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EdTech: Government, Education Stakeholders Urged To Adopt An Inclusive Learning Approach To Achieve Better Learning Outcomes



EdTech: Government, Education Stakeholders Urged To Adopt An Inclusive Learning Approach To Achieve Better Learning Outcomes

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The government and other stakeholders in the education sector in Nigeria have been urged to embrace a more inclusive learning approach in the implementation of education-technology-driven initiatives to achieve better learning outcomes and results.

This was the summation from the just-concluded February edition of EdTech Mondays; an initiative put together by Mastercard Foundation in partnership with CcHub Limited. This virtual roundtable featured panelists such as co-founder/strategy and Head, Maevis Computer Limited, Chizaram Ucheaga, a certified English teacher from Lagos State, Bisayo Adewole, and moderated by Joyce Daniel, the social engineering practitioner.

Speaking at the virtual roundtable titled ‘Education in the Pandemic Era, The Role of Technology,’ Ucheaga emphasized the need for governments and relevant stakeholders to embrace more inclusive learning to create a robust and well-rounded educational system. He reiterated that with the shift to infrastructure-based technology to drive learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, governments need to continue to leverage technology in reinventing the educational system in Nigeria.

According to him, the responsibility lies on all stakeholders, particularly the government, to design a curriculum that addresses every student’s needs irrespective of their challenge or status. “During the pandemic, education stakeholders launched online radio initiatives to ensure that students continued to learn. As a result, the government now appreciates how technology is being used in driving learning. They have then launched initiatives such as the EdoBest and Kwara-learn in partnership with international organizations to deliver learning to students.”, he said.

He further stated that stakeholders must come to terms with the reality that education or learning is fast moving away from the conventional approach of the physical classroom structure to the virtual classroom, clamoring for the need to build holistic education solutions that would serve students depending on their needs.

“A practical example is an export university where people are allowed to take advanced degrees purely online and largely targeted at African countries. What they do is link industry needs to what the students need to learn such that when they graduate, they can get ready jobs. Governments need to start planning right from basic, primary, secondary, and tertiary education to make sure that they are doing similar mapping so that when students graduate, they would be well qualified to take up the available jobs”, he added.

Also speaking, Bisayo Adewole, an EdTech teacher from Akoko High School, Lagos, noted that people’s minds were open to the benefits of technology in driving learning despite the pandemic. She, however, stated that more still needs to be done to ensure that both teachers and students have access to digital tools and training to achieve optimal learning outcomes.

“When using technology-driven platforms like Microsoft Teams, the students, particularly those from low-income homes, do not have access to these digital tools. This then means that the purpose of creating the class is defeated because the students cannot participate in the class due to a lack of access to digital tools”, Adewole said.

She further explained that with learning gravitating towards online in the future, funding might no longer be considered a serious challenge.


NITDA Engages Stakeholders To Boost National Outsourcing Strategy



NITDA Engages Stakeholders To Boost National Outsourcing Strategy

Olushola Okunlade Writes

In Its continuous efforts to create fair and inclusive society that provides equal opportunity, the Federal government of Nigeria, through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), organized a 1-day stakeholders consultation forum on the National Outsourcing Strategy (NOS), in Abuja, to give stakeholders an opportunity for inputs to express their views and opinions on the proposed NOS.

The participants which include the Academia, relevant MDA’s, ICT Related Organizations, as well as Government representatives, and key relevant stakeholders in the Digital Economy sector share ideas and brainstorm for gainful deliberation.

The Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, who was represented by the Ag. Director, Digital Economy Department, Engr. Salisu Kaka said that the stakeholder’s engagement is an avenue where the National Outsourcing Strategy will enable Nigeria to take advantage of the opportunities presented by global value chain, leveraging its competitive advantages of having the largest youth population in Africa,  mature telecoms market, strategic geographic  location, and vibrant innovation ecosystem to create millions of jobs.

