The Jim Ovia Foundation in ICT has concluded plans to empower software start-ups in the country with the ultimate aim of attracting a huge number of Nigerian youths into digital entrepreneurship.
Critical to the initiative, according to a statement on Friday, is the ‘Prize for Software Excellence’ recently initiated by the foundation.
The foundation, which said the plan was to resolve the missing link in the nation’s knowledge capacity development space, added that the prize was aimed at stimulating software capacity development among Nigerian youths.
The President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, Dr. Chris Uwaje, in a statement on Friday, said the ‘Prize for Software Excellence’ was initiated in association with ISPON; adding that it represented, perhaps, the most ambitious ICT knowledge initiative to date.
He explained that the initiative had been designed to recognise and mentor the best software start-up of the year” and ensured that Nigeria became a force to reckon with in the global software development-entrepreneurship landscape.
Uwaje said the maiden edition of the prize, established to recognise the ‘Best Software Start-up of the Year’ 2012, would be held during the 2013 ISPON President’s Dinner.
He said, “From its modest beginning some 50 years ago, computer software has become a critical element of modern society, with global reach and impact on virtually every aspect of human endeavour.
“Software is a key enabling technology in business, industry, government, and defence, and permeates products and services of all kinds. It is no exaggeration to state that the progress of modern society is now totally and irrevocably dependent on software, as clearly exemplified by the year 2000 bug (Y2K) crisis.”
The ISPON president, who lauded the Jim Ovia Foundation for the initiative, said economic sectors such as manufacturing, financial services, communications, health care, energy, transportation, entertainment and education, as well as national defence and government, depended on the conduct of daily operations on software.
These, he said, ranged from personal computer applications to large-scale, networked systems and Cloud computing with astonishing complexity.
According to Gartner, a technology research firm, the global information technology spending is expected to hit $3.73tn in 2013.
The latest United Nations Information Economy Report 2012 on the software industry and developing countries concluded that this would ride on software.
Uwaje said this presented a daunting challenge to Nigeria, in particular, and provoked the imperative to question the country’s National Software Development Strategy.
“Must we perpetually remain a nation importing and consuming about 95 per cent of the total ICT software and related infrastructure as development strategy for the Federal Republic of Nigeria?,” he queried.