Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative (Tech4Dev) and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) have signed a training agreement to carry out the basic digital literacy for rural clusters in northern Nigeria.
The development is part of efforts to empower vulnerable groups in rural clusters in northern Nigeria with the digital skillset required for the future of work and advanced learnings for the 21st century in Nigeria.
The initiative will hold across ten northern states, which include Sokoto, Kwara, Nassarawa, Benue, Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger, Kano Plateau and Jigawa, with plans to extend it to other regions of the country.
The program 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.
The Basic Digital Literacy for Rural Clusters in Northern Nigeria program aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals 1, 4 and 10 (No Poverty, Quality Education and Reduced Inequalities). By investing in digital literacy for vulnerable people living in rural clusters in Northern Nigeria, allows for the reduction in the poverty index by increasing employability of the beneficiaries and closing the digital skills gap of needed in the digital economy.
The initiative is designed to directly impact 1,000 beneficiaries, over a twelve-week period in ten rural clusters, across ten states in Northern Nigeria. Targeting 50 per cent of the beneficiaries to be vulnerable women and girls between the ages of 8-18; 45-65; 30 per cent being persons with disabilities and 20 per cent individuals of other vulnerable groups.
Speaking at the virtual media briefing recently, Executive Director at Tech4Dev, Diwura Oladepo, reiterated the need to increase the number of digital literate vulnerable populations and people living in underserved communities in Northern Nigeria, during her welcome address.
According to her, “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”.
Head of UK Government’s Digital Access Programme and Country Adviser, Idongesit Udoh, said: “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.”