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2021 IT Assembly: CPN Advocates Digital Technologies for Nigeria’s Social and Economic Recovery

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2021 IT Assembly: CPN Advocates Digital Technologies for Nigeria's Social and Economic Recovery, SiliconNigeria
  • To induct 300 new members

The Computer Professionals’ Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), the regulator of information technology and computation machinery, said it will advocate for Digital technologies to address Nigeria’s social and economic recovery challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Charles Uwadia, President and Chairman in Council of CPN stated this during a virtual press conference on the body’s forthcoming 2021 IT Professionals’ Assembly which will hold at NICON Luxury (Formerly Le ‘Meridien Hotel), Abuja on Thursday 8th April, 2021.

Drawing on the global, regional, and national experiences, the 2021 IT Professionals’ Assembly with the theme, ‘Harnessing Digital Technologies for Social and Economic Recovery’ will highlight the opportunities and challenges of building more innovations that can drive the economy of our nation.

“We envisage that in the years to come, Nigeria shall be a nation that has fully harnessed the potential of technological innovation to grow our economy and uplift our people. The Keynote address will be delivered by Dr (Mrs.) Ifueko Omoigui Okauru, Managing Partner, Compliance Professionals Plc and former Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).”

Uwadia further stated that the IT Assembly as a practice, will be preceded by the induction of about 300 new members into the IT profession. “Digital technologies have proved beyond measure, its applicability in achieving efficiency in all sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic, playing an indispensable role in sustaining social and economic activities.

“Challenges and risks also emerged in the course of embracing various digital innovations. Drawing on the global, regional, and national experiences, the 2021 IT Professionals’ Assembly will highlight the opportunities and challenges of building more innovations that can drive the economy of our nation.

Uwadia emphasized that CPN established through Act No 49 of 1993, is a corporate entity that is charged with the regulation, control and supervision of the computing profession and practice in Nigeria in line with Section 1 (2) of the Act. CPN is under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education.

The Act 49 of 1993 makes it mandatory for all persons and organizations seeking to engage, or engaged in the sale or use of computing facilities and the provision of professional services in computing as well as the use of computational machinery and techniques related thereto to be registered by the Council and licensed to carry out such activities.

 Its functions and responsibilities include the following: 1.To determine the standards of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the computing profession and improve those standards from time to time as circumstances may permit.

2.To secure, in accordance with the provision of the Act, the establishment and maintenance of a register of persons seeking to be registered under the Act to practice the computing profession and the publication from time to time of the list of such persons.

Consequently, the Council is responsible for the following among other things:

a. Organization of computing practice in Nigeria

b Control of the practice of computing in Nigeria

c. Supervision of the practice of computing in Nigeria

d. Screening of individuals or Corporate Bodies seeking to be registered to engage in the sale or use of computational machinery and techniques related thereto as well as provision of professional services in computing in the country.

e. Ensuring high computing professional Ethics and Standards.

 f. Creation and sustenance of local and international contacts for our members,

g. Reduced charges for some specific professional services and facilities.

h. Determining academic standards in Computer Science, Computer Engineering and other related disciplines.

i. Accreditation of institutions’ courses and programmes as well as evaluation of certificates in computing.

j. Conducting professional examination in computing in collaboration with the Nigeria Computer Society.

k. Publication of the Register of Computer Professionals and other professional works like journals, books, magazines and newsletters.

In Nigeria, it is illegal to engage in computing and professional practice without satisfying these stated conditions – registration and possession of a current valid license, Professor Charles O. Uwadia, added.

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Nigerian Students, Others Participate in Africa’s Largest Inter-university Hackathon

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Nigerian Students Others Participate in Africa’s Largest Inter-university Hackathon, SiliconNigeria

Students from 21 African countries joined the event, representing Algeria, Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe participated in UmojaHack Africa 2021 held in South Africa.

The hackathon was an unprecedented success, bringing more than 1000 students from 126 universities across Africa to compete on Zindi (www.Zindi.africa) in a virtual machine learning hackathon on the weekend of 27-28 March.

More than $10 000 USD in prizes were awarded to data science students from 9 African countries, and more than 8500 submissions were made to solve three real-world machine learning challenges on Zindi.

They participated in three different machine learning challenges: a financial resilience prediction challenge, a logistics challenge for African B2B service provider Sendy (www.Sendyit.com), and a computational biology challenge using the DeepChain™ (www.DeepChain.bio) platform developed by InstaDeep. The winning solutions developed by Zindi users will be shared with these organisations and deployed in real-world applications.

Winning words

In winning second place in the Sendy Delivery Rider Response Challenge, Tony Mipawa, a data science student from the University of Dodoma, Tanzania, epitomised the spirit of Zindi and of UmojaHack A year ago, Tony was a data science novice until he participated in Zindi’s first ever Mentorship Programme in 2020. He has grown in leaps and bounds since then, as evidenced by his prize-winning submission in this hackathon, less than a year later.

“I’m very happy with the outcome,” Tony said at the awards ceremony. “My advice is, whenever there is an opportunity to learn, you should take it. Learning is all about passion; whenever there is an opportunity to learn, put your whole effort into it, do it well. Try to learn from anyone you meet. I would like to thank Zindi for what that mentorship programme gave me.”

