AN agency of the United Nations, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), is to partner the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to promote Internet connectivity in rural Nigeria.
This was disclosed at an event organised by Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN) to commemorate International Women’s Day, 2022.
The recently appointed Secretary-General of the ITU, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, stated that only a few rural parts of Africa are online, noting it is essential for women in pastoral areas to be linked to the Internet.
“We are working with Nigeria’s Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to connect Nigerian rural women. We want to make sure that every rural area in Nigeria is connected, especially for rural women that are producing most of the foods that we eat.
“We have discovered that 70 per cent of Africa’s foods are produced by rural women but only 34 per cent of them use the Internet. These women need to be connected,” she said.
Bogdan-Martin noted that farmers can use technology to monitor crops, predict weather conditions, and fight pests.
She added that collaborating with the government’s agency will enable rural women have Internet access in order to enhance their productivity.
Founder of WITIN, Martha Alade, said technology is a vital tool in the agricultural sector from the farm to the market.
Alade affirmed that WITIN will continue to aid agricultural research, provide information to include the girl child in the ICT sector by organising trainings, and also curb gender-based violence.
During the event, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, prompted farmers to use technology to improve agriculture, create employment, and boost production.
“Today, the telecommunications industry plays a crucial role in providing the requisite support for the diversification of the economy through improving the knowledge economy using ICT as an enabler. It has enhanced human capabilities in areas such as health, education, agriculture, finance, transportation, commerce, and governance,” he said.