CU Holds 43rd Public Lecture on Challenges and Opportunities of Global Software Development in Nigeria
Software development outsourcing in Africa has been seen as an economic development tool for transitioning economies. With this in mind it raises the question of if Sub-Sahara Africa or more specifically, Nigeria could be considered a destination to take advantage of this by engaging in software development projects. Covenant University’s 43rd public lecture presented on Friday, September 25, 2015, explored both the perceived challenges and opportunities Nigeria offers as a global software development (GSD) destination.
The lecture titled, “Global Software Development: Challenges and Opportunities in Nigeria,” was presented by Professor Sanjay Misra of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University. In his lecture he expounded the results of two parallel studies with the purpose of discovering why Nigeria has not been considered a valid destination for GSD projects despite it possessing many attractive qualities such as similar time zone to Europe, English as the official language, rich in resources and human capital potential.
Professor Misra expounded on his study revealing a number of perceived challenges to GSD in Nigeria. However, he highlighted many factors which if harnessed could open up numerous opportunities. Some of these positive factors are the commitment to technological advancement, the relative political stability, economic strength achieved in recent years and the increased development of its workforce. Nigeria now has to seize this opportunity to enhance her comparative advantage for sustainable development.
Standing in for the Chancellor, the Mandate Secretary, Pastor Nathaniel Yemi, commended Professor Misra for his excellent presentation stating that his academic pedigree is clearly reflected in his robust presentation and that it demonstrates a combination of artistry and engineering. He also pointed out that there is a clear gap in the area of software development and that the nation needs to develop an action plan in order to take advantage of this opportunity.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Ayo, in his remarks stated that ICT remains one of the important tools for successful business in the future. He said that it would open up opportunities for new industries and make innovation possible as it provides new ways of working around the world. The Vice-Chancellor emphasised that with the escalating growth of ICT worldwide, there will be an increasing demand for software engineers, computer information system managers and product and project managers. He encouraged students to avail themselves of these opportunities as the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. In addition, he encouraged them to follow the example of Bill Gates of Microsoft, Steve Jobs of Apple, Mark Zukerberg of Facebook and Larry Page of Google; digital entrepreneurs who followed their dreams.
The Registrar, Pastor Olamide Olusegun in his remarks emphasised Nigeria’s potential if it were to actively devise solutions in the field of software engineering. At present, Nigeria spends over $1 billion on the importation of software. If Nigeria were to participate more fully in the industry, exporting its products and services to the world, the nation has the potential to earn $6 billion from it, he concluded.
Goodwill messages were also received from representatives of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs Winnifred Oyo-Ita and the Regional Operations Director, Airtel, Mr Oladokun Oye.