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While leaving no stone unturned, the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, is expanding its collaboration tentacles to strengthen digital inclusiveness through a partnership with the Pan African Female Youth Initiative (PANFYL) focused on upscaling digital literacy among women.

This pact was reached during the visit of the founder of PANFYL and some of her executive members to the NITDA corporate head office in Abuja.

PANAFYL is a coalition of young female progressives across the African continent, aiming to end the digital gender gap by championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education among girls and women.

The Director General of NITDA could not agree less with the vision of the PANFYL, he clearly affirms that the agency is constantly ensuring the inclusiveness of all genders, including persons with special abilities, in its implementation processes of the mandates enshrined in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) and the NITDA Strategic Road Map and Action Plan (SRAP, 2021-2024).

Inuwa emphasised that NITDA has several educational programmes at all levels/demography, irrespective of gender or physical abilities, leveraging both physical and online platforms. He mentioned the NITDA Academy and the ongoing partnership with Coursera, CISCO, and a host of others, which are open to all and sundry online.

He elaborated on the need for continued collaborations with industry stakeholders in providing diverse platforms to enable digital capabilities to aid the attainment of the 95% digital literacy goal by 2030.
The NITDA Boss acknowledges that the IT development and regulatory government agency is assiduously working towards enabling opportunities for collaboration with international, local, private, and non-governmental organisations such as the World Bank and some indigenous NGOs, Nat View, the Gina Mata Initiative, and a few others.

“Digital literacy is essential in finding, evaluating, creating, and communication through cognitive technical skills through the application of Information Communication Technology,” Inuwa explained the necessity to equip the Nigerian populace with the benefits of technology especially with the potential embedded in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Although the NITDA boss revealed that there have been challenges in getting a good number of women to attend these programmes, he hopes that the collaboration with PANFYL will improve the sensitization campaign for more women to become digitally literate.

Inferring from the Rockefeller Foundation, he said that, “there are issues of socio-cultural norms and income disparities; based on statistics, we have also seen that 42 percent of women are earning way less compared to men in terms of what they are supposed to earn because of their limited abilities within the digital space”.

He further disclosed, “with the aim to close the gap that exists between men and women in terms of use and access to digital technologies, we have come up with a national gender digital inclusion strategy in a draft format for now.”
He added that the vision of the strategy is to enhance women’s participation, positioning them among the drivers of economic growth and development.

The strategy should also address issues like a safe online experience, protection against online harassment or threats, and equal opportunities for men and women.
“We believe that leadership is about inclusivity. That’s why at NITDA, we delegate, empower people, and encourage them to make decisions,” he added.

Mr Inuwa proceeded to discuss game theory, stating that there are two types of games, finite and infinite games. A finite game has known rules and known players, while in an infinite game, there are no established rules. He said to succeed in an infinite game, there are five principles; first, a just cause, second, a trusting team that would support the leadership. Third, a worthy rival, fourth, the need to have existential flexibility, and lastly, the courage to lead.

He assured the team that the training proposal would be reviewed to capture where both organisations’ objectives align for collaboration, and hopefully, looks forward to jointly hosting the summit before the end of the year to have the summit and training.

“I believe that with this kind of initiative, we can be able to bring our women to parity with their male counterparts, and we look forward to having a productive partnership with you,” said Inuwa.

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