Foluso Philips

Executive Chairman: Philips Consulting (Nigeria)

The Executive Chairman and Founder of Phillips Consulting Limited (PCL), a firm engaged in business and management consulting, with offices in Nigeria and South Africa, graduated as an Industrial Economist from the University of Wales, Cardiff in 1974. He joined the British Gas Corporation as agraduate Trainee Accountant where he qualified as a Cost and Management Accountant in 1976.

In 1977, he joined the Lucas Electrical Company before leaving the UK for Nigeria in 1979 to work with the Pfizer Group. Mr. Phillips later took on a role as Management Consultant at Coopers & Lybrand International, a UK based company in 1985. During his tenure, he undertook and managed financial management, costing, computer systems and organization development assignments in the UK, Northern Ireland, parts of Europe and West African countries.

In 1990, he returned to Nigeria after being appointed the General Manager, Finance for the SCOA Group in Nigeria. He held the position for two years before setting up Phillips Consulting Limited. He is a certified Management and Chartered Accountant.

Mrs. Iquo Ukoh

CEO at ENTOD Marketing and Founder/Curator, IQ Food Platter

She had her secondary education at Methodist Girls High School in Lagos and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition/Dietetics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Iquo has attended a lot of training programmes including the Leadership programme at London Business School.

Ukoh’s working career spans University of Lagos Teaching Hospital, National Institute of Medical Research, Lagos and Nestle Nigeria where by dint of hard work and high level of professionalism, she became the first and only female Marketing Manager at an executive management level. Under her management, Iquo helped to build lasting brand relationships with Nigerian women through her innovative programmes like the MAGGI Women Forum (A home management programme targeted at women in semi urban areas).

Iquo Ukoh, is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Skilled in Marketing Management, Food & Beverage, Market Planning, Business Planning, and Sales Management, she is a fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) and a member of the American Marketing Association.

She is also a member of Nutrition society of Nigeria, Dietetics association of Nigeria, African Refugee Foundation and Advertisers Association of Nigeria where she has served in Official capacities. Under the auspices of Nestle Nigeria, Mrs Iquo Ukoh was personally invited by President Bill Clinton the former president of the United States of America to attend the first Bill Clinton initiative in New York, an initiative aimed at addressing various social global issues. As a keen advocate of youth empowerment, she is also committed to ensuring that the youth realize their dreams, take on effective leadership roles and are well positioned to resolving societal conflicts.

Ms Osayi Oruene

Chairperson/CEO Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation (ACT FOUNDATION)

Osayi Alile Oruene is the Executive Director of FATE Foundation, a leading nonprofit entrepreneurial initiative in Nigeria, West Africa, which has successfully provided entrepreneurial education and services for the past nine years to young enterprising Nigerians, and equipped them with skills, tools, networks and financing to create successful businesses.

Osayi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Lagos, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration Pi Alpha from Rutgers University, New Jersey, United States of America. A seasoned manager with a track record of outstanding performance in community, economic and social development achieved through collaboration with socially responsible businesses and individuals. Prior to joining FATE, she worked at Junior Achievement of Nigeria, where she rose to become the vice-president.

Her interest in working with non-profit organizations stems from a personal commitment to the socio-economic development of the country through private sector-led interventions. Ms. Oruene is a member of several professional organisations including the International Women Society, the American Society of Public Administration, Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ). Her expertise has placed her on the board of several organizations including the Network for Executives of Non-Profits in Nigeria, which she founded.

Olubayo (Bayo) Adekanmbi

Chief Transformation Officer: MTN Nigeria/ Founder Data Science Nigeria

He is a data scientist and also the founder of Data Science Nigeria, which is a network designed to fast-track Nigeria’s development through the application of machine learning in solving social/business problems. In his capacity as the Chief Transformation Officer of MTN, he is exploring new frontiers in advanced data analytics for telcos and related non-telcos, having worked in MTN for 13 years, previously serving as GM Business Intelligence and Chief Marketing/Strategy Officer.

Bayo graduated with Distinction from the University of Reading postgraduate school, United Kingdom, and has also completed both full-time and executive education in many other leading institutions, including Columbia Business School, New York; The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Chicago; INSEAD Business School, France; Telecoms Training Institute, London; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; and Gatton College of Business at the University of Kentucky, Kentucky.

He has an MBA from Henley Business School, University of Reading, and a PhD through City University Cass Business School, London, and TIAS Business School. Bayo is an award-winning business executive that has combined 18 years of cognate industry experience in Strategy, Marketing and Analytics from two largest economies in Africa (Nigeria &South Africa) and a track record to show for a superior performance in conceptualizing and implementing business/commercial/analytical strategy with commendable managerial ability.