Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative (Tech4Dev) has sealed a strategic partnership with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) 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.

Announcing the partnership today at a virtual press conference, Diwura Oladepo, Executive Director at Tech4Dev, said the partnership was sealed to increase the number of digital literate vulnerable populations and people living in underserved communities in Northern Nigeria.

“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,” she said.

According to her, 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 & 10 (No Poverty, Quality Education & 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 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% of the beneficiaries to be vulnerable women and girls (aged 8-18; 45-65), 30% being Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and 20% individuals of other vulnerable groups.

In the same vein, Idongesit Udoh, Head of UK Government’s Digital Access Programme and Country Adviser, 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.”

According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), about 230 million jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa will require digital skills by 2030. This figure is due to the increasing use of technology and automation of jobs. At Tech4Dev, we prepare people for the future of work by creating opportunities for decent work through technology-based training, which includes coding skills, deep tech skills, employability skills and basic digital skills.


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