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United Nations Endorses Nigeria’s Software Strategy

20 Dec 2012

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Ban Ki-moon



Emma Okonji

The United Nations (UN) has recognised and commended the contributions of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), for pushing Nigeria’s software strategy at the global level.
The recognition came through the UN’s Information Economy Report 2012 that was released in November 2012.

This is the first time Nigeria Software Strategic Initiative received a commendation from the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD) Documentation.

In a letter to ISPON President, Chris Uwaje, the Chief Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at the Science Technology and ICT Branch, of UNCTAD, Mr. Torbjor Fredriksson, said “Dear Chris, I have the pleasure of sending you herewith a copy of the Information Economy

Report 2012: The Software Industry and Developing Countries. I would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for your
contribution, which is acknowledged in the Report, I hope you will find the publication interesting and relevant.”

Secretary General, United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, in his remark in the report, said “Information and Communications Technologies
continue to transform our society. In recent years, we have seen dramatically improved access to mobile telephones, the internet and
broadband connectivity throughout the developing world. These trends are gradually helping to dismantle barriers towards the goal of an
‘information society for all’, agreed by world leaders at the World Summit on Information Society.  Such a society depends on software.”

According to him, the growing emphasis on ICTs in the delivery of government, healthcare, education and other goods and services, would
demand customised applications. He called on countries to increase capacity to adopt, adapt and develop relevant software. Such capacity, he said, would be important to facilitate successful technology transfer.

The Information Economy Report 2012 provides an in-depth analysis of software industry developments in developing countries, with a mention to Nigeria’s software strategy. It underlines the importance of focusing not only on the export opportunities offered by the sector,
but also on domestic needs.

Using new data, the report made a fresh assessment of the software performance of different countries, highlighted key drivers in the
evolving software landscape, reviewed selected country cases and proposed concrete recommendations to policy makers in developing
countries.

According to Uwaje, “the UN 126 page report on the software industry and developing countries is not just a critical wake-up call for
Nigeria, but has significantly vindicated the ISPON mission and advocacy on national software strategy in the past 14 years.”

It is an instructive directive that will ensure that Nigeria’s strategic document of national software policy framework is given
accelerated approval by President Goodluck Jonathan and its relevant portions and enacted into an Act of the National Assembly without
further delay, Uwaje said.

He explained that it was imperative that software knowledge is put on the country’s front burner, if Nigeria wants the national transformation agenda to succeed.

Tags: Business, Nigeria, Featured, United Nations

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