UK Govt, Cybersafe Foundation to Train 2,400 Girls in Digital Skills – THISDAY Newspapers


Emma Okonj
Cybersafe Foundation, in partnership with UK government, is set to train 2,400 girls across Nigeria in digital skills, through the DigiGirls Digital Empowerment programme.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training programme in Lagos recently, the Founder, Cybersafe Foundation, Confidence Staveley, said the DigiGirls Digital Empowerment programme, which is a training and mentorship programne for girls across Nigeria, was designed to offer basic and intermediate digital skills for girls in Nigeria.
According to her, at the end of the three months training programme, the beneficiaries would be equipped with digital skills like Digital Marketing, E-Commerce, Data Analytic and Graphic Design, among other skills that would enable then have access to gainful employment within and outside Nigeria.
“Lowering the digital gender divide in Nigeria has become a matter of urgency; a recent USAID report, shows that over 90 per cent of jobs worldwide have a digital component, and without these skills, women are automatically disadvantaged and do not have the confidence to participate in the digital workforce.
“Ultimately, the goal 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,” Staveley said.
She explained that few days of opening the applications for the training programme, over 12,000 were received, while 2,400 applications were shortlisted for the training.
Giving details of the training, Staveley said only 10 per cent of the number of shortlisted candidates, would be learning on-site in the Lagos and Kaduna hubs, while the remaining 90 per cent would connect online from different locations across the country.
“We will, through this programme,provide free basic to intermediate digital skills and soft skills training, mentorship, internship and job placement to our beneficiaries,” Staveley further said, while thanking the UK Government for co-designing and funding the DigiGirls programme through its the Digital Access Programme.
In her opening remarks, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said UK was 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. The UK is working with the Nigerian government to promote Nigeria’s digital economy, and drive this growth, primarily through our Digital Access Programme, the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub Network and the West Africa Research and Innovation Hub,” Laing said.
Speaking about UK government’s commitment to DigiGirls training, Laing said the UK would support Nigeria in its bold ambition to create 100 million jobs in 10 years and believes that the digital economy can play a major part in unlocking this.
She said UK would also Improve girls’ access to education is a key part of the UK’s G7 Presidency and is at the heart of global efforts to build back better from the pandemic.
“Over the next six months, the Digi-Girls programme will provide basic and intermediate digital skills training to 2,400 vulnerable women and girls. This will include mentorship, internship placements and entrepreneurship opportunitiesThis programme will also contribute to addressing the digital inequality in Nigeria, that currently holds a 15 per cent gender gap against women,” Laing further said.
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