‘Women’s Participation in ICT is Less Than 24%’
By Olabisi Olaleye
Against the backdrop that women’s participation in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is less than 24 per cent, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), with the mandate of developing and regulating Information Technology (IT) in Nigeria is briding that gap.
According to NITDA, it is determined to bridge the gap through special training programmes for women in addition to the usual ICT capacity development activities of which both men and women are given equal opportunities.
“The four weeks training programme focuses on key ICT skill areas including entrepreneurship development, business management, ICT and communication. And this is in tune with President Buhari’s commitment to sustainable human capital development.
“The programme is fully funded and participants will be provided with first class accommodation, feeding and healthcare services for the duration of the training. In addition, each participant will also receive customised laptop computer system, stipend and other tools to aid their future pursuits.
“It has started its first set of Women in ICT training. This training is part of the Agency’s continuous efforts aimed at supporting the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP)”.
Recall that the 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.
Nitda Director General, Dr Isa Pantami further stated that it is obvious that women have unequal access to economic opportunities than men, thus believes technology could be used to bridge the gap.
“The first batch of the programme holds in the North West region and is aimed to train 100 women, create 300 hundred direct jobs and over 1000 indirect jobs. The training has since started”.
Adding that the key objectives of the programme include boosting digital literacy, creating digital jobs, bridging the digital divide, promoting digital inclusion, and using technology to address gender imbalance in economic opportunities.