UK ’s new devt plan targets over one million Nigerians for digital skills in three years

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The United Kingdom, UK has announced that its White Paper on International Development, tagged Digital Development Strategy, DDS is focused on providing digital skills to over one million Nigerian beneficiaries in the next two to three years, even as it will actively play huge roles in the development of the Nigerian digital transformation agenda.

This is besides the millions of Nigerians, including women and girls and People With Disabilities, PWDs the Kingdom has already benefitted through various Digital Skills Projects.

Announcing the plan at the residence of the Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos during a workshop with technology journalists, UK  High Commission, through its different Heads of department said Nigeria is its prime market and having spent 80 years in Nigeria, it would be a disservice if it does not transfer to Nigeria the technologies that made it number one in Europe and third in the world in technological development.

tthe High Commission also revealed that Nigeria and UK scooped a whopping  seven billion pounds in business transactions, just last year alone, buttressing the point that the country was central to its development agenda.

UK’s Digital Access Programme Adviser &Country Lead, Mr Idongesit Udoh said that in the next two to three years, UK is looking at applying the principles of its DDS white paper to deliver digital dividends in Nigeria.

He said: “The UK’s Digital Development Strategy is a deliverable of the UK’s White Paper on International Development, and the strategy is the UK’s overarching plan on digital development. However, the Digital Access Programme, DAP is the established programme that demonstrates UK’s integrated approach to digital development, now incapsulated in the new UK’s Digital Development Strategy.

“In Nigeria, the DAP will continue to deliver the interconnected objectives of the DDS and through its key priority areas, including four interconnected objectives : Digital Transformation which catalyses the economy, government, and society through digital technologies; Digital Inclusion which ensures that no-one is left behind in a digital world; Digital Responsibility which enables a safe, secure, and resilient digital environment and Digital Sustainability which harnesses digital technologies in support of our climate change and environmental aims.

“The DDS will deliver on these four  top priorities, through a combination of policy and programming work, including Last-mile Connectivity, dealing with basic connectivity in remote, low-income areas to ensure that the most marginalised can benefit from digital technologies.

“We will also dwell on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI)for society-wide digital services, such as e-government and national payment systems, to enable digital transformation of both government and the private sector.

” Another area is the Artificial intelligence, which ensures rapid evolution of AI presents both opportunities and risks, eliminating the risks which can see some countries left behind due to their weaker digital foundations.

 We will also push to eliminate the gender digital divide which limits women and girls’ ability to benefit from digital development” he added.

The new UK’s Digital Development Strategy (DDS) was launched by the UK Government on 18th March 2024.  It sets out the UK Government’s plan to work with selected partner countries including Nigeria for an inclusive, responsible, and sustainable digital future and to support digital transformation that accelerates development and manage emerging risks for the next seven years.

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