Special agency to empower 60,000 Nigerian women, girls in ICT

Education is the best investment for any nation, especially to encourage girls to go to school as staying in school is a fundamental factor for success.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Regional Director, Professor Hassan Alidou, said educating women and the girl-child in ICT would have positive impact on national development.

Alidou said this on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, at the inauguration of National Monitoring and Evaluation Committee and Training of Non Formal Education Facilitators in Abuja.

With the theme: "Empowerment of girls and women in literacy and skills development through the use of ICT's in Nigeria," she said the role of UNESCO wants to increase literacy among girls and women to accelerate national development.

She further added that the project was aimed at providing 60,000 Nigerian girls and women with basic literacy and life skills.

According to Alidou, the ultimate beneficiaries of the project are girls and young women who cannot read or write because they did not attend school.

The regional director said strategies had been put in place to reach out to the female gender in the semi-urban low performing junior secondary schools and that Rivers and FCT had been selected as pilot areas.

"Literacy is an ongoing skill, every time you have a new technology it means that you have new literacy skills to acquire so I will like to say that UNESCO is pleased with Nigeria," she said.

"We are partnering with the Federal, State and Local Governments but also as you can see we also have private sector like to really address the issue of illiteracy, particularly among girls and women.

"And in that respect, we really thank our partners, Procter and Gamble, for bringing up to one million U.S. Dollars so that we can have over three years’ projects to empower girls and women in the FCT and Rivers State," Alidou added.

Speaking on the partnership between the agency and its sponsor for the initiative, Alidou said: "The partnership between UNESCO and Procter and Gamble, manufacturer of sanitary towel, will go a long way to ensure that girls are given every opportunity to succeed in life."

She added: "Education is the best investment for any nation, especially to encourage girls to go to school as staying in school is a fundamental factor for success. Education is key to individual opportunity, national growth and dignity of self-reliance."

Alidou also said increased female education would both empower individual women and contribute to improving the well-being of their children and transform the society.

She added that it would also provide convenient gateway for improving knowledge, thereby eliminating illiteracy among women and the girl-child in the country.

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