NITDA Engages Stakeholders To Boost National Outsourcing Strategy
Representative of the DG NITDA, the Ag. Director of the Digital Economy Department of the Agency, Engr. Salisu Kaka gave his remark.

According to him, the vision of National Outsourcing Strategy is to make Nigeria a prime global outsourcing destination. To achieve this, 7 strategic pillars have been carefully chosen based on the country’s unique environment and strengths, in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria.

He noted that the strategy is also in alignment with the National Development Plan and addresses key focus areas of Mr. President which are economic diversification, youth employment, and security.

“We, in NITDA, call on all stakeholders to support the implementation of the strategy. This, we are confident, will facilitate the development of a resilient and vibrant digital economy”, he noted.

Furthermore, he stated, “as a national strategy, we encourage all stakeholders to cascade this strategy so that we can build a highly competitive market, making Nigeria the prime Global Outsourcing Destination.”

Presenting a paper on the NOS, Dr, Ayodele A. Bakare, Head of Digital Technology Adaption Unit, NITDA, discussed the summary information about the proposed NOS which includes the rationale, vision, mission, goals, and Objectives of the NOS as well as supporting pillars, governance structure, and implementation strategy.

Laying emphasis on the primary objective of the document, he said, “the National Outsourcing Strategy which aligns with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy aims to deliver 5 Million Jobs in Nigeria by 2030”.

“To achieve this ambitious target, the strategy is focused on seven critical pillars which include the following: Outsourcing, Infrastructure, Human Capital Development, Trust, Privacy and Security, Branding and Promotion, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, and lastly, Finance and Incentives,” he concluded.

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Nigeria Can Boost Digital Economy By Ensuring Equal Participation Of Women – DG NITDA



Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, NITDA Director General.

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, has said that Nigeria can potentially and significantly boost its digital economy by ensuring the equal participation of women in the digital economy.

According to him, women’s participation in all sub-sectors of the digital economy is equivalent to men’s participation, and the country stands to gain a whopping 230 billion USD in GDP growth by the year 2025.

Inuwa made this state at the stakeholder press briefing organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs in commemoration of the 2023 International Women’s Day in Abuja with the theme ‘DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.”

Represented by his Special Assistant on Strategy and Innovation, Mrs. Iklima Musa Salihu, Inuwa stated that in 2021, the UN estimated that Nigeria’s female population was 104 million; as Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria has much to gain by facilitating the inclusion of women in technology industries and bridging the digital divide.

He said that NITDA has over the years been implementing several strategic programs and initiatives which have seen an investment of 4.4B USD in the last four years.

The National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) which NITDA is primarily implementing has the objective of bridging the digital gender gap by ensuring that the digital skills training programs incorporate children, women, internally displaced persons, and the physically challenged.

“In fulfillment 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 maximizes 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 mentioned

He highlighted some of the key initiatives designed to support technology innovation including the Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation Support Scheme (TIES); Idea Hatch (iHatch); Bridge to MassChallenge Nigeria and MIT-REAP Abuja, which has translated into establishment of vibrant innovation ecosystem and creation of 33,500 direct jobs in 2020.

He said, “In a bid to support digital literacy in women, we have conducted capacity-building programmes on ICT and entrepreneurship for 360 women in the various geopolitical zones.”

Inuwa stated that implementation of the Digital Literacy initiative increases women’s awareness, knowledge, and use of business tools that can help promote their entrepreneurial and career pursuits, increase distance learning and distance work programs and opportunities, as well as financial inclusion.

He said, “this year, the United Nation (UN) wishes to recognise the women and girls in our lives who are championing the advancement of digital transformation and education.”

“We recognise that different challenges arise in the form of social, economic, and cultural barriers, which are hindrances that forestall this inclusion.

“That is why we have worked to create barrier-circumventing opportunities that will transform lives and create a positive domino effect that cascades greater values into our societies,” Inuwa added.

