Computer News - In Brief


- The National Information Technology Development (NITDA) said if a national legislative and regulatory framework is put in place by the government, the country can generate over $75 billion annually from software. The committee is charged to develop a blue print to make Nigeria a competitive country in the area of software development.

- The government has picked Family Bank to disburse a Sh800 million World Bank loan to investors seeking to set up information communication centres. The government, through the ICT board which is implementing the project, said the money - which will be between Sh300 and Sh1 million per business - will be available from February. The funds were released in July, but rollout was pushed back to get a financial institution to manage the project aimed at addressing the disparity in accessing ICT facilities like the Internet, which remains an urban phenomenon.

- Zambian farmers could gain faster access to agricultural products and services with an electronic voucher scheme. The 'e-voucher project' - the first of its kind on the continent, according to participant Mobile Transactions Zambia Limited (MTZL) - covers the delivery of products including seeds, fertilisers and herbicides.Initial tests carried out in 12 districts this summer showed promising results, so the pilot was scaled-up and is now undergoing tests in 28 districts.

- The Federal Government yesterday inaugurated a 15-man committee to fashion out a policy document for the development of the software sector in Nigeria, the committee chairman, Prof. Charles Akinyokun, promised that the committee will meet up with the expectations and come up with a policy that would provide a sustainable roadmap for the nation's software policy. The committee is expected to conclude its proceedings within three months.

- Delegates attending the first Lake Victoria basin investment forum have called for the enhancement of information technology as a means of promoting investments in the East African Community (EAC).During the conference, delegates were presented with the investment opportunities that the Lake Victoria basin offers, and how the lake, if fully exploited, can turn around the lives of the people in the region.