• Monday, May 20, 2024
businessday logo


FCDO, AREAi launch project to deepen digital equity in Nigeria


The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has partnered with the Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi) on Smart Climate Awareness, Learning and Empowerment (SCALE) project to strengthen Nigeria’s digital space.

Speaking to Journalists in Abuja about the project, Gideon Olanrewaju, the chief executive officer of AREAi, said that digital transformations and the rise of remote work have made technology essential to almost every organization’s operation, adding that the digital sector’s role in the climate crisis has come under increasing scrutiny on the impact of technological environmental.

Read also: Bank of Industry, AfDB, others partner to deepen digital literacy

According to Olanrewaju, greenhouse emissions from the energy sector, which is a major enabler of Nigeria’s ICT and digital technology system, are about 34% of the total net greenhouse gas emissions of Nigeria, making it the second major contributor of GHG in the country.

He explained that ICT emissions will not be reduced without major concerted efforts that involve broad political and industrial actions and more significantly, a coordinated response that leverages informal approaches in galvanizing key actions across the whole spectrum of involvement across the ICT sector.

Read also: US envoy calls for predictable regulation to grow Nigeria’s digital economy

He said, “Evidence shows that the technology ecosystem has a growing carbon footprint and this is from greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions that stem from across all the life cycle stages of all technological processes from extraction of raw materials used for software and hardware production, various energy required for the use or operational maintenance of technology products and digital waste disposal.

“Despite concerted efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE), the Information and Communication Industry (ICT) has received little attention even though it is a significant contributor to GHG emissions. This is the underlying fact that led to the design of this intervention.

“Therefore, with funding support from the United Kingdom through the Digital Access Program of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, we are excited to announce the commissioning and launch of the SCALE for NetZero Program – SCALE stands for Smart Climate Awareness, Learning and Empowerment.”

Read also: Unified Payments Gateway licence: What it Means for Digital Economy

Olanrewaju explained that the organization aims to leverage research, public awareness, policy advocacy and capacity development to achieve the objectives of the SCALE initiative.

“We will be producing a peer-reviewed research article with the title: ‘Tech-led National Greenhouse Gas Emissions (THGE) Outlook in Nigeria’ and a Technical Report on the Situational analysis of Digital Waste Contributions and Recommendations for Net Zero Transitions in Nigeria.

In his remarks, Idongesit Udoh, Head of the UK Government’s Digital Access Program and Country Adviser said, “This intervention undoubtedly represents a novel pioneering effort to leverage evidence-based, citizens-led approaches to catalyze unprecedented progress in digital sustainability awareness and supporting the progressive use of technology in a way that is environmentally responsible, socially equitable, and economically viable.

“Hence, the UK Government is once again demonstrating timely support, not only for Nigeria’s inclusive economic development but also in building eco-friendliness within its technology ecosystem through energy-efficient technology business operations.

“Our DAP program will continue to initiate significant partnerships with local organizations to drive the UK Government’s continued support for Nigeria and its digital sector, recognizing the tech ecosystem’ role in net zero transition and sustainable development.”