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Nigerian University Students Win Google App Constest

posted 28 Jan 2013, 07:37 by Mpelembe   [ updated 28 Jan 2013, 07:38 ]

Three undergraduates of the University of Lagos won the 2012 edition of Google Apps Developer Challenge for the Enterprise/Small Business Solutions category in sub-Saharan Africa. The students; Bolutife OgunsolaMichael Adeyeri and Willie Aniebiet, won the challenge for creating the Form+ application software which lets anyone create online forms and reduce the burden of paperwork.

 LAGOSNIGERIA  (REUTERS) - Three Nigerian students from the University of Lagos recently scooped up the 2012 Google Apps Developer Challenge award for the Enterprise/Small Business Solutions category in sub-Saharan Africa.

The students Bolutife OgunsolaMichael Adeyeri and Willie Aniebiet won the challenge for developing Form+ application software.

The competition gives a platform to young IT talents in Africa and all around the world to present their innovations.

Form+ is aimed at developing content and ease the process of creating Curriculum Vitae (CV), submission forms for businesses, as well as facilitating E-Learning ,with access to a coursework submission page for lecturers.

E-Learning technology is not well developed in Nigeria, and students still have to manually hand in tests and assignments.

The three young developers say their App, Form+ which took four months to complete was born out of a need to provide E-learning solution.

"This is "Form+", you can access the App via "Form PL.US". When you get to the site, you have two options of using the app, you can either log in with your Google account or install directly from your chrome web store. So if I choose to log in with my Google account, it brings me to this page where all I have to do is enter my username and password," said Michael Adeyeri, one of the Form+ developers.

Twenty-year old Bolutife Ogunsola, part of the trio that created Form +, adds that now thatE-Learning is available, there should be more emphasis on pushing for similar solutions.

"They want to do some training for the lecturers to enable them make use of the platform so they can post their lectures online and those kind of stuff, but the problem still remains adoption, will people use the things that already exist? How much drive for adoption exists?" Ogunsola said.

Chukwuemeka Afigbo, Google's program manager and market outreach team for Sub-Saharan Africa, says he is surprised at the response Form+ App has generated so far since its creation.

"The "Form+", the last time I looked at the application on the Chrome web store, they had more than 12,000 users which for an application that was just launched late last year, you know by a group of students, I think they are doing pretty good. I don't know how many applications that are launched in this part of the world that gets that many users within the first two, three months of the launch," said Afigbo.

Although Nigeria is rich in natural resources such as oil, analysts say technological innovation will be quick way to attain lasting economic growth and development.

Analysts say that developing the Information, communications and Technology (ICT) sector would become a live wire of today's businesses and an opportunity for youngsters to develop softwares that will be relevant to the local society.

In 2008, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Nigeria 62 out of 70 countries, in terms of its institutions ability to use( ICT) to improve and achieve their mission and vision.

Omotayo Fakinlede, Dean of Engineering faculty at the University of Lagos says ICT development will also to the growth of the education sector.

"Once our environment improves and we can teach better, of course the students are challenged to think better because our teaching is not spoon-feeding the students, education has changed in the modern era. A lecturer is basically now a coach because the information is available on the internet," he said.

Along with the award, the three young innovators also took home 20,000 US dollars, as well as an extra 18,000 US dollars for their department at the University of Lagos.