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April 23, 2024

Centre, FCDO inaugurate digital community to boost inclusive growth, digital economy

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By Justina Auta

The Policy Innovation Centre (PIC) of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has inaugurated a Digital Economy Community of Practice (DECoP) to drive inclusive growth and sustainable development in Nigeria digital ecosystem.

The event held in Abuja, Thursday, is in partnership with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to identify and boost the capacity of key digital players, and engender inclusive public-private sector collaboration.

Prof. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said the 2020-2030 National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy was built on eight implementing pillars.

Pantami said the pillars were geared towards expanding the scope of the digital economy and make it more flexible to accommodate the needs of all citizens.

“ This is just an effort to ensure total inclusion, we are trying to cascade digital economy to reach our states.

“ When it comes to digital skills, we have so many initiatives including skills for women, persons with disability including our children,” he said.

Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, Chief Executive Officer, NESG, said the growth achieved by the digital economy offered great opportunities however; it posed the risk of exclusion especially for women and girls who were mostly affected.

“ Access to and use of digital devices and services are neither universal nor equitable with women and girls disproportionately affected, leaving the most vulnerable digitally excluded.

“ The absence of a robust collaboration framework between the regulatory agencies, the private sector and development partners is an area within the digital sector that requires attention,” he said.

Also, Mr Jonathan Bacon, Political Director, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and United Kingdom, said Nigeria’s digital economy had the potential to benefit all citizen, stressing the need to ensure inclusivity.

“We have been trying to support digital inclusion.

“And, I would like to particularly recognise the efforts of Nigerian government in deepening digital inclusion through various policies and one good example of these is the gender digital inclusion framework,” he said.

Dr Osasuyi Dirisu, Executive Director, PIC, emphasised the need to bridge digital divide through cross-sectoral collaborations amongst digital stakeholders.

L –R: Idongesit Udoh, Head, UK Digital Access Programme; Jonathan Bacon, Political Director, UK Government; ‘Laoye Jaiyeola, CEO, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG); Prof. Isa Alli Ibrahim (Pantami), Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE); Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); Prof. Mohammed Bello Abubakar, CEO, Galaxy Backbone Ltd and Mayokun Adediran, Senior Policy Specialist, Policy Innovation Centre (PIC), at the inauguration of the Digital Economy Community of Practice, organized by the PIC of the NESG in Abuja on Thursday
L –R: Idongesit Udoh, Head, UK Digital Access Programme; Jonathan Bacon, Political Director, UK Government; ‘Laoye Jaiyeola, CEO, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG); Prof. Isa Alli Ibrahim (Pantami), Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE); Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); Prof. Mohammed Bello Abubakar, CEO, Galaxy Backbone Ltd and Mayokun Adediran, Senior Policy Specialist, Policy Innovation Centre (PIC), at the inauguration of the Digital Economy Community of Practice, organised by the PIC of the NESG in Abuja on Thursday

Dirisu said the collaboration would support an enabling environment for innovation, digital inclusion and expansion of the digital economy in critical sectors.

She said: “At the PIC, we prioritise inclusivity and diversity, hence our partnership with the FCDO to implement this project.

“Without focused collaboration amongst stakeholders, the unintended consequences of digital economy growth will be the widening of existing income gaps, exacerbation of inequalities and deepening poverty.

“We firmly believe the DECoP will support an enabling environment for innovation, digital inclusion and expansion of the digital economy in critical sectors.”

Ms. Maryam Gwadabe, member, DECoP, said the community would provide platforms to encourage the inclusivity of women in the Nigeria digital economy.

“Having me there will have a representation of women. We will actually engage and share our Knowledge, experience, and expertise on how to involve women to become digitally inclusive,” she said.

The DECoP is to be implemented in five pilot states to identify and accommodate digital initiatives at the sub-national level and identify, boost the capacity of key digital players.

They are expected to engender inclusive public-private sector collaboration to enable digital growth and capabilities especially for underserved groups at the sub-national levels. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

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