The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi has underscored the significance of promoting digital job creation for women to foster inclusivity and address the gender gap in the tech industry.
Abdullahi made this assertion at the opening ceremony of the Female Founder Training organised by the Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI), a subsidiary of NITDA in Abuja.
Represented by the acting director of the digital literacy and capacity building department, Dr. Amina Magaji-Sambo, Abdullahi emphasised the initiative’s goal of supporting and empowering women in Nigeria to harness digital technologies for the development of viable and scalable businesses. He stated, “This training programme is dedicated to discovering and highlighting innovative and technology-based concepts, ideas and solutions created by women in Nigeria. The goal is to bridge gender disparities in the technological industry and encourage the creation of digital employment opportunities for women”.
Highlighting the overwhelming response to the call for Female Founder Training, Abdullahi revealed that within two weeks, the initiative received an extraordinary 7,151 applications from all 36 states in Nigeria. He expressed pride in announcing the selection of 12 successful candidates, strategically chosen to represent each of the six geopolitical zones, following a meticulous three-stage selection process.
The mission of the initiative extends to identifying and showcasing innovative tech-based ideas and solutions developed by Nigerian females. Abdullahi emphasised the agency’s commitment to promoting and supporting these tech-based ventures founded by women to close existing gender gaps in the tech ecosystem.
Acting national coordinator of ONDI, Mr. Yakubu Musa reiterated the commitment to supporting women’s inclusion in the tech ecosystem to bridge existing gaps. Acknowledging the changing narrative with women expressing keen interest in innovative businesses, Musa asserted that this initiative would pave the way for women’s advancement in the tech ecosystem.
Musa outlined the programme’s objectives, rooted in empowerment, diversity, growth and network building. The initiative aims to equip aspiring female entrepreneurs not only with knowledge but also with practical skills and resources needed to build and nurture startups. This involves a series of workshops, mentoring sessions and networking opportunities.
Emphasising the commitment to business growth, Musa stated, “We aim not just for sustainability and profitability but for the creation of opportunities that ripple through communities, leading to the creation of jobs and empowerment”.
He highlighted ONDI’s readiness to establish a network alliance of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors, fostering innovation and providing access to essential resources to build a community of tech experts for the country’s advancement.