The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated its unwavering commitment to bridging the growing gender-oriented digital divide to accelerate inclusive economic prosperity for all Nigerian citizens.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, restated this commitment in Lagos at the 2022 Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs and Executives in Tech Summit (WEETS), Thursday, September 15, 2022, where he was conferred with the ‘Icon of Digital Revolution Award’ for his role in stimulating digital connectivity in Nigeria, said promotion of gender equality was a major component of ICT development.
He noted that the gender dimensions of ICT, manifest in access and use, capacity-building opportunities, employment, and potential for empowerment and that all these dimensions need to be explicitly identified and addressed, to leverage technology and communication as powerful catalysts for political, economic, and social empowerment of women, and the promotion of gender equality.
Speaking on the theme of the event, “Reskilling Women and Girls to Thrive in the Digital Economy”, Danbatta, who was represented by NCC’s Head, Digital Media Management, Nafisa Usman Rugga, said the theme resonates deeply with the drive by the Federal Government to ensure an all-inclusive digital economy that drives the strategic vision plan of the Commission.
He expressed his appreciation to the organizers, Techlife Media and Communications Limited, a Lagos-based media organisation, for the iconic recognition for his contribution to Nigeria’s digital progression which is an encouragement that he would dedicate to the entire NCC team of professionals that are dedicated to the digital revolution in the country.
Danbatta commended the organization for holding forth its annual gathering that pivots discussions on the promotion of digital access, skills, and knowledge among the women and girls in Nigeria.
Danbatta indicated that one of the ways through which the Commission strives to achieve inclusive growth, is through increased digital connectivity to all, regardless of gender and other accidental circumstances, and that the Commission has continued to play a front-seat role in driving the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030; the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025; and related policies aimed at deepening connectivity for all citizens, thereby bridging digital gender disparity.
“The NCC has put on the front burner the need to expose girls and young women to more opportunities in the digital ecosystem, in line with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) resolution 70, which advocates gender mainstreaming and promotion of gender equality, as well as the empowerment of women through information and communications technology (ICT), and we are fully committed to this,” Danbatta said.
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The organizers, while justifying the reason for conferring the award on Nigeria’s chief telecom regulator, stated that “after reviewing the criteria set for the award, we reckon that Prof. Danbatta deserves the award for blazing the trail in accelerating digital revolution in Nigeria, especially with the historic auction of 3.5 GHz spectrum in a fair, transparent, and credible manner, and considering the various initiatives embarked upon by the Commission under his leadership, to inspire girls and women to play active roles in the evolving global digital economy.”