Emma Okonji the Ministry of Communications Technology Has Officially Launched the Tinapa Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator (idea) Incubation Centre in Calabar, the Cross Rivers State Capital.
IDEA is collaboration between the National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA and the private sector to facilitate the development of the software industry in Nigeria through the provision of office space, mentoring, software development and testing tools and support grants.
The IDEA centre was launched on Friday at the Tinapa Knowledge City, Calabar-Cross River State. Speaking at the launch, the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, said the IDEA incubation Centre remained a federal government intervention programme aimed at accelerating the development of the software industry in Nigeria by nurturing and helping Nigerian software developers attain global recognition and success.
Johnson, who was represented by the Acting DG of NITDA, Dr. Ashiru Sani Daura, said the first centre was launched in Lagos on the 19th April 2013 and the Calabar IDEA Centre was the second in the country. The Lagos centre has already admitted eight incubates working on innovative solutions relevant to the financial services and oil and gas sectors, while the Tinapa centre will provide additional opportunities to software developers especially those focused on media, entertainment and gaming sectors and will complement the Lagos centre.
Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, said, the IDEA incubation centre at Tinapa Knowledge City would be a giant project geared towards boosting software development in the state. He emphasised the IDEA centre established in the state, would develop to the fullest extent to bring about an IT revolution in the state and the South/South region.
The governor urged the private sector to key into the opportunity presented by the centre to boost IT development and software development to the fullest. “It is only through public private participation (PPP) that the younger generation can be fully empowered through software development,” Imoke said.
Highlight of the event included the presentation of prizes to winners of the 42 hours Hackathon that had taken place at the centre two days before the official launch. Ten teams of software developers that participated in the Hackathon were presented with various prizes. Team 2: Le-media came first, Team 5: Educare came second, while team 8: Health pad came third in the software development competition.
Also software developers from across Nigeria were in attendance and showcased different innovative products.