Jide Awe: It’s time to use local languages in ICT, coding

An Information and Communications Technology (ICT) expert, Mr Jide Awe,  says pushing boundaries is essential to digital inclusion being a reality in the country.

According to him, pushing boundaries has to do with Nigerians using local languages in Information Technology (IT), coding and thus enable more people to be able to utilise technology efficiently and effectively.

“If we want digital inclusion, we need to create things that will benefit all and we should not continue doing things the way we are doing now.

“Innovation entails opening up our minds to new possibilities, rethinking prevailing models and adopting `out of the box’ approaches.

“In addition, language does not have to be a barrier in technology. We need to adopt local languages in coding to enable more people to participate,’’ he said.

Awe said that part of what stopped people from being part of the system was that they did not speak English; as it was the main language of technology in Nigeria.

He said that this ought not to be so as in some other countries such as China; they write their code in their language.

The ICT expert said that recently someone developed a programming language that enabled one to code in local language.

Awe said that the country needed more of such to solve the problem of including more people digitally.

“There is need to keep breaking barriers, keep defying boundaries as this is part of the ways of getting many people digitally included.

“The challenge we are having is that people do not want to think out of the box and those that have done so do not have encouragement from government or private sector.

“We need to encourage people to do something different because if we are using the existing materials, it will not help the country to attain digital inclusion for all,’’ Awe said.