The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said that gender equality in the digital space could increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country by over 50 per cent.
The Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa said this at the closing ceremony of its ‘Fasaha Gina Mata, Gina Al-Umma’, digital skills program held in Abuja on Friday, in collaboration with World Bank and Natview Technology.
According to the NITDA boss, Fasaha Gina Mata, Gina Al-Umma is a digital skills training program to equip young women with the relevant skills they need to excel in the digital age.
However, the four-day program was held as part of the activities of the agency to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Inuwa also recalled research by Mckinsey Global Institute, which stated that placing women together with the male folks would increase the global GDP to about 18 trillion USD in 2025.
He said, “The research was narrowed to some countries which included Nigeria and it said that if we can achieve gender equality, we can add to the Nigerian GDP 299 billion by 2025.
“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 into as one of the implementation partners.
“Under that strategy, we want to achieve 95 per cent digital literacy, we want to position Nigeria to become a global talent factory.”
Mr. Inuwa further said that looking at the global talent factory and according to research by Korn Ferry, a global organisational consulting firm, there would be an 85 million talent deficit globally in 2030, adding that the deficit would result in 8.5 trillion USD unrealized yearly revenue.
Inuwa added that deploying the Gig economy strategy, which he explained as a positive innovative to the power of information technology to work remotely (like freelance work), could help the country position for revenue globally. He stressed that with the Gig economy and the possession of digital skills, like content creation and digital marketing, could help one use digital platforms to enhance their businesses.
“If Nigeria can position itself, we can be part of this, we can have Nigeria be part of the Gig economy and working remotely.
“We can be part of the global value chain working remotely from Nigeria for European countries, the US companies, Asian companies and programmes like this will help us achieve that.”
Additionally, the DG stated that they were initiating programs that were women based to encourage more female participation and digital literacy among women.
However, Inuwa disclosed that from November 2022 to date, the NITDA had trained 226,000 young Nigerians on various digital skills but women represented only 28 per cent of the figure, stressing that the idea was to achieve 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030 which was kick-started with the Gina Mata program to train 800 young women in the pilot program.
Speaking also, the CEO of Natview Technology, Mr. Nuradeen Maidoki said Fasaha Gina Mata, Gina Al-Umma was translated as “Building Women, Empowering Communities,” adding that they intended to create a chain of highly skilled female technologists who could contribute to new ideas and creation and growth in Nigeria’s technology industry.
“We believe that by empowering young women with digital skills, we can create a more inclusive and diverse technology industry that reflects the richness and diversity of our society,” he said.
Maidoki added that the additional 600 young women would be trained from Borno, Gombe, Kano and Zamfara.