Centre floats community of practice to boost digital economy
Policy Innovation Centre, (PIC), of the Nigeria Economy Summit Group, (NESG), and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), have inaugurated a Digital Economy Community of Practice (DECoP) to drive inclusive growth and sustainable development in Nigeria’s digital ecosystem.
The initiative is expected to identify and boost the capacity of key digital players, and engender inclusive public-private sector collaboration,
Speaking at the inauguration of the community yesterday in Abuja, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, said the 2020-2030 National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy was built on eight implementing pillars.
These pillars according to him were geared towards expanding the scope of the digital economy and making it more flexible to accommodate the needs of all citizens.
“This is just an effort to ensure total inclusion, we are trying to cascade digital economy to reach our states.
“When it comes to digital skills, we have so many initiatives including skills for women, persons with disability including our children,’’ he said.
Chief Executive Officer, of NESG, Laoye Jaiyeola, said the growth achieved by the digital economy offered great opportunities however; it posed the risk of exclusion, especially for women and girls who were mostly affected.
“Access to and use of digital devices and services are neither universal nor equitable with women and girls disproportionately affected, leaving the most vulnerable digitally excluded.
“The absence of a robust collaboration framework between the regulatory agencies, the private sector and development partners is an area within the digital sector that requires attention,’’ he said.
Also, Mr Jonathan Bacon, Political Director, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and United Kingdom, said Nigeria’s digital economy had the potential to benefit all citizens, stressing the need to ensure inclusivity.
“We have been trying to support digital inclusion.
“And, I would like to particularly recognise the efforts of the Nigerian government in deepening digital inclusion through various policies and one good example of these is the gender digital inclusion framework,” he said.
Dr Osasuyi Dirisu, Executive Director, PIC, emphasised the need to bridge the digital divide through cross-sectoral collaborations amongst digital stakeholders.
Dirisu said the collaboration would support an enabling environment for innovation, digital inclusion and expansion of the digital economy in critical sectors.
She said: “At the PIC, we prioritise inclusivity and diversity, hence our partnership with the FCDO to implement this project.
“Without focused collaboration amongst stakeholders, the unintended consequences of digital economy growth will be the widening of existing income gaps, exacerbation of inequalities and deepening poverty.
“ We firmly believe the DECoP will support an enabling environment for innovation, digital inclusion and expansion of the digital economy in critical sectors.’’
Ms Maryam Gwadabe, a member, of DECoP, said the community would provide platforms to encourage the inclusivity of women in the Nigeria digital economy.
“Having me there will have a representation of women. We will actually engage and share our Knowledge, experience, and expertise on how to involve women to become digitally inclusive,” she said.
The DECoP is to be implemented in five pilot states to identify and accommodate digital initiatives at the sub-national level and identify, and boost the capacity of key digital players and it is expected to engender inclusive public-private sector collaboration at all levels.