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NITDA Reveals Gender Digital Inclusion Plan

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In a bid to unlock the full potential of Nigeria’s digital economy and promote greater social and economic development for all Nigerians, the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, has revealed that the NITDA is currently prioritising the development of a Gender Digital Inclusion Strategy (DGIS).

Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, DG NITDA represented by Mrs Iklima Musa, Special Adviser to the DG on Strategy and Innovation at the United Nations International Women’s Day celebration organised by FGN Women Ambassadors Network.

Inuwa who was represented by his Special Assistant on Strategy and Innovation Mrs Iklima Musa Salihu, made this statement at the United Nations International Women’s Day celebration organised by FGN Women Ambassadors Network (FWAN-NET) in Abuja. The theme for this year’s celebration is “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.”

According to him, the strategy is to address the existing barriers that prevent women from fully participating in the IT sector and reaping the benefits of digital inclusion.

He said through the DGIS, NITDA plans to outline specific steps that will be taken to bridge this gap and ensure greater gender parity in Nigeria’s digital economy, by creating a more inclusive and diverse tech industry.

He noted that the Agency has identified innovation as a critical tool for implementing the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), adding that it has the advantageous objective of bridging the digital gender gap by ensuring that the digital literacy and skills pillar incorporates children, women, internally displaced persons, and the physically challenged and aligns with the Agency’s mandate of empowering all Nigerian citizens with digital skills.

“In fulfilment of this strategy, we have taken many steps to drive our nation’s prosperity by boosting digital innovation for women, creating an enabling environment that maximises the potential of all Nigerian women, promoting their ability to contribute to the economy, and ensuring their improved quality of life and well-being,” he said.

While noting NITDA’s belief that technology can bridge these gaps as women have unequal access to the same economic opportunities as men, Inuwa said it was not surprising that Nigeria, as Africa’s most vibrant ecosystem, was making waves both within and outside the continent, attracting 22% (1.2B USD) of Africa’s total investment inflow in 2022.

Inuwa also celebrated Nigerian female talents such as Kemisola Bolarinwa, founder of Next Wear Technology, a wearable/fashion technology company that designs and develops technology including the Smart Bra for breast cancer detection which uses embedded programmable electronics and sensors on clothing to solve health, security, and communication problems.

He added that through the Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI), the Agency has worked with its foreign-based collaborators to support 753 female and male-led start-ups through grants and sponsorships to local and global conferences and exhibitions, acceleration and incubation programmes.

“At NITDA, we have identified innovation as a critical tool for implementing the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS). Launched in 2019, the NDEPS provides a holistic and sustainable approach towards the development of Nigeria’s digital economy,” he stated.

He added that “NITDA’s deep commitment to fostering digital innovation among Nigerians is evident in several programmes and initiatives aimed at boosting the innovative capacity of our youths and women to ensure they receive the support they require.

“Through hackathons and innovation challenges, we have seen the conceptualisation of innovative ideas in an ecosystem that is primarily dominated by men, thus giving female innovators an equal opportunity. We also conducted capacity-building programmes on ICT and entrepreneurship for 360 women in various geopolitical zones,” he said.

Speaking on the Nigeria Startup Act, Inuwa said Nigeria’s tech ecosystem, the Presidency, and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy come up with the idea of Nigeria Startup Bill, which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, that will serve as the means in harnessing the potential of digital economy by providing an enabling environment that can foster the growth and development of innovation for local startups.

He said the regulation will put Nigeria in a position to take advantage of the African Digital Economy estimated to be worth 300B USD by 2025, as reported by McKinsey.

Inuwa expressed his deep concern that despite the remarkable progress made in the digital arena, there remains a striking absence of women’s representation.

He lamented the fact that women are still significantly underrepresented in digital spaces, despite their undeniable competence and potential to contribute immensely to the field.

He said there is need for concerted efforts to promote gender equality and inclusivity in the digital world, where all individuals, regardless of gender, can thrive and excel.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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WhatsApp to Deactivate Support for Certain Phone Models over Incompatibility

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WhatsApp has announced that it will no longer be supported on a variety of phone models starting from the summer of 2024.


WhatsApp to Deactivate Support for Certain Phone Models over Incompatibility

This decision affects a significant number of devices from popular brands such as Samsung, Motorola, Huawei, Apple, Sony, and LG.

Users are advised to check the list of incompatible devices to determine whether their phones are affected and whether they need to upgrade to continue using WhatsApp securely.

Surprisingly, some of the models on the list are quite old, but due to their decent hardware or lack of upgrade options, some users have been clinging onto WhatsApp for dear life.

At present, WhatsApp is recommending that users only use the app if they have a device running on Android 5.0 or later, or an iPhone with iOS 12 or newer.

The affected models include popular devices like Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus, Motorola Moto G, and various iPhone models like 5, 6, and SE.

This development highlights the rapid evolution of technology and the need for users to stay current with their devices to access essential services like WhatsApp.

As we move towards a more advanced digital age, it becomes increasingly crucial for users to regularly check for updates and ensure compatibility with the latest software and applications.

In light of WhatsApp’s decision to discontinue support for certain phone models, there are several key points that users should be aware of regarding this future incompatibility issue.

One of the main challenges associated with WhatsApp ceasing support for older phone models is the potential security risks involved.

