By: Prince Charles Ekanem.
In efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19, social distancing and virtual activities has become the new normal.
Digital technology has enabled work, education and communication remotely from the comfort of homes and offices for some, but for millions of people who cannot use technology, the offline world is economically and socially isolated.
COVID-19 has further illuminated the ‘Digital Divide’ in developing countries like Nigeria and especially in the rural clusters in Cross River State. Therefore, it has become pertinent, especially on this path to the new normal, for focus to be placed on digital literacy, to capacitate vulnerable populations to leverage technology for commerce, education, and communication to improve their socio-economic recovery, pandemic resilience, and build a more prosperous future.
To this end, Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation is promoting a 10 day Basic Digital Literacy programme for Cross Riverians. This program is also in line with the Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030) vision of transforming Nigeria into a leading digital economy.
This strategy also State that it is important to develop a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens to drive the digital economy agenda. In fact, digital literacy and skills feature as one of 8 pillars the Nigerian government has identified as an accelerator to achieve its vision.
Consequently, digital literacy is no more a nice thing to have; it is a survival necessity for all, given the current mandate and global technology progression.
This programme, amongst others, is aimed at bridging the digital literacy divide among women/ girls and Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in Cross River State by providing digital literacy training to the most vulnerable groups within our communities.
This Basic Digital Literacy programme is designed to empower beneficiaries in basic digital literacy. The program aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals 1, 4 & 10 (No Poverty, Quality, Education & Reduced Inequalities).
By investing in digital literacy for vulnerable people living in rural clusters in Cross River State, this program will contribute to reducing the poverty index by increasing the employability of beneficiaries and closing the gap of access to digital skills needed in the digital economy.