UK’s grant to equip 2400 Nigerian girls with digital skills
Cyber Safe tasks FG on lowering gender divide
Some 2,400 girls in Nigeria would be empowered with basic information and communications technology (ICT) skills in the next three months, courtesy of a grant from the United Kingdom government, which will be administered accordingly by Cybersafe Foundation through the DigiGirls Digital Empowerment programme.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the programme in Lagos, the Founder, Cybersafe Foundation, Confidence Staveley, said the DigiGirls Digital Empowerment programme, which is a training and mentorship programne for girls across Nigeria, was designed to offer basic and intermediate digital skills for girls in the country.
According to her, at the end of the three months training programme, the beneficiaries would be equipped with digital skills like Digital Marketing, E-Commerce, Data Analytic and Graphic Design, among other skills that would enable them to have access to gainful employment within and outside Nigeria.
“Lowering the digital gender divide in Nigeria has become a matter of urgency; a recent USAID report, shows that over 90 per cent of jobs worldwide have a digital component, and without these skills, women are automatically disadvantaged and do not have the confidence to participate in the digital workforce.
“Ultimately, the goal is to close the digital gender gap that is causing unemployment/underemployment of women and girls especially for the underserved and vulnerable in our communities,” Staveley said.
She explained that after a few days of opening the applications for the training programme, over 12,000 were received, while 2,400 applications were shortlisted for the training.
Giving details of the training, Staveley said only 10 per cent of the number of shortlisted candidates would be learning on-site in the Lagos and Kaduna hubs, while the remaining 90 per cent would connect online from different locations across the country.
“We will, through this programme, provide free basic to intermediate digital skills and soft skills training, mentorship, internship and job placement to our beneficiaries,” Staveley further said, while thanking the UK Government for co-designing and funding the DigiGirls programme through its Digital Access Programme.
In her opening remarks, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said the UK was committed to being a global science and technology partner, working with others to develop solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, including on digital skills.
“In Nigeria, science, tech and innovation provide opportunities for sustainable economic transformation, not least through the dynamic tech sector. The UK firmly believes in the future growth story of Nigeria’s digital sector. The UK is working with the Nigerian government to promote Nigeria’s digital economy, and drive this growth, primarily through our Digital Access Programme, the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub Network and the West Africa Research and Innovation Hub,” Laing said.
Speaking about the UK government’s commitment to DigiGirls training, Laing said the UK would support Nigeria in its bold ambition to create 100 million jobs in 10 years and believes that the digital economy can play a major part in unlocking this.