By Juliet Umeh
As part of the efforts to empower vulnerable groups in rural clusters in Northern Nigeria with the digital skillset required for the future of work, a non-profit organization, Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative, Tech4Dev, and UK government department, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, FCDO, have signed a resilience training agreement to carry out the basic digital literacy for Northern Nigeria.
According to the partners, the programme is meant to introduce learners in underserved communities and vulnerable groups in Northern Nigeria to digital literacy, with the intent of equipping them with the basic digital knowledge required to succeed in the 21st-century and the emerging new normal from the COVID19 pandemic.
They stated that the initiative is designed to directly impact 1,000 beneficiaries over a 12-week period in 10 rural clusters, across 10 states in Northern Nigeria. And it targets 50 percent of the beneficiaries to be vulnerable women and girls (aged 8-18; 45-65), 30 percent being Persons with Disabilities, PWDs, and 20 percent individuals of other vulnerable groups.
Speaking at the virtual media briefing, Executive Director at Tech4Dev, Diwura Oladepo, said there is need to increase the number of digital literate vulnerable populations and people living in underserved communities in Northern Nigeria.
She said: “It has become pertinent, especially on the path of the new normal, to focus on digital literacy allowing vulnerable populations to leverage technology for commerce, education, communication, improve their socio-economic recovery, pandemic resilience, and build a more prosperous future.”
Also speaking, Head of UK Government’s Digital Access Programme and Country Adviser, Idongesit Udoh, said that “Nigeria’s National Broadband Plan, Nigeria’s Economic Sustainability Plan as well as Nigeria’s Digital Economy Strategy have identified digital skills as key to economic prosperity for all Nigerians.
“With COVID19, digital literacy has become a must-have. Hence, the UK Government is once again demonstrating timely support not only for Nigeria’s inclusive economic development but also in building effective COVID-19-related resilience.
“This project is already helping to close the digital divide, enable inclusive digital access and build communities’ resilience to current and future pandemics,” Udoh added.