Onitsha women group under the aegis of Onitcha Leadership and Entrepreneurship Centre (OLEC) in collaboration with the Ado Business Incubation Centre (ABIC) have planned 5,000 micro and small businesses empowerment for the youths and women in the community.
This is through e-commerce and mobile technology for over the next five years to enable the women and youths who are currently buying and selling products and services to migrate their businesses online and expand their reach and market through the new project initiative.
To achieve the objective, the group organised a seminar tagged ‘Promoting Gender Equality through Digital Literacy’ in Onitsha, Anambra State on Friday.
“Our goals are to promote life-long learning among women and youth, increase digital awareness
and skills development, and enhance women’s standard of living through education that leverages technology to enable commerce and trade,” they said.
According to the group, OLEC functions under the framework of Onicha-Ado Advancement Foundation (OnAF) and was set up in August 2020 by the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, as an economic empowerment initiative in the aftermath of the Onicha Community Covid-19 Response Team Intervention.
Presenting her speech, one of the panelists, Antoinette Okaka, a professor, explained that digital technology was essential for the empowerment of women and girls to enable them access technology leading to their acquisition of skills and entrepreneurial advancement.
She said that women’s digital equality entails sensitising the girl Child to take up Science Engineering and Technology (STEM) programs/courses during their education.
The university lecturer, quoting from Wikipedia, said that Gender Equality of sexes is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender including economic participation and decision-making, and state of valuing different behaviours including aspirations and needs equally regardless of gender.
“For women and teenagers to achieve digital gender equality, they have to acquire mobile phones, be able to recharge their phones easily and exposing them to digital training and education,” Okaka said.
She revealed that less than 25percent of Nigerian women are involved in digital technology programs, stating that governments, businesses and academic institutions must work together to create systems and infrastructures needed to facilitate social and economic digital mobility.
In her vote of thanks, the event management, Enyi Thelma Chiwuzie poured accolades on the panelists for educating the audience, disclosing that participants would go home happily.
She also commended the organizers and equally Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, noting that the seminar was a successful one and it would encourage the monarch to continue to support them more.
Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe was represented by Emingi Oberi Iboja, Anionwu Osita and Ike Akata.