By Ibrahim Olukotun
Lagos. April 23, 2013: A forum on Application Program Interface (API) has made a case for more sharing among content providers and developers to foster growth in the Nigerian technology space.
Dele Odufuye, convener of the API Focus Forum held in Lagos says that the sharing of API is capable of driving growth in the software segment of the Nigerian technology space.
An API is a set of protocols and tools for building software applications.
Odufuye, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Tsaboin, creator of the Tsaboin Traffic Talk website, says the API Forum seeks to stir up a movement among local developers towards increased sharing to foster growth of the Nigerian Internet community.
According to him, the growth of the world’s tech giants including Google, Facebook and Twitter essentially depends on APIs sharing.
“APIs are at the heart of Google’s strategy and they led directly to the growth enjoyed by Twitter and Facebook. And one begins to wonder, why Nigerian websites, companies, startups, applications and services do not have APIs” Odufuye told attendees at the forum.
Ade Atobatele, Founder of Nigeria.com and a renowned ICT expert, who was one of the speakers at the event traced the evolution of the API over the last 15 years saying it remains at the heart of growth for most tech giants.
According to Atobatele, the conviction among software developers that data should be shared led to the emergence of API.
“They believe that should be shared, everybody does not have to reinvent the wheel. That was the first port of call in the evolution of API” Atobatele says.
He further explains that API makes life easier because it provided a building block for others to use.
The Nigeria.com Founder however decried the apathy of companies in Nigeria towards sharing of APIs unlike what obtains in other climes.
He notes that the software development growth hugely depends on co-operation within the developer community towards sharing APIs.
On his part, Ezra Olubi, Head of IT for Jobberman, the nation’s leading online job portal, says that his company has always been supporting the sharing of APIs.
According to him, the company policy is that once the purpose for the request of the API is established and verified by Jobberman, the request will be granted.
He also responded to question to substantiate his claim that his company is the largest online job portal in Nigeria, noting that in the last three years, Jobberman has processed over 600,000 job applications from job seekers. He doubts if any competitors had achieved such feat.
Other speakers include Ofili Chuka of Micro-Smart Solutions Ltd; Laolu Alabi of 47th Avenue Lanre Oyedotun and Emotu Balogun of Traclist.