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Lagos Lauds SAP, Tips Africa Code Week to Bridge Digital Skills Gap

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(L-r): Olu Familusi, head, Business Operations, West Africa at SAP; Femi Odubiyi, commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology; ‎Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology‎ and Olajide Ademola Ajayi, Nigeria’s Coordinator of Africa Code Week, at Africa Code Week 2016 held at Lagos State Digital Village, Alausa, recently.

The Lagos State Government has identified ‘Africa Code Week’ (ACW), a continent-wide initiative to spark the interest of African children, teenagers and young adults in software coding, as a digitally revolutionary approach to get the youths acquainted with the required skills set to face future workplace/ technological developments.

Spearheaded by SAP as part of its social investments to drive sustainable growth in Africa, Africa Code Week (ACW) is the story of hundreds of schools, teachers, ministers, community centres, code clubs, NGOs, businesses and non-profits getting together to give birth to the largest digital literacy initiative ever organized on the African continent.

Speaking at the week-long AfricaCodeWeek 2016 in Lagos, Mr. Femi Odubiyi, Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology, said that with SAP’s long-term goal through ACW, to empower over 200,000 teachers and positively impacting the lives of five million children and youth within the next 10 years, the programme is appropriate and critical to the State’s plan to empower the youths.

Odubiyi said, “One of the things that drive this government is the action to grow and empower our youths. One of the areas through which we can articulate that, is through the information and communication technologies (ICTs). We are in the era of digital revolution. This government wants to ensure that we do not miss out of that revolution; we want to empower our future leaders who are the youths of today.

“We want to help them to develop their creativity and be able to think out of the box. Today they are using coding tools; tomorrow they will be empowered to do more than that, by developing programs on e-health, security apparatuses and so forth.  What is been imbedded in them today are skills required for the future.”

In reflecting on the ICT/coding curriculum for Schools in the State, the Commissioner said that ICT is consistently changing the environment; hence the State is moving with the trends. “This is the principal reason the State adopts programmes like Africa Code Week. We want to enhance the capacity of our teachers to be relevant”.

To the participating teachers the Commissioner had the following message: “The teachers are the first beneficiaries; thus, they are being empowered. What they are doing now is to get the required skills to develop the future cognitive thinkers.  They are trail blazers who are going to lead the digital revolution in Lagos State”.

Also speaking at the event was Mr. Olu Familusi, head, Business Operations, SAP West Africa, who said that with businesses increasingly digital and globally connected, coding is the new language for individual and economic growth.

With the distinction of being the fastest growing digital consumer market on the planet, Africa continues to quickly embrace new technology and digital trends as estimated. For example, there will be 360 million Smart Phone users in Africa by 2025, there are 100 million African people active on Facebook every month, 40% of African businesses are in the planning stages of a big data project and 31% of all Africans live within 25kms of fibre node.

To this end, Familusi said, “We have to emphasis ‘Digitization, Youth and the Skills Gap in Africa. Today’s millennial generations are truly digital natives. Over the next 25 years, it is estimated that Africa’s working-age population will double to one billion, exceeding that of China and India, with 122 million people to be added to the workforce by 2020. It is also estimated that less than one percent of African children currently leave school with basic coding skills.

“Moving forward, coding skills will almost become like the math and English. That is what we see and we are trying to address same. At this point in time in Africa, less than one percent (less 1%) of school leavers has this skill. So we have this metric around people who are coming on board, huge workforce, but how prepared are they to face the future.”

Africa Code Week (ACW) is aligned with SAP’s skills development program launched in 2013. Investing in IT skills for young people is critical to SAP’s commitment to build sustainable growth in Africa. SAP has launched successful IT skills development programs around the world touching the lives of children and youth at various phases of education from primary to graduate. ACW builds on the success of government driven Code Week across the EU, which SAP strongly supports as a private sector partner.

Speaking on the significance of ACW, Mr. Olajide Ajayi, Nigeria’s Coordinator of Africa Code Week,  emphasized that by sparking interest in creative computing through hands-on, playful learning,

Africa Code Week simplifies the face of coding for the young generation.

“When it comes to accessing higher skills development, training thousands of teachers, parents and educators across 30 African countries and providing access to them online with courses beyond the actual event time allows to multiply efforts and impact.”

Even the results recorded in 2015 speak for themselves. The 2015 edition went viral with over 89,000 youth introduced to coding across 17 countries in 10 days only (over 4 times the initial goal of training 20,000).

What makes ACW unique is that, by sparking interest in creative computing through hands-on, playful learning, Africa Code Week simplifies the face of coding for the young generation.

ACW is aimed at spreading digital literacy across the continent and start shaping tomorrow’s skilled workforce for sustainable growth in Africa.

SAP already invests in Skills for Africa, which provides additional business and IT skills to recent university graduates.

ACW reinforces that commitment to graduates while extending it to primary and secondary students, creating a full lifecycle of skills support for young people in Africa.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Paul Usoro, Foremost ICT Lawyer Becomes New NBA President

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Mr Paul Usoro

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has elected a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Paul Usoro, as its new national president.

