The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi has re-echoed the agency’s commitment, as the nation’s apex IT regulatory body, towards creating enabling policies for the development, use and adoption of digital technology in supporting and enhancing the living standard of women entrepreneurs across the country.
The DG said this at the first edition of the ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians Association (ECOFEPA) Women and Youth Leadership Symposium which was held in Abuja.
Abdullahi, who was represented by the deputy director, digital economy development department of the agency, Dr. Amina Sambo Magaji, noted that, given NITDA’s mandate, the organisation is deeply drawn to developmental initiatives which explains the importance the agency attaches to the symposium.
“NITDA supported the symposium with technology tools that will help enhance entrepreneurship, especially amongst women and youth in general.”
According to the NITDA boss, the inability of a country to create a digital presence in today’s dynamic digital world translates to having a non-existent nation.
“Technology is an enabler that many people around the world leverage to create their digital presence. Without the right technological tools, we will not be able to advance as a country, economically and politically. In the light of this, NITDA is very interested and supportive of this symposium.”
Outlining the agency’s several opportunities that support women and youths’ entrepreneurship, Abdullahi said a subsidiary was specifically established and named Office of the Nigeria Digital Innovation (ONDI), primarily to foster the growth of technology and innovation in Nigeria.
President of the ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians Association (ECOFEPA), Filimena Viera, observed that while women and youths constitute a significant percentage of the world’s population, their continued deprivation in virtually all areas of affairs has increasingly become a source of concern. She attributed the factors responsible to their age, gender, limited opportunities and assumed lack of political experience.
Viera noted that among the major reasons for Africa’s backwardness is the fact that women and youths have not been given their rightful places in governance.
“Youths are the future, hence the need for the creation of relevant platforms where they can exchange ideas, experiences and amplify best practices. To address the menace of women and youths’ marginalisation, an effective policy framework mechanism has to be in place, to ensure equity and guarantee a sustainable society where basic human rights are recognised. Platforms that will inspire, mentor and avail the women and youths training on the required skill-set cannot be over-emphasised.”
Meanwhile, as part of its contribution towards guaranteeing the development of women and youths’ entrepreneurship as championed by the sub-regional parliamentarian’s association, 20 laptop computers were donated by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
The ECOFEPA is an umbrella body of all women members of the ECOWAS Parliament primarily established to assist parliamentarians from the sub-region use their legislative mandates to empower women through qualitative legislation.
NITDA’s presence at the event further underscored the parastatal’s immense regard for women empowerment and efforts toward inspiring both women and youths’ entrepreneurial skills in Nigeria, through the agency’s mentorship, guidance and technical support.