The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said that gender equality in the digital space could increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country by over 50 per cent.
Mallam Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of NITDA said this on Friday at the closing ceremony of its ‘Fasaha Gina Mata, Gina Al-Umma’, digital skills programme in Abuja, in collaboration with World Bank and Natview Technology.
The NITDA,Fasaha Gina Mata Gina Al-Umma is a digital skills training programme to equip young women with the relevant skills they need to succeed in the digital world. The four-day programme was held as part of the activities from the agency to celebrate the International Women’s Day, as well as the month.
Inuwa recalled research by Mckinsey Global Institute which said that placing women together with their male counterparts would increase the global GDP to about 18 trillion USD in 2025.
“The research was narrowed to some countries which included Nigeria and it said that if we can achieve gender equality, we can add to the Nigerian GDP 299 billion by 2025.
“Within our own mandate, implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy,we are working on so many initiatives.“One of them is the National Digital Skills Strategy, which World bank has keyed into as one of the implementation partners.“Under that strategy, we want to achieve 95 per cent digital literacy, we want to position Nigeria to become global talent factory,’’ Inuwa said.
The director-general said that looking at the global talent factory and according to research by Korn Ferry, a global organisational consulting firm, by 2030 there would be 85 million talent deficit globally.
He further said the deficit would result to 8.5 trillion USD unrealised annual revenue.Inuwa added that deploying the Gig economy strategy which he explained as leveraging the power of information technology to work remotely, do freelance work could help the country position for revenue globally.He also said that with the Gig economy and having skills like content creation, digital marketing could help one use digital platforms to promote their businesses.
“If Nigeria can position itself, we can be part of this, we can have Nigeria be part of the Gig economy and working remotely.“We can be part of the global value chain working remotely from Nigeria for European countries, the US companies, Asian companies and programmes like this will help us achieve that,’’ Inuwa said.
The director-general added that they were initiating programmes that were women based to encourage more female participation and digital literacy among women.He decried that from November 2022 to-date, the agency had trained 226,000 young Nigerians on various digital skills but women represented only 28 per cent of the figure.
The NITDA boss said that the idea was to achieve 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030 which was kick-started with the Gina Mata programme to train 800 young women in the pilot programme.Inuwa further said the training would accord the participants access to education, job opportunities, access to information, enable them learn to protect their data against threats and promote gender equality.
Mr Nuradeen Maidoki, Chief Executive Officer of Natview Technology, the implementing partner, said Fasaha Gina Mata, Gina Al-umma was translated as ‘Building Women, Empowering Communities.’Maidoki said that they intended to create a chain of highly skilled female technologists who could contribute to innovation and growth in Nigeria’s technology industry.
“We believe that by empowering young women with digital skills, we can create a more inclusive and diverse technology industry that reflects the richness and diversity of our society,’’ he said.
Maidoki added that the additional 600 young women would be trained from Borno, Gombe, Kano and Zamfara.He said that they were working with SheCluded, a digital financial company for women that would be ensuring mentorship, helping the women access loans and grants where needed.Two participants, Miss Adewumi Adekola and Mrs Hajara Musa-Mohammed, said that with the knowledge they acquired, they would be financial assets to their families and the country.
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