As part of efforts to lower the digital gender divide in Nigeria, Cybersafe Foundation, a cybersecurity awareness creator has decided to unveil the DigiGirls Project, enabled by the commitment and funding from the UK Government.
Delievery her welcome speech at the flag-off yesterday at the Federal College of Education, Yaba, the Founder of Cybersafe Foundation, Mrs. Confidence Staveley, noted that DigiGirls project will contribute to ensuring safe and responsible use of digital, tackle gender-based violence through economic empowerment of women, support inclusive and sustainable economic recovery post pandemic, increase the number of digitally skilled Nigerians, foster lasting poverty reduction and alleviate tough economic realities for women and girls in Nigeria.
“The goal of the DigiGirls Project is to close the digital gender gap that is causing unemployment/underemployment of women and girls especially for the underserved and vulnerable in our communities,” she said.
She disclosed that in few days of opening applications for the project, Cybersafe Foundation received over 12,000 signups, a proof that DigiGirls is a timely and much needed intervention.
She however noted that sadly, Cybersafe Foundation could only accept 2400 of these women and girls across Nigeria, with only 10% learning on-site in our Lagos and Kaduna hubs. “We will, through this program provide free basic to intermediate digital skills and soft skills training, mentorship, internship and job placement to our beneficiaries, thanks in no small way to the UK Government. We are very grateful to the UK Government for co-designing and funding the DigiGirls program through its Digital Access Program,” she added.
Also speaking at the flag-off, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said the UK is committed to being a global science and technology partner, working with others to develop solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, including on digital skills. Thus, she is excited to be part of the UK Government funded Digi-Girls programme.
She noted that the UK is committed to being a global science and technology partner, working with others to develop solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, including on digital skills.
“In Nigeria, science, tech and innovation provide opportunities for sustainable economic transformation – not least through the dynamic tech sector. The UK firmly believes in the future growth story of Nigeria’s digital sector (currently the ICT sector contributes about 15% to Nigeria’s GDP, and certainly more than oil,” an excited Catriona Laing said.
To continue to drive this growth, Catriona Laing argued that Nigeria needs a combination of: increased access to affordable, faster and better quality internet, an encouraging regulatory environment, a skilled talent pool, and access to investment and partnership opportunities.
According to her, improving girls’ access to education is a key part in creating 100m jobs in 10 years that the digital economy of the federal government presents.
She assured that over the next 6 months, the Digi-Girls programme will provide basic and intermediate digital skills training to 2400 vulnerable women and girls. This will include mentorship, internship placements and entrepreneurship opportunities.
This programme will also contribute to addressing the digital inequality in Nigeria – that currently holds a 15% gender gap against women.