The Python Conference 2020 kicked off today amid excitement from the developer community in Nigeria and outside. Not without its fair share of technical glitches, the program started with a keynote speech by Lorena Mesa who talked about the Python Software Foundation.
Python Software Foundation is a non-profit organization that holds the intellectual rights to the Python programming language. As of 2018, there were 7 million Python programmers around the world according to stats from Slashdata. PyCon Nigeria 2020 is organized by the Nigerian community of python developers, chaired by Pius Okigbo Jr.
Okigbo started with a brief mention of his own journey into the world of Python programming. According to him, he ventured into the language fully in 2019 and was able to master the basics in one week because of his prior background in programming. Addressing the participants of the conference, he said, “Python is damn simple to learn if you have a programming background.”
The two-day conference has sessions sponsored by top brands including MTN, UBA, Python Software Foundation, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Africa Fintech Foundry.
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During the session sponsored by the United Bank of Africa (UBA), the bank’s Group Head of Digital Banking, Sampson Aneke explored the future shape of banking in the face of developments in the sector.
A conference participant, Florence Egwu inquired about how banks can tap more into the advantages offered by cryptocurrency and decentralized finance, particularly because of borderless and low fee transactions.
Aneke emphasized that one person or entity cannot singlehandedly proffer a comprehensive solution to any pressing problem, especially in the financial sector. More partnerships are needed between banks and the developer community to explore more ways of using tech to improve banking services.
Director of Operations for the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeoma Okafor fielded questions about access to funding for startups. She said applications will be received from entrepreneurs from January 2021 for funding towards the establishment of the businesses. As in previous years, the application process will take place on the TEF portal.
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During her session which was tagged ‘Digital entrepreneurship to transform communities’, Okafor highlighted the need for people to venture into areas such as edutainment, transport, logistics, e-commerce, and language and recognition.
Citing instances of people going to places where they are not familiar with the language and way of doing things, she highlighted the importance of having software solutions that can familiarize users with the language and culture of the place.
The first half of Day 1 of the conference ended with a presentation by Dr Sakinat Folorunsho on ‘The Science of Fair Data’. She engaged the audience on the need for Nigeria to generate and own its data. Sharing on best practices for generating data, Folorunsho explained that data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR).
Making data FAIR will help in decision-making processes and aid research especially when new problems arise. Data from research helped medical practitioners to understand that the COVID-19 virus and its behavioural pattern is similar to that of pneumonia, according to Folorunsho. This only shows that the efficient gathering of data and ensuring that it is FAIR is a practice that programmers ought to hold strongly.
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