By Ogaga Ariemu (Abuja).
The Minister of Communications and digital economy, Dr Isah Pantami has called for more involvement of Girl Child in Digital economy.
This statement was made during the national ICT girls empowerment competition final evaluation and prizing giving ceremony in Abuja which is specifically centred on innovation for inclusion in a digital Economy.
While giving his opening remarks, Dr Pantami affirmed that the program is in alignment with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) lauched by President Muhammadu Buhari last year towards increasing access to digital technologies and services.
Putting the event into perspective, Pantami explained that the competition is geared towards achieving the second and seventh pillars of the digital economy policy, which are Digital Literacy, Skills and Digital Society, Emerging Technologies.
The Minister emphasizing on the Second and Seventh pillars of the NDEPS noted that digital economy was unrealisable without skills and the encouragement of start-ups, innovators by providing required enabling environment.
Mr Isah further urged Girl child to participate in the digital economy by taking up roles as indeginous innovators and digital entrepreneurers that is focused on becoming potential employers of labour rather than aspiring to become employees.
In his words:
“The focus is how to produce potential employers of labour, that will employ others in the future, this is to reduce addiction on certificates rather than skills which is centre in digital economy” he said.
Mr Kashifu Abdullahi, the Director General of National Information and Technology Development Agency(NITDA) speaking during the programme as the guest speaker stated that digital technologies empowers almost everything that we do in the 21st century and urged Nigerians to meaningful utilize opportunities in the digital world.
Prof Suleiman Bogoro, the executive secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund(Tetfund), who also spoke while giving his goodwill message commended initiative put forward by the ministry of Communications and digital economy.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and social development, Mrs Ijeoma Anagbogu, in her goodwill message noted that the event is opt especially in addressing the myriad challenges befalling the Girl-child education while calling for more supports in ending the gender-based challenges bedeviling Girl child education in Nigeria.
Mr Zhang Lulu, the Managing Director Huawai technologies company Nigeria Limited, in a similar goodwill message where he encouraged participants never to stop making progress in technological innovations.
Meanwhile, eight schools made it to the final stage of the competition from the initial number of Sixty Nine participants across the Thirty Six states of the federal including the federal capital Territory.
The competitors where careful taught on computational thinking, robotic, artificial intelligence and internet of things from which they developed novel applications relevant to digital economy.
The programme ended with evaluation and prize awarding segment which was won by the Jakande Estate Comprehensive Senior Secondary School Lagos who clinched the first prize with their novel technology called ‘Smart Walker’ for vision loss persons.
The winners were awarded with the grand prize of five Hundred Thousand Naira, a computer set and text books.
Runner ups were Government Science and Technical School Garki Abuja and Government Secondary School(GSS) Karu Nassarawa state respectively.