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How digital gender equity can boost Nigeria’s GDP by 50 percent: NITDA DG

Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, Director-General and CEO of NITDA

*The Fasaha Gina Mata Gina Al-Umma of the National Information Technology Development Agency a digital skills acquisition programme to ‘equip young women with the relevant skills’ needed to succeed in the digital world

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that gender equality in the Nigerian digital space can increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country by over 50 percent.

Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, Director-General/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITDA, stated this Friday, March 24, 2023, at the closing ceremony of the regulatory agency’s four-day ‘Fasaha Gina Mata, Gina Al-Umma’ digital skills programme in Abuja, FCT.

NITDA organised the digital skills training programme in collaboration with the World Bank and Natview Technology, agency report said.

The NITDA Fasaha Gina Mata Gina Al-Umma is described as a digital skills training programme to equip young women with the relevant skills they need to succeed in the digital world.

It was learnt the programme was held as part of NITDA’s activities 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 Director-General stated: “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 N299 billion by 2025.

“Within our own mandate, implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy,we are working on so many initiatives.”

Inuwa also stressed that “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 percent digital literacy, we want to position Nigeria to become global talent factory.”

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 noted.

He further emphasised that the deficit would result in 8.5 trillion USD unrealised annual revenue.

Inuwa added that deploying the Gig economy strategy, which he described as leveraging the power of information technology to work remotely, freelance work could help the country position for revenue globally.

The NITDA CEO stated with the Gig economy and having skills like content creation, digital marketing could help people to activate digital platforms to promote their businesses.

He also said: “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.”

NITDA, he disclosed, is initiating programmes that are women-oriented to encourage more female participation and digital literacy among women.

The Director-General of NITDA added that the idea was to achieve 95 percent digital literacy by 2030 which was kick-started with the Gina Mata programme to train 800 young women in the pilot programme in Nigeria.

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, said he.

Regarding the essence of the digital training project, Mr. Nuradeen Maidoki, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Natview Technology, the implementing partner, explained ‘Fasaha Gina Mata, Gina Al-umma’ is translated into English as ‘Building Women, Empowering Communities’.

Maidoki said that the partners intended to create a chain of highly skilled female technologists who could contribute to innovation and growth in Nigeria’s technology industry.

The CEO of Natview Technology said: “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.”

Additional 600 young women will be trained from Borno, Gombe, Kano and Zamfara states, he disclosed.

What training participants say

In her remarks on the training programme, Miss Adewumi Adekola and Mrs. Hajara Musa-Mohammed, two of the participants, said that with the knowledge they acquired, they would be financial assets to their families and Nigeria.

Beneficiaries of the digital skill training programme also received Certificates of participation, report said.

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