By Emeka Aginam
…Names Ndukwe knowledge ambassador
ON the heels of the global software contest powered by Microsoft Corporation which held in Sydney, Australia a fortnight ago, the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has flagged off this year’s edition of the National Software Competition, in collaboration with the Cross River State Government.
In addition, ISPON also named immediate past EVC of NCC, Engr. Ernest Ndukwe the “Distinguished Knowledge Ambassador” for the software contest whose grand finale will hold at the National Software Competition and Conference slated for October.
It would be recalled that last year’s contest, which held at the Tinapa Resort in Calabar, was also sponsored by Cross River State Government
Software is tool for change
Describing Ndukwe as a knowledge champion in ICT whose leadership of the telecoms regulator, NCC re-awakened the nearly comatose communications profession and industry in Nigeria, ISPON President, Chris Uwaje while flagging off the national software competition told journalists that Nigerian IT professionals and youths have in the past decade recognized the potentials of software as a dynamic tool to change the world with and resolve the many challenging ambiguities associated with life and development.
Optimistic that the event will actualize potentials of Nigerian software initiative, he recalled that last year’s competition unexpectedly threw up Abia State Polytechnic as winners of the national software competition cup, adding “and that is some of the lessons learned from ICT knowledge development process. That is, anything can happen — all nations have equal chances to emerge winners,” he explained.
Software crucial to Vision 20-2020
Meanwhile, Governor Imoke who was represented at the press conference by his Special Assistant on ICT, Henry Asor noted that national software policy engineering was important in achieving Vision 20-2020 and the mission of re-branding and transforming Nigeria.
Incubation and development of software, he said, was imperative for enhancing productivity, creating new jobs, enabling more efficient businesses, producing higher quality of goods and services, and leading to greater innovation for the creation of wealth.
He said that the theme for this year and the apointment of Engr. Ernest Ndukwe as Distinguished Knowledge Ambassador were both significant and timely as it seeks to promote conscious national awareness on the imperatives for developing Nigeria’s indigenous intellectual property in the software knowledge space.
“It is our belief that this knowledge conference and competition adventure will unleash the currently suppressed ideas and creativity of Nigerian software professionals and the entrepreneurial spirit and skills of our teeming youths, as well as create the platform for beneficial networking and business attractions.
“Cross River State Government is happy to partner with ISPON and other industry players to raising the bar for quality of the conference and ensuring a memorable, beneficial and sustainable experience,” he added.
Nigeria can lead software Africa
In his response, Engr. Ndukwe expressed happiness for the honour done him by ISPON, and promised to work with the software group in preparing youth for global challenges.
His words: “ I am excited with this honour. I will work with ISPON to see these youths are encouraged for global challenges. I am very passionate about youth empowerment. What is most important now is capacity building; I haver always hoped that Nigeria can lead other African countries in IT capacity building. It is important to replicate the success of telecommunication in the software arena.
Speaking further, ISPON president, Chris Uwaje said the Cross River State Government is committed to raising the bar for quality of the conference and ensure a memorable, beneficial and sustainable experience.
“One of the key factors behind last year’s success was the quality and range of individuals and organisations spread across Africa, Asia and the Americas. This enriched the Round table Interactive sessions and breath-taking presentations. The central challenge for 2012 is how to improve on the milestone and success of last year’s conference and competition. This is why we have completely re-strategized and revamped the entire branding, speaker, panel of judges, and faculties.
What informed the theme
Theme of the contest and conference, Cloud and the Future of Software Nigeria, Uwaje said, addresses the overriding mission of ISPON national software conference/software competition for tertiary institutions geared towards promoting conscious national awareness on the imperatives for developing Nigeria’s indigenous intellectual property in the software knowledge space.
It also aims to harness our collective IT potentials, resources, capacity and capability as a national priority for global competitiveness, he added.
“We want to assure all the participants of an inspirational experience. This, amongst other things is what informed the selection of the current theme which isdesigned to explore some of the most critical challenges of the software profession and industry namely: software in the cloud and what Nigeria must do to survive,” he said.