The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), with the mandate of developing and regulating Information Technology (IT) in Nigeria, 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) of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.
It may be recalled 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. Towards the realisation of these laudable objectives, we in NITDA, in our efforts at assessing and addressing ICT skills requirements to support sustainable economic growth and development strides, this year, developed this unique training programme targeting women.
It is obvious that women have unequal access to economic opportunities than men, thus NITDA believes technology can be used to bridge the gap. The first batch of the programme is scheduled to hold 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 started yesterday.
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. 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 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. In line with Mr President’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.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is an Agency of the Federal Government. The Agency was created in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country. Specifically, Section 6(a & k) 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; and determine critical areas in information technology requiring research intervention and facilitate research and development in those areas.