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As portals to essential services move on online, people without digital skills or internet access, risk further social and economic exclusion, speakers at the fourth Women in Information Technology Society (WIITSoN) conference have said.
WIITSoN, formerly known as Nigeria Women in Information Technology (NIWIIT), is an advocacy group under the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) that focuses on bridging digital divide among women and girl-child across Nigeria.
Re-echoing the pronounced inequalities in digital skills, which have been documented in both developing and developed countries, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, described the Conference theme; “Skills for a Connected World: Closing Gender Digital Divides,” as apt and relevant to discussing the way forward on bridging the divides.
Shaibu said considering that the world is becoming universally connected, with an estimated 95 per cent of the global population living in an area covered by at least a basic 2G mobile-cellular network, African women should be supported to key into the emerging technological trends.
The Deputy Governor represented by the SSA, Women, Health and Sports, Sabina Chikere, said the government is passionate to empower the people, especially the girl-child to metamorphosise to women empowerment.
This, the Deputy Governor, informed the decision of the State to leverage technologies in training and retraining ladies who recently returned from Libya and re-integrate them to the society.
“It is important we have realised there is a gap, and we shall make efforts to bridge that gap. That is one of the things WIITSoN is trying to do. We need to come out; we have the capacity to do it.
I just want to encourage WIITSoN because Edo State Government is interested in partnering with you on this matter. We have to leverage technology to transform the lives of our people, especially in mentoring them to embrace digital economy.
“As a State, on our part we will not relent on encouraging women participation in technology, because that is the way. We do need skills to be relevant in the digital world.
It will not be out of place to have our female taking after the likes of Steve Jobs (late); Mark Zuckerberg; Bill Gates; Michael Dell, and others who are trail blazers.
On her part, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, the Permanent Secretary (Political Affairs), Office of the Secretary to the Federation, stressed the importance of creating enabling environment for the girl-child to develop confidence in the digital economy.
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