By Ogaga Ariemu
As Nigeria joins the world to celebrate Girl in ICT Day on 23rd April 2020, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has reinterated commitment to promote girls and young women active participation in information communication technology(ICT) sector.
This was contained in the press release signed by the agency’s head, corporate affairs and external relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar on 22nd April 2020.
“The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) once again joins the global community to mark the Girls in ICT Day. The day is marked annually on the fourth Thursday in April and this year’s celebration falls on the 23rd April, 2020. The Agency is, therefore, highlighting the need to promote technology career opportunities for girls and women in ICT, the world’s fastest growing sector.
“During this year’s celebration, NITDA is drawing attention to the critical need for more girls and women to participate actively in the ICT sector of our economy. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had estimated skills shortfall of over two million jobs in the ICT sector within the next few years. This opens a huge opportunity for girls and young women who have the ability to learn Coding, Apps Development, Computer Science and other ICT related courses. This will not only make them ready for a successful career in the ICT sector, but ICT skills are rapidly becoming a strong advantage for students in just about any other field they might choose to pursue.
“With technology playing vital role in all manner of careers, from Arts to Social Sciences, and from Law to History, to Graphic Design, learning ICT skills at a young age will set girls up for economic independence. Furthermore, the ICT sector needs more girls and women and celebrating a day like this reminds us that ICT helps to improve the lives of people everywhere. It contributes significantly towards better healthcare, better environmental management, better communication, and better educational systems that transform the way children and adults learn.
” NITDA, in its proactive manner and in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy as well as in furtherance of bridging the gender imbalance in ICT in Nigeria, has embarked on series of Capacity Building programmes for women and girls across the country. Girls with ICT skills can expect to earn good wages and enjoy huge career opportunities. Empowering girls to choose a career in ICT is not just good for girls and their families but can also be a major accelerator of socio-economic development of our country, especially at this crucial period of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“It is a public knowledge that jobs of the future will be driven by technology and innovation. We must, therefore, be proactive in preparing a significant number of our population as represented by girls and women for these opportunities in order to be productive and to enable them contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the country. The world is about to witness unprecedented changes in ways and manners we do things. Therefore, no segment of our population should be left behind in the new world order. The Girls in ICT Day provides an opportunity to reinforce our resolve and review our strategy to include sensitization and awareness creation among different stakeholders in this regard.
“The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a Federal Government Agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. NITDA was established in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy as well as coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country. Specifically, Section 6(a & c) of the Act mandates NITDA to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria; develop guidelines for electronic governance and monitor the use of electronic data interchange and other forms of electronic communication transactions as an alternative to paper-based methods in government, commerce, education, the private and public sectors, labour, and other fields, where the use of electronic communication may improve the exchange of data and information”.