BY EBRIKU JOHN FRIDAY
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in pursuit of renewed thrust for leveraging the Digital Economy for National Economic Development has commenced the South West Zonal Women ICT Training and Empowerment at the Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti.
The capacity building programme is aimed at closing the Gender Digital Divide, promoting job creation, financial inclusion and providing women with the necessary skills and tools to participate in the digital economy.
The programme is part of the Agency’s continuous efforts aimed at implementing the administration’s key priorities of economic diversification, job creation, investing in the Nigerian people and achieving gender balance in economic opportunities. It is also part of NITDA’s strategy towards the realization of Mr President’s promise to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
It may be recalled that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) has three broad objectives – restoring growth, investing in the Nigerian people, and building a globally competitive economy. It is clear from these that for any meaningful growth to take place, consideration must be given to the citizens – the nation’s priceless assets – through increased social inclusion, creating jobs and improving the human capital base of the economy.
It is obvious that women have unequal access to economic opportunities compared to men, thus NITDA’s continued push for technology to bridge the gap. The program is aimed at 100 women from the South West Geo-Political Zone, creating 300 hundred direct jobs and over 1000 indirect jobs.
Key objectives of the program include boosting digital literacy, creating digital jobs, bridging the digital divide, promoting digital inclusion, and using technology to address gender imbalance in economic opportunities.
Statistics have shown that women’s participation in ICT is less than 24% and we in NITDA are determined to bridge the gap through special training program for women in addition to the usual ICT capacity development activities of which both men and women are given equal opportunities.
The week-long programme which commenced on the 8thDecember, 2019, focuses on key ICT skill areas including entrepreneurship development, business management, ICT, communication and graphics design. In line with Mr. President’s commitment to sustainable human capital development, the program is fully funded and participants will be provided with accommodation, feeding and healthcare services for the duration of the training. In addition, each participant will also receive laptop computer system, dongle, stipend and other tools to aid their future pursuits.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a Federal Government Agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. NITDA was established in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy as well as coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country. Specifically, Section 6(a, b, c, f & m) of the Act mandates NITDA to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria; provide guidelines to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of appropriate infrastructure for information technology and systems application and development in Nigeria for public and private sectors, urban-rural development, the economy and the government; render advisory services in all information technology matters to the public and private sectors and accelerate internet and intranet penetration in Nigeria and promote sound internet Governance by giving effect to the Second Schedule of the Act.
Mrs Hadiza Umar, MNIPR, MAPRA, MICPR
Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations
Corporate Headquarters, Garki, Abuja