NITDA moves to close gender gap in digital skills, trains 200 women on content creation

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The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, has said that empowering women in digital technology can add more than 50 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the next two years.

Inuwa stated this on Friday during the graduation ceremony of 200 women trained on digital content creation in Àbuja.

According to the DG, gender parity and gender equality could add USD 229 billion to the Nigerian GDP by 2025.

“There is a research by Mckinsey Global Institute that said if you put woman in parity with their male counterparts, by 2025 it would to add to the global GDP 18 trillion US dollars.

“They also did country specific report where they delve into some countries and Nigeria is one of the countries which they delve in. The found that in Nigeria, if we can achieve gender equality and gender parity we can add to the Nigerian GDP N229 billion by 2025,” he said.

He said achieving gender parity and gender equality in Nigeria is critical to positioning the country to become a global challenge factory, adding that NITDA is working on various initiatives to achieve the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, including the national digital skills strategy that aims to achieve 95 per cent digital literacy.

He said: “In addition to this, at NITDA we are also working on gender digital literacy inclusion. Because we do a lot in terms of training people. For example, from November last year to date, we have trained 226, 000 (two hundred and twenty six thousand) young Nigerians but women are just eight percent of that. That means only about (64,000) sixty four thousand are women from that (226) two hundred twenty six thousand we trained.

” We also have other initiatives which are open to all Nigerians especially the young people, but you see the participation of women is less, mostly less than 30 percent. That’s why we are coming up with other initiatives that are women specific that are women focused, that will help us achieve that gender parity and gender equality .

“So 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 the World Bank has keyed in as one of the implementation partners.

“That is why we are here today. Under that strategy, we want to achieve 95 percent digital literacy, we want to position Nigeria to become the global talent factory and because looking at the talent globally, according to a research, by 2030, there will be an 85 million talent deficit globally which result to 8.5 trillion US dollars in unrealized annual revenue.

“So Nigeria, if we can position ourselves we can be part of it. We can have Nigerians be part of the gig economy working remotely, being part of the global value chain working remotely from Nigeria for European companies, for US companies and Asian companies.”

Speaking, the CEO of Natview Technology, Nuradean Maidokis, said that the programme was part of their contribution to driving digital literacy and skills across Nigeria.

“The initiative aims to create a pipeline of highly skilled female technologists who can contribute to innovation and growth in Nigeria’s technology industry.

“The goal is to train and equip at least 800 girls and young women with digital skills and competencies to be globally competitive in the remote workplace,” he added.