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Thirty Africans set for Google world

By Charles Mgbolu
NO fewer than thirty contestants  from Africa  may be among those going head to head in this years Google world code jam competition scheduled to hold next month in Google’s Dublin office, Ireland, CyberLIFE has learnt.

The competition is a software code breaking exercise which intends to throw computer students across the globe into each other as they flex intellectual muscles trying to disintegrate codes that had been put together by the brightest minds on the planet.

Earlier, Vanguard had reported that thousands of intending competitors from across the continent had filled the applications online. But it seems like the wheat had been separated from the chaff as that figure has been staggeringly reduced.

No media statements announcing the names and nationalities of the competitors has yet been released but Vanguard has learnt that once again Nigeria is being represented at the competition.

According to a report by IT news Africa “the country hopes to make an impact as it previously did when represented by Oduntan Odubanjo last year”

The official Google blog website also reports that the qualification round starts on May 7, 2010 and after four rounds of online competition, the top 25 competitors will be flown to Dublin to match wits for the $5,000 first prize.

Competitors from around the world many of whom are soft ware programmers and code developers had been notified months ahead of the date to prepare for the competition. African contestants particularly had been geared into the spirit of the game two months back when it held it’s own version of the competition dubbed Google code jam Africa last month.

Google’s Public Relations Office in Nigeria has admitted not to hold much information on the event but they expecting a very exciting code breaking year nevertheless.

There are however serious concerns from observers who wonder why the continent is trailing behind quite embarrassingly in competing figures when it comes to intellectual competitions like this. Educators among them are pointing fingers at the general school teaching curriculum. Recently there has been cries from some of them to infuse ICT into the general school teaching curriculum in the country.

Last year, 23,000 contestants had slugged it out at the competition. Less than a hundred had been from Africa. China’s Lou Tiancheng had emerged over all best.


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