Software Nigeria- Our Last Development Opportunity?

INTRODUCTION TO NATIONAL SOFTWARE ROUND TABLE It gives me and the National Executive Council of ISPON a great pleasure and indeed a special honour to welcome the distinguished …

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INTRODUCTION TO NATIONAL SOFTWARE ROUND TABLE

Chris-UwajeIt gives me and the National Executive Council of ISPON a great pleasure and indeed a special honour to welcome the distinguished captains of the IT Industry who are here today to champion and share knowledge at this Software Roundtable. ISPON is happy to host you at this critical moment of history in our national development. This Roundtable is a prelude to the National Software Conference scheduled to be hosted by the Government of Cross River State in August this year.

If I make the following statements therefore, it is because ISPON is deeply involved, concerned, committed and dedicated to ensuring that “Software Nigeria” – perhaps our last development hope and opportunity this century, does not slip us by.

“There are certain moments in life, when you can predict and indeed, see the future with such clarity – that it nearly takes your breath away!” ISPON clearly sees the sustainable future of Nigeria in “Nigerian Developed Software” (NDS) otherwise called Indigenous Software or Software Nigeria.

Today, Software Technology is acknowledged as the cement that holds the world together and no nation can succeed without earning and mastering its development, application and service dynamics.  Thanks to the advances in Information Technology. One can therefore rightly state that Software has become – not only the vehicle – but the centre of gravity of humanity’s quest for knowledge development and information society.

Man’s quest for self actualization and logical living model has been the driving force in virtually all constructive endeavors – from the birth of industrialization to subsequently automation in order to enhance the efficiency of processes for development.

Currently, it may perhaps be safe to state that the most misunderstood issue in our national development life-cycle is the role of “SOFTWARE” in nation building. What is the future of Nigeria without Indigenous Software development and patronage?

Most organisations grossly misinterpret the role of Software Engineers and Developers with respect to Domain knowledge, experience and analysis. According to Wiegers (1999) and I quote: “The hardest part of building a Software System is deciding precisely what to build.  No other part of the conceptual work is as difficult as establishing the detailed technical requirements, including all the interfaces to people, to machines and to other Software Sub-System. No other part of the work so cripples the resulting system if done wrong. No other part is more difficult to rectify later” – End of quote.

Thus we are here today with an Agenda which, will attempt to refocus Software Nigeria as the preferred hotbed to leapfrog the nation into relevance and ensure economic emancipation for the citizenry and particularly for national survivability.

Virtually almost all activities and needs of humanity are now being interfaced with computers. Software has thus become indispensable in this age if man will continue his drive for Societal Advancement. Nations are picking up this cue and have set various machinery and strategies in place to ensure that this critical national infrastructure –SOFTWARE is given the right and priority attention as a strategic imperative for development.

Nigeria cannot afford to miss out on this critical phase of human development – with a youthful population of more than 65% of the total population, we can leverage on this manpower to harness our intellectual prowess and curb youth restiveness.

This Software Roundtable seeks to identify, address and resolve the challenges of building software knowledge capital by harnessing the potentials and youthful strength in our nation, to build Software skill capacities and provide a sustainable interface between education and the Industry.

Our Vision is to galvanize “Connected Minds, Creative People for Innovative Future”

Mission: To build indigenous software quality skill capacities and empower the Nigerian Software Industry with global Software knowledge as strategic instrument for facilitating and sustaining our competitiveness for self-reliance, wealth creation and national security – applying world class best practices This translates: To providing creative and innovative minds capable of transiting seamlessly into the Nigerian Software Industry and invigorating it for regional, continental and global competitiveness.

Sharing software ideas capable of contributing to national software standards and solutions to enhance our collective challenge, is still a behavioral thought-process alien to us! Collaboration has not started working properly in our software development eco-system. The main idea behind this round table therefore, is to create a sustainable platform where ideas and knowledge are shared productively, hence establishing a broader base for creative development and innovations. The time for attitudinal change in Software development strategy is now!

Objectives

  1. Building Dynamic Human Capital and propagate Software Knowledge sharing.
  2. Facilitating and propagating Team collaboration psychology required for world class quality software development.
  3. To reconnect the Industry and  Academia IT knowledge champions  and stem the creative gap
  4. To sustain the national; IT Challenges by develop manpower to secure I.T industry.
  5. To deliver Professional mentoring to IT students at all levels.
  6. Propagate quality IT Skill acquisition, fine-tuning and development.
  7. To ensure sustainability in the software industry through indigenous manpower.
  8. Ensuring that the intellectual energy of our youths is well utilized by curbing youth restiveness.

The Benefits are many:  multiplying       Creative and Innovative Minds, Contributing to national GDP index, Improving Hands on experience in software development. Exchange of ideas within industry professionals. Facilitating Access to Research & Development Reports and White Papers. Promoting school software project and mentoring through Industry Internship placement, Sponsorship. I urge you to engage this Roundtable with all your ability, with ISPON assurances that your views and constructive contributions will receive the priority attention the Federal Government – for the on-going National Software Policy and Strategy. Welcome!

Being Speech as President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON)

At Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos. Wednesday, June 22, 2011 on the occasion of National Software Roundtable


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