 

Professor Auwalu Yadudu, chairman of the Electoral Committee, disclosed this on Monday while announcing the result of the election held in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

 

He said Mr Usoro polled 4,509 votes to defeat Mr Okafor Obi and Mr Ernest Ojukwu who scored 4,423 and 3,313 votes respectively.

 

Mr Abubakar Mahmoud, outgoing president of the association, commended the electoral committee for the conduct of the election.

 

Mr Mahmoud, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the election was the fairest exercise held so far.

 

Usoro is the head of Paul Usoro and co whose expertise in Nigerian Communications Law Practice is acknowledged locally and internationally.

 

Paul Usoro’s brand “the foremost communications law firm” was earned from its sustained leadership role in the communications industry in Nigeria; dating from its fledging years till date.

 

Paul Usoro and co had retainership years with the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), Nigeria’s first national telecoms carrier.

 

With the reconstitution of the industry’s regulatory agency, the Nigerian Communications Commission (“NCC”) in 1999; Paul Usoro began full-scale involvement in the areas of industry policies and regulations, legislative drafting and advocacy, advisory services in licensing arrangements and documentations, telecoms equipment acquisitions and leases, collocation models and agreements, corporate restructurings including mergers and acquisitions of telecom businesses, amongst other services.

 

 

 

 

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Microsoft Move to Open Source its Network Emulator

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Microsoft is set to open source its powerful Open Network Emulator (ONE) system, which has been tested on its own Azure network infrastructure for the past year, because it is too important a resource for the Washington-based, global giant to keep to itself.

That’s according to Dr Victor Bahl, distinguished scientist and director of Mobility and Networking at Microsoft Research, the Microsoft division that focuses on basic and applied research in all areas related to networked systems and mobile computing.

ONE was hailed as “the big announcement” of the recent Microsoft Research Facility Summit 2018, at which the latest information and results from Microsoft’s product and research group was presented to leaders and researchers from the broad systems research area in computer science.

In a podcast interview recorded at the summit, Bahl said that ONE is about ensuring the reliability and availability of networks, particularly those complex, cloud-scale networks, which, because of their size had complexity, makes them exceptionally vulnerable to inadvertent human error.

He pointed out that emulating cloud-scale networks to be able to test any modifications before they go live was almost impossible yet a tiny error make during a change in a large cloud network could lead to a massive outage.

“Let’s say everything (on the network) is working perfectly. Barring hardware failure, everything should be fine. But then somebody, who is part of your team, goes and changes something somewhere… and this can bring down an entire (cloud) region because if you break the network, your packets are going nowhere,” Bahl said.

“I have many horror stories about that. It’s what keeps me up at night, worrying that if something happens somewhere, millions of people will be impacted. I don’t want to be the source of that.”.

ONE was built to prevent change-induced network crashes by preventing changes to the network from going live until they have been tested and checked.

How this works is that ONE effectively replicated the entire network. When network engineers and operators make changes, they are actually only making the change to the emulator, not to the underlying network.

“Because it mimics the network underneath so amazingly, you can’t tell the difference. Once the changes have been made, the emulator will then try them out and ensure they are good. Once this has been done, the emulator will make the change to the network below and, voila, it should all work,” Bahl explained.

In the year that Azure network engineers have used ONE, it has caught hundreds of bugs in proposed changes, potentially preventing major outages.

“There have been some major technical problems (in getting ONE launch-ready). Now we have decided that this is such an important resource for everyone that just hoarding it ourselves is not the right thing to do. We are making it available to the entire community,” Bahl said.

This would help large enterprises to improve their network uptime. It would also provide students and researchers with a tool they could use to simulate hyperscale networks such as those built by Microsoft, Google and Amazon without having access to the actual networks themselves. Networking product vendors would also have a way to test new software at scale.

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SPDC Progresses Clean-up in Aghoro, Odimodi

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) says it has recovered over 95 percent of spilled oil from the recent spill incidents  on  sections of the Trans Ramos Pipeline (TRP) in Aghoro community, Bayelsa State, and in Odimodi community in Delta State.

 

The pipeline, which has remained shut-in since the incidents, supplies crude to the SPDC Joint Venture-owned Forcados Oil Terminal in western Niger Delta for export.

 

In a statement, a spokesperson for SPDC acknowledged the spills as very regrettable, adding that in line with the standard operating procedures of SPDC, the TRP was shut down immediately the incidents were reported and the Oil Spill Response and the Emergency Response teams were activated to manage the incidents and prevent further spillage.

 

“As soon as clean-up and site assessment are completed, we are committed to starting the immediate remediation of the impacted areas in Aghoro and Odimodi,” the spokesperson said.

 

According to the spokesperson, details of the cause and impact of the spills will be captured in the Joint Investigation Visits (JIV) reports, which will be released after sign-off by all parties.

 

“The JIV is a multi-party exercise involving the regulators, the community, representatives of the state government, security agencies, and representatives of SPDC. The outcome is then signed off by the stakeholders to authenticate the findings,” the spokesperson explained.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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