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How 7 Nigerian Women Lead Aurora Tech Award 2023



7 Nigerian Women Lead Aurora Tech Award 2023 Shortlist

Aurora Tech Award 2023 Shortlist recognizes women founders challenging gender inequality in IT

…Winners will be announced on International Women’s Day

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Seven (7) Nigerian women startup founders have been shortlisted for the prestigious Aurora Tech Award 2023. The women are among the 22 finalists from different world countries shortlisted for the Award.

According to inDrive – the organizers of the Aurora Tech Award – this is a moment of pride for Nigeria as seven ground-breaker women from the country have dominated the list. Out of 22 competitors who made it to the shortlist worldwide, these Nigerian women have proved their tenacity in the tech industry and shown that women can excel in STEM fields.

Founded in 2021 by inDrive, a US headquartered mobility and urban services global platform, the Award supports women entrepreneurs using technology to develop their communities, aiming to challenge gender inequality in IT.

The Aurora Tech Awards is an annual event that recognizes and celebrates outstanding women’s achievements in technology and innovation. This year’s competition has attracted entries from all over the world, with 22 competitors making it to the shortlist. The judges were impressed with the quality and diversity of the submissions but were particularly struck by the strength of the entries from Nigeria.

The seven women are Folake Owodunni and her startup Emergency Response Africa, Prencess Oti, and her startup Kaoshi Network, Cynthia Asije and her startup Craftmerce Inc, Ifedayo Durosin-Etti and her startup Herconomy Limited, Monsurah Alli Oluwafuyi and her startup HERRYDE, Olapeju Umah and her startup MyFoodAngels, and Ifeoma Nwobu and her startup Sendstack.

Other shortlisted women include;  Marie-Reine Seshie from Ghana and her startup Kola Market Inc,  Elizabeth Mwangi from Kenya and her startup Gwiji for Women, Marisa Paramita from Indonesia and her startup Ibu Punya Mimpi, Carol Kakooza from Uganda with aXiom Zorn Foundation, Carol Kakooza from Uganda with aXiom Zorn Foundation, Karina Ojanguren from Argentina and startup Humana Digital Health, Lauren Yen from USA and Fronted Records, Adila Shaukat from Pakistan and her startup Shemote,  Hira Saeed and Faiza Yousuf from Pakistan and their startup CaterpillHERs,  Sonia Majeethia from India and the Kadamb Inclusive Learning Tools,  Iva Gumnishka from Bulgaria and Humans in the Loop,  Loide Dawid from Namibia and her project K-12EdTech.Inc, Anna Ngwenyi Mafor from Cameroon and her app GreenAgain, Aggaris Anggia (Ghea) Cininta P. from Indonesia and her project GenEd, and Namya Mahajan from India and her Rocket Learning.

Winners will be announced on March 8, 2023, at an online ceremony on commemorating International Women’s Day. The winners would be awarded three cash prizes: $30,000, $20,000, and $10,000 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively.

The organizers have also announced the jury list for the 2023 edition of the Award. This year’s jury comprises past Award winners and prominent female leaders worldwide. They include Adora Nwodo, Founder, AdoraHack; Ruchika Singhal, President of Medtronic LABS; Adrienne Doolan, CEO of Green Touches; Mayra Castro, Founder of InvestAmazonia; Sahra-Josephine Hjorth, Co-founder, and CEO CanopyLAB; Ahu Serter, Founder of Arya Women’s Investment Platform, Sardana Mikheeva; VP of Operations at inDrive, Ainura Sagyn, Co-founder and CEO of Tazar; and Sadaffe Abid, Social entrepreneur leading CIRCLE

Ekaterina Smirnova, Executive Director of the Aurora Tech Award, said: “The shortlisted applicants this year demonstrate leadership and innovation in using advanced technologies to improve communities and challenge IT inequality. Our VC partners examined each application. The Aurora Tech Award draws more women IT leaders each year, many overcoming significant obstacles to better their communities. The inDrive team is passionate about female equality in IT, and this year’s Award honors these remarkable founders and provides cash prizes to help them achieve their goals.”

