Nigeria powers up local software drive
Nigeria hopes its upcoming software development conference and competition will fire up the imaginations of local developers and boost the local software industry.
Nigeria has long promoted the need for more locally-developed software, with the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) recently lamenting the fact that most software in use in the country is still imported.
ISPON President Chris Uwaje called on the Federal Government to establish as matter of urgency a National Software Innovation Fund, with a start-up sum of N5 billion.
He said challenges facing the local software sector included a lack of skills, lack of infrastructure, little effective local demand, a lack of incentives for developers and venture capitalists and a lack of industry data and market information.
Aiming to help improve the situation, students’ software development clubs have been opened across the country and a N1 million developers’ competition has been launched.
Nigeria will also see its first National Software Conference this week. The event will be hosted by ISPON and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Cross River State government, NIGCOMSAT, ZINOX, 21st Century, MTN, Huawei, NCC, CPN, NCS and partners at the Tinapa Business Resort in Cross River State from 26 – 27 October.
The event, to be opened by Nigeria’s Minister for Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson, will provide a forum for all stakeholders in the software development ecosystem to interact and discuss a way forward.
This year’s conference is anchored on the theme: A Framework for Software as a National Imperative for a 21st Century Nigeria. ISPON says many of the new business opportunities for Nigerian firms will depend on their capacity to develop new, IT-based products and services which respond to the expanding role of ICT across the economy and society.
ISPON has stated that Nigeria’s software industry represents the new economy. “Software is responsible for the curious construct of socio-cultural and economic factors that is distinguished for its ever-changing trends, directions, economic cycles and demographics,” Chris Uwaje said.
Minister Omobola Johnson has commended ISPON for their resilience and dogged determination to forge on as champions of the Nigerian software profession and industry.