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BoI, AfDB, others to deepen digital literacy

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The Bank of Industry (BoI), African Development Bank (AfDB), and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) have partnered to drive digital literacy in Nigeria.

Speaking on the synergy, Managing Director of BoI, Olasupo Olusi, said activities in the digital and creative sector have continued to increase, with a youthful growing population and increasing urbanisation.

Olusi said the creative and digital economy was central to the economic strategy of the government’s transformation plan.

He stated: “In recognition of the critical role of the creative sector in economic development, in 2011, the BoI created the creative and digital Group to provide tailor-made financing for projects and the success story has been enormous.

“With such recognition, there is a need for us to reposition our focus on ways to improve the activities and output from the digital and creative economic space. Such repositioning involves the introduction of a transformative initiative such as the iDICE programme.

“Opportunities like the iDICE programme continue to exist for young and vibrant entrepreneurs to start and expand their business activities, through the necessary funding, catalytic infrastructure and push for enactment of policies that will help take startup businesses to the next level.

“I am confident that if we all play our part in this programme, we would be able to support the process of creating a Nigeria that will provide decent jobs, reduce poverty and improve the standard of living for all its citizens’’.

Also, the Coordinator of Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy, AfDB Group, Tapera Jeffrey Muzira said the iDICE initiative would build the systems to support more competitive entrepreneurs powered by creativity and digital technologies.

He said the scheme would support 200 technology and creative startups, and provide financial services to 450 digital technologies to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

Muzira pointed out that this was the first time a multilateral institution development bank in its history was investing in Africa’s youth as a corporate priority in the next 10-year strategy, which would run from 2024 to 2034.

He said: “This is the first time that the bank is shifting investment priorities to young people at the centre of our corporate strategy. The