Unsupported devices may become more vulnerable to security threats as they will no longer receive essential updates and patches from WhatsApp.

Additionally, users who are unable or unwilling to upgrade their devices may face difficulties in communicating with friends and family who continue to use WhatsApp.

On the controversial side, some users argue that tech companies should provide support for older devices to ensure inclusivity and accessibility for all users, regardless of their device’s age or specifications.

However, from WhatsApp’s perspective, maintaining support for outdated models may hinder the app’s ability to innovate and introduce new features that require more advanced hardware.


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Glo Deploys AI Services for Customers to Earn Millions while Learning

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Digital solutions services provider, Globacom, has unveiled three innovative AI-focused services that aim to improve customer satisfaction and provide users the chance to profit from AI and win rewards on the network at the same time.

In addition to offering users the possibility to win thrilling rewards through lottery draws, Globacom disclosed in a press statement that the services would offer priceless insights into utilizing AI for everyday requirements.

One of the services, called “Glo Awoof Win EverWage,” is a gaming platform that gives users the chance to either win a lifetime wage or take part in a monthly draw that offers a N12 million prize.

Subscribers will also get regular payments from this service, thus having a steady source of income free from the limitations of a conventional job. Globacom stated that Glo EverWage “promises peace of mind in today’s dynamic economic environment, whether you seek supplementary income or financial stability.”

Subscribers can participate in the drawings for EverWage by calling *20791# and following the instructions to be eligible for a chance to win N12 million per month and daily cash prizes.

In a similar vein, “Glo Awoof Win SMS-to-Ai” uses artificial intelligence (AI) to give users rapid, precise information on any subject without requiring an internet connection.

The “Ask AI by Glo” service is an SMS-based platform that provides users with access to a variety of informational resources, including news, sports scores, weather predictions, traffic updates, educational advice, and celebrity information. By dialing *20791# on their handsets, subscribers can also take part in the network’s jackpot draws for a chance to win thrilling prizes.

Subscribers can also use Glo SMS-to-AI to ask queries even in the absence of internet access, by texting their inquiries to 20791 and the AI platform will respond to them right away. Regular questioners will be informed through their Glo lines and have a chance to win interesting rewards.

The third one, “Glo Awoof Win Ai Fortune”, is an educational service designed to empower users by teaching them how to leverage Ai for generating income and improving business processes.

“From foundational Ai concepts to advanced business strategies, our comprehensive curriculum equips you with the skills to harness Ai for income generation and business enhancement. Subscribers can engage in interactive learning modules, earn certifications, and showcase their expertise in monthly competitions”, the company disclosed.

Subscribers to AI Fortune can obtain study packets to read and enter to win prizes by dialling *20791# and following the instructions.

According to Globacom, users who want to take advantage of the three AI-powered services should dial *20791# on their mobile devices in order to choose among the available options. Daily one-time or auto subscriptions to the services cost N100, weekly one-time or auto subscriptions cost N200, and monthly one-time or auto subscriptions cost N500.


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Y’ello Care since ‘07: 17 Years of Unwavering Commitment to Community Development

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For nearly two decades, MTN has demonstrated a steadfast dedication to community development through its flagship corporate social responsibility initiative, Y’ello Care.

The annual program with the theme “Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow”, now celebrating its 17th year, exemplifies the telco’s commitment to making a positive impact across the various communities it serves.

Launched in 2007, Y’ello Care has evolved into one of the most significant corporate volunteer programs in the telecommunications sector. Each year, employees take time off from their daily tasks to give back to the community and participate in meaningful charitable initiatives, reflecting the company’s fundamental principles of innovation, leadership, and integrity.

The heart of Y’ello Care lies in its volunteers. MTN employees from different departments and regions come together to contribute their time, skills, and resources. This culture of volunteerism not only benefits the communities but also fosters a sense of purpose and camaraderie among its staff.

Since its inception, the Y’ello Care initiative has tackled various social challenges, from education and health to environmental sustainability and economic empowerment. The program’s success is measured by the number of projects completed and the lasting positive changes it brings to the lives of individuals and communities.

Speaking about this year’s edition, Tobe Okigbo, Chief Corporate Services & Sustainability Officer, MTN Nigeria, said “Y’ello Care is about the MTN ecosystem giving back and contributing their time, money, and resources to make a positive impact. This year, we’re focusing on education in remote areas, supporting three projects that will provide access to quality education for young Nigerians,” said

One of the cornerstones of Y’ello Care this year is its focus on education and this year the initiative is supporting the KNOSK charity education initiative (Study Better Packs),building and refurbishing Iwerekun Community High school, providing learning materials, and organizing vocational skills workshops. These efforts aim at bridging the educational gap and equipping students with the skills needed for the future.

Also, Y’ello Care has made significant contributions to improving healthcare services. Through medical outreach programs, health awareness campaigns, and the provision of essential medical equipment, it has helped enhance the quality of healthcare in underserved areas.

Beyond everything,

As Y’ello Care completesits 17th year, the company further proves its committment to deepening its impact on its community. MTN Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to community development through the Y’ello Care initiative is a testament to the power of corporate social responsibility.

The 17-year journey of Y’ello Care tells a remarkable story of dedication, impact, and hope. It serves as an inspiration for other organizations to engage in meaningful community service and underscores the importance of giving back to the society in which they operate.

 

 

 


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