Global support

UmojaHack Africa 2021 was sponsored by some leading names in the global and African tech, AI and financial sectors, including InstaDeep (www.InstaDeep.com), Standard Bank Group (www.StandardBank.com), Microsoft (www.Microsoft.com), DeepMind (www.DeepMind.com), NVIDIA (www.NVIDIA.com), and Old Mutual (www.OldMutual.com). They were integral in making the event a success by offering financial and professional development prizes, contributing their expertise and excitement to the event, and supporting UmojaHack Africa 2021 through their own channels.

“We are incredibly excited about this event spanning over 100 African universities and helping thousands of African students leverage their data science and AI skills to solve African problems,” says Chris Lwanga, Principal Director for Software Partnerships at Microsoft.

“At Microsoft we believe in empowering every organisation and person to do more.”

“Standard Bank is deeply invested in funding and implementing critical data science skills development programmes, such as Zindi’s UmojaHack Africa 2021 hackathon, to position Africa as a serious competitor in the world’s rapidly emerging data-driven sector,” says Adrian Vermooten, Chief Innovation Officer, Standard Bank Group.

“We are delighted to support UmojaHack Africa again, an incredible initiative close to our hearts. Seeing students from more than 120 universities come together to collaborate on real-world machine learning challenges is truly inspiring,” says Karim Beguir, Co-Founder and CEO of InstaDeep. “This is, in our opinion, the best way to accelerate AI growth on the continent. Hackathons like UmojaHack bring us one step closer to achieving InstaDeep’s mission: building an AI-first world that benefits everyone.”

 According to Celina Lee, CEO of Zindi, “UmojaHack Africa has proven to be a game-changing event, especially when so many young people have been impacted by the global pandemic. This is a chance for students from across the continent to come together to learn, compete, and have fun. UmojaHack is about building skills, creating new machine learning applications to solve problems that really matter, while forging new connections among the students as well as with industry. We are incredibly excited to see what the students come up with in just one weekend.”

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Unilag Invites Aladekomo to Speak on National Identity Management

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Unilag Invites Aladekomo to Speak on National Identity Management, SiliconNigeria

The University of Lagos MBA 83-84 class has invited Sir Demola Aladekomo to speak on the Socio-Economic Imperative of National Identity Management.

The event which comes up on Thursday April 15, 2021 by 4pm via Zoom (meeting ID 82815951731) will be moderated by Prof. Lere Baale, Chief Executive of Business School Netherlands (BSN) in Nigeria.

On his acceptance to participate, Aladekomo says an effective national identity management system is critical to the development of any economy. It provides a universal identification infrastructure for a country because it enables access and means to confirm the identity of individuals residing in a country.

Referring to the study carried by the World Bank he further said the ability to prove one’s identity is a cornerstone of participation in modern life, yet over 1.5 billion people lack proof of legal identity.

In most countries in Africa, like Nigeria, lack of strong foundational identity systems has often led to a proliferation of disconnected functional registers. Many are currently faced with the challenge of reverse-engineering civil registers and national IDs in order to improve efficiency and meet demand for identification services.

At the centre of all this is human beings. It is expected the discourse will touch areas such as financial services, identity management, security, political stability & evolution, etc.

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Bolt Launches #Drive4WITech Internship Programme to Encourage Women Participation in Technology

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Bolt Launches #Drive4WITech Internship Programme to Encourage Women Participation in Technology, SiliconNigeria

In celebrating International Women’s Month and as part of its efforts to drive more participation and inclusion for women in technology, the fastest-growing ride-hailing platform in Africa, Bolt has launched the #Drive4WITech initiative. #Drive4WITech is a paid internship programme for young women who choose to challenge the status quo and jumpstart a technology industry career.

The month-long programme, which aims to bridge the gap for women and create more opportunities for gender inclusion in the technology sector, offers 12 internship opportunities in Operations, Public Relations, Marketing and Engineering to women across Africa with three selections from Nigeria. Candidates will have the chance to start a career in tech and make a difference in the ride-hailing space.

For women to be part of this programme, they will first be nominated on social media by nominators who will make a case for why their nominee deserves an internship role with Bolt and how they can contribute to the industry if given the opportunity. In their journey to build a formidable career, the 12 recipients will be selected for internship roles in Operations, Public Relations, Marketing and Engineering with access to learning from top Bolt executives across Europe and Africa.

Commenting on the initiative, Bolt Country Manager Femi Akin-Laguda said, “The tech industry continues to be a haven for growth, and we must continue to tap into its resources to prepare for the future. At Bolt, we understand the importance of women in societal development. In commemorating International Women’s Day, we established the #Drive4WITech programme, ensuring capacity building for young women and creating a gender balance for impact in the technology and transportation sector. Through initiatives like this, we continue to show our support for women in creating a diverse and inclusive society.”

While more women are interested in participating in tech, the sector still has a long way to go to attain greater gender balance. Bolt’s internship programme will further enhance the opportunities and impact of women towards contributing to the technology sector. 

The top finalists will be announced in April, and the internship program will begin in May 2021.

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