The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says the country needs more women and girls to build careers in the ICT sector for fair representation and socio-economic development.
NITDA Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar, said this in a statement issued Thursday in Abuja to commemorate this year’s “Girls in ICT Day”.
The Girls in ICT Day was initiated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 2014, to create a global environment that empowers girls and young women to consider careers in ICT. The day is marked every fourth Thursday in April.
According to her, building a career in ICT makes one reliant economically, improves lives, contributes to better healthcare, environmental management, communication, enhanced educational system and learning processes.
Umar said that jobs in the future would be driven by technology and innovation.
“NITDA is drawing attention to the critical need for more girls and women to participate actively in the ICT sector of our economy.
“The ITU had estimated skills shortfall of over two million jobs in the ICT sector within the next few years.
“This opens a huge opportunity for girls and young women who have the ability to learn Coding, Apps Development, Computer Science and other ICT related courses.
“This will not only make them ready for a successful career in the ICT sector, but ICT skills are rapidly becoming a strong advantage for students in any other field they might choose to pursue.
“We must be proactive in preparing a significant number of our women and girls’ population for these opportunities, for productivity and enable them contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the country,” she said.
Umar said that globally, there was a disruption in human activities; hence no gender of the population should be left out in the new world order.
She said that stakeholders should remain resolute, review strategies toward supporting young women and girls for opportunities in the tech ecosystem.
Umar said in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, the Agency was bridging ICT sector gender imbalance with capacity building programmes for women and girls across the country.
She added that empowering girls to choose a career in ICT was good for the girls and their families.
Noting that it will also accelerate the socio-economic development of the country, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic and after.