Know More About Aurora Tech Award: Aurora Tech Award is a non-profit initiative of inDrive, a global mobility and urban services platform. Today, inDrive is available in more than 700 cities in 47 countries on five continents and ranks second in the world among mobility services in terms of downloads monthly on Play Store and App Store, with a total of more than 150 million downloads. In addition to ride-hailing services, inDrive offers other mobility services, such as intercity transport and freight. inDrive is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with regional hubs in the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the CIS countries, employing more than 2,700 people.

The Aurora Tech Award is for women tech startup founders whose projects have profoundly impacted global development. The objective is to support women in advanced technologies, especially women entrepreneurs.

About the Aurora Tech Award 2023 shortlist:

1 – Folake Owodunni from Nigeria and her startup Emergency Response Africa, a network of First Responders, emergency vehicles, and hospitals, connecting people urgently needing help using technology.

2 -Prencess Oti from Nigeria and her startup Kaoshi Network, a marketplace to connect Africans at home and abroad to enable them to meet their financial obligations.

3 – Cynthia Asije from Nigeria and her startup Craftmerce Inc, a marketplace that connects small and medium-sized producers and artisans from Africa with retailers and business owners from Europe and North America.

4 -Ifedayo Durosin-Etti from Nigeria and her startup Herconomy Limited – a community empowering women to be financially independent.

5 – Monsurah Alli Oluwafuyi from Nigeria and HERRYDE, a ride-hailing service where women drive women.

6 – Olapeju Umah from Nigeria and her startup MyFoodAngels, a marketplace connecting farmers and consumers.

7 – Ifeoma Nwobu from Nigeria and her startup Sendstack,  digital logistics infrastructure for African businesses.

8 – Marie-Reine Seshie from Ghana and her startup Kola Market Inc., a product that drives sustained growth for Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially women-owned SMEs in Ghana and beyond.

9 – Elizabeth Mwangi from Kenya and her startup Gwiji for Women, connecting cleaners living in the slums of Nairobi with their clients.

10 – Marisa Paramita from Indonesia and her startup Ibu Punya Mimpi, a web platform with online education and job opportunities for mothers in Indonesia and beyond.

11 – Carol Kakooza from Uganda with aXiom Zorn Foundation, connecting farmers with business and financial services in Uganda.

12 -Karina Ojanguren from Argentina and startup Humana Digital Health, virtual family doctor.

13- Aira Mongush from Tyva (Russia) and her startup Mathshub, an ed-tech project with free fundamental programming and data analysis skills for everyone and personalized career programs.

14 – Lauren Yen from USA and Fronted Records, customizable health applications to empower underserved clinics.

15 – Adila Shaukat from Pakistan and her startup Shemote, a project supporting women working from home with training and consultancy.

16 – Hira Saeed and Faiza Yousuf from Pakistan and their startup CaterpillHERs, an ed-tech training project and job marketplace.

17 –  Sonia Majeethia from India and the Kadamb Inclusive Learning Tools, a web platform that provides comprehensive guides focusing on enabling students with learning disabilities to study independently.

18 – Iva Gumnishka from Bulgaria and Humans in the Loop, data annotation services for computer vision.

19 – Loide Dawid from Namibia and her project K-12EdTech.Inc, an app that enables education in the metaverse.

20-Anna Ngwenyi Mafor from Cameroon and her app GreenAgain, increasing farmers’ crop productivity by diagnosing diseases in plants that are difficult to diagnose physically or manually.

21- Aggaris Anggia (Ghea) Cininta P. from Indonesia and her project GenEd, an education-based solution focusing on empowering educators.

22- Namya Mahajan from India and her Rocket Learning, digital teacher-parent communities.

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