NITDA, AREAI To Collaborate On Digital Innovation For Rural Community

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has made commitment to support and collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations working within the scope of the Agency’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021-2024), and that includes Aid for Rural Education and Access Initiative, (AREAI).

Mallam Abdullahi, The Director General of NITDA, made this commitment to the Chief Executive Director of AREAI, Prince Gideon Olarewaju, and some members of the organisation during a courtesy visit to NITDA headquarters in Abuja, Thursday.

Abdullahi disclosed that NITDA recently unveiled its Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, saying that; “The SRAP is designed as a template or map to assist the agency in achieving its targeted plans through the execution of the strategic pillars.”

The NITDA boss noted; “SRAP is anchored on 7 strategic pillars, namely, Developmental Regulations, Digital Literacy and Skills, Digital Transformation, Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Cyber Security, Emerging Technologies, and the seventh pillar is the Promotion of Indigenous Content.”

He further explained that; “with the mandate and expertise from the Aid for Rural Education and Access Initiative, there is an opportunity for Nigerian youth to position itself as a leader in terms of ICT and digital economy and digital literacy, skills and innovation.”

“NITDA is particularly passionate about four mentioned areas of collaborate: Digital literacy and skills, where we have a target of 95% digital literacy in Nigeria by 2030,” he added.

He said during the lockdown of COVID-19 pandemic, NITDA came up with virtual academy with an enrolment of over sixty thousand online students and beneficiaries.

He said the Agency is now working to upgrading it to a standard mass open online courses platform like Coursera and Edx, adding that NITDA is hoping that other related institutions will key into this and start providing skills and certificate courses for the citizenry and even beyond the shores of the country.

On Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Abdullahi said NITDA is already coming up with something new that will impact knowledge to the rural communities.

He said the third pillar is Local Content development of which the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), one of the centers established by NITDA as an intervention to develop local content and upgrade the skills of Nigerian citizenry.

He encouraged the AREAI to take advantage of this facility to identify talents and develop ideas in their areas of interest that will impact on the girl child education’s digital literacy and skills, because it is a platform NITDA has adopted to change the Nigerian trajectory through training and skill empowerment.

“I am optimistic that the two organisation’s partnership will uplift the actualization of their similar mandates such as indigenous investors and innovation programs among others,” he added.

He also advised on the constitution of forum for discussions between NITDA and AREAI to come up with working tools to develop the idea into practicable reality.

Earlier, the Chief Executive Director of Aid for Rural Education and Access Initiative commended the NITDA for the opportunity to showcase their talent most especially in Digi-learn which is one of the smartest ways of impacting knowledge to the rural communities.

He hopes that the collaboration with NITDA will be a huge advantage to AREAI in harnessing potentials and expertise in bringing more innovation to the Rural communities in digital ways.

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