DigiGirls, an initiative of CyberSafe Foundation, funded through the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme, recently graduated over 4,000 Nigerian women and girls with in-demand basic to intermediary employable digital skills.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Deputy High Commission of Britain in Lagos, the programme also indirectly benefited over 10,000 additional women through the train-the-trainer programme.
“These employable digital skills would drive positive livelihood outcomes for beneficiaries, improve their employment prospects and prepare them for digital entrepreneurship in today’s digital economy.
“The DigiGirls program aims to lower the digital gender imbalance against women in Nigeria by empowering more women and girls with employable digital skills through intensive training, mentorship, internship/job placements, and entrepreneurship opportunities. The learning paths for the program include Digital marketing, UI/UX, graphics design, E-commerce, and Data analysis,” the statement said.
Speaking at the virtual graduation event for the DigiGirls 2.0 beneficiaries held on Tuesday, Alessandra Lustrati, Head of Digital Development and Global Lead of the Digital Access Programme in the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), congratulated the trainees on their achievements.
According to her, “building digital capacity at a local level, and testing digital skills development models that work well with specific target groups – like in the DigiGirls approach – is central to FCDO’s overall effort to support the inclusive, responsible and sustainable digital transformation of partner countries like Nigeria.”
Alessandra further highlighted the huge potential of Nigeria’s digital economy, recalling that the ICT sector was the fastest growing sector of Nigeria’s economy in 2020 and 2021, and is estimated to contribute 16.2% of Nigeria’s GDP at Q1 of 2022.
She said: “The digital economy can thrive much more and generate opportunities and skilled job only if we make an effort to close the digital gender gap, which in Nigeria is currently estimated at about 25%. The DigiGirls project with our partner CyberSafe Foundation, as part of the wider UK Digital Access Programme is a great example of how we can help close that gender gap and drive digital inclusion.”
The Founder, and Executive Director of Cybersafe Foundation, Confidence Staveley, specially thanked the UK government for their continuous support in making the program a success and improving the lives of the beneficiaries.
She said, “Thanks to the UK government through the FCDO, the DigiGirls program from inception has now directly empowered over 6,000 women with Digital skills from both cohorts held. She went on to encourage the latest graduands to make use of their newfound skills and learning, saying “You are the value, don’t stop adding value”.