By Martin Ekpeke

The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), today in a press conference in Lagos, unveiled agenda and focus of its 2018 National conference, scheduled to hold at the University of Ibadan later month.

The President of NCS, Prof Adesola Aderounmu, while rolling out the agenda and focus of the 3-day, which is its 27th edition, disclosed that this year’s conference will lay emphasis on innovations and opportunities for building a digital, prosperous and inclusive Nigeria that leverages on information technology to achieve Sustainable Development.

Specifically, he said the Conference with the theme ‘Digital Inclusion: Opportunities, Challenges, and Strategies’, will focus on important issues related to the theme and sub themes such as: Poverty Eradication and Job Creation in the rural Economy, Internet and Broadband for all, e-agriculture, e-health, e-education for inclusion: Software and Local Content.

Other areas to be attended to include Digital Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Tech Startup, SME and Youth Enterpreneurship, E-Voting and Election Management, New Technologies for Economic Growth and Diversification.

Others are Digital Literacy, Knowledge Culture and Human Capital Development, Policy and Regulatory Framework, E-government, Citizen Engagement and Open Government, Fintech, e-Commerce and Financial Inclusion, Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Innovative Collaboration and partnership, Cyber security: Awareness, Threat, Protection and Digital Rights; and Innovation for the Elderly, Internally Displaced Persons and the Vulnerable.

According to Aderounmu, the agenda of this year’s conference is hinged on the strategy and the transformatory role of IT in the economy and society as well.

In his words: “In the fast paced digital era, there is a need for strategic actions and innovative practices to ensure the nation is competitive, engaged and prosperous. The opportunities tech creates for employment generation, efficient and accountable governance, wealth creation and social development cannot be underestimated. NCS cautions that as we invest in technology, we must not widen the existing divides in society.

The sustainability of our efforts requires inclusion. The excluded, the vulnerable, the rural populace all need to be part of the digital revolution for Nigeria to fulfil its immense potential. For example, can we really have e-government if the majority of citizens lack access to digital infrastructure and fall short in terms of required digital skills?”

The conference will comprise plenary, parallel and technical sessions, networking meetings, panel discussions and special focus forums. Specifically, highlights include: Plenary and Parallel Sessions, Technical Sessions, Seminars, Research Consortium, Induction of New Members, Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Platform, Exhibition and Products Launch, Social Media Masterclass, Mentor-Mentee forum, NITDA session, National IT Competitions, Fellows’ Forum and Annual General Meeting.

Confirmed Guest Speakers include Ms Funke Opeke, Founder and CEO of MainOne, Mr. Oluwafunminiyi Ajao, Special Adviser to the Oyo State Governor on ICT  and Mr. Adedayo P. S. Arogundade, Managing Director, Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited.

Others are Mr. Ezekiel Oyeniyi Ajao, Executive Director, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) , Professor Charles Korede Ayo, former Vice Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor Patience Akpan-Obong, Faculty of Leadership and Interdisciplinary Sciences, Arizona State University and Tejumade Afonja, Intel Software Innovator.

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