UK government renews commitment to Nigeria's DigiGirls project – Businessday


The trained females on digital skills backed by Cybersafe foundation in collaboration with the United Kingdom (UK) received the presence of Vicky Ford, UK Minister for Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, on Tuesday at the DigiGirls training center, Yaba, Lagos, to reiterate the UK government’s commitment to DigiGirls’project, as well as Nigeria’s digital economy growth.
The three-month training which started in November 2021, has seen participation from 2,400 women and girls across Nigeria from a total of 12,000 signups. This is to close the digital gender gap that is causing unemployment and underemployment of women and girls, especially for the underserved and vulnerable in Nigerian communities.
“I’ve heard so much about the very busy and exciting tech sector in Lagos, but so often we see in technology that women get left behind. The DigiGirls project, which the UK has been supporting for the past few years, to get projects like this off the ground to help make sure that women and girls can get those same skills as others to close what we call the gender gap,” Ford said.

CyberSafe Foundation is a non-governmental organization on a mission to facilitate changes that ensure a safer internet for everyone with digital access in Africa. The foundation launched cyber security awareness campaigns reaching over 20,000,000 people and cyber security awareness training for over 4000 small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs), educating over 9000 employees of these organizations.
With the impact recorded by the trainees so far, Cybersafe foundation in line with its mission which is driving inclusive and safe digital access across Africa, starting off in Nigeria, plans to roll out another cohort of girls and women to undergo digital skills training.
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“We are going to roll out the second phase of training. We gained over £370,000 for the first digit girls project supporting about 2400 girls and women to get those digital skills but the next one will support more like 4000 people, and they also train the trainer pyramid skill set so that those girls who’ve learnt can go on to train others,” Ford said.
The skills to be trained on include graphics design, UI, UX design, digital marketing, data processing analytics, e-commerce. According to the foundation, these are all by research in-demand skills that employers want.
“Our mission here is ensuring that we are able to attract women and girls between the age of 15 to 40. Rescue and upskill them with employable digital skills, with emphasis on ‘employable’ because we train them on the skills that employers currently want,” Confidence Staveley, Executive Director and founder, CyberSafe Foundation, said.
The next phase of the training program is an internship. The foundation will ensure that the trainees are exposed to experiential learning, where they are able to see the practical application of the knowledge gained. It will also help them own their skills, as well as pass them on to other women and girls.
“Most of our internships are paid internships and are very convenient as well. While some of them are virtual, some are on-site. This is to further encourage the women as they enjoy the financial benefits of this program,” Staveley said.
As these women are being trained, they are already giving back to their community. Esther Maduka, one of the women, told BusinessDay that she organsies WhatsApp and zoom meetings with a group of women where she trains them on the skills learnt via this training, and they get to pay her at a low cost.
Speaking on sustainability, Stavely said the foundation established an alumni community where a group of women is able to consistently share opportunities and constantly grow. “So you see all the women here looking after themselves. There’s a bond that holds them together and being in a community will help them to keep delivering value to one another long after the program ends.”
“In the United Kingdom, we really believe that part of our foreign policy is supporting women and girls. You’ll never have strong countries, strong economies, freedom for people unless you support women and girls to have the same rights, the same freedoms, the same opportunities as men and boys,” Ford said.
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Business Day, established in 2001, is a daily business newspaper based in Lagos. It is the only Nigerian newspaper with a bureau in Accra, Ghana. It has both daily and Sunday titles. It circulates in Nigeria and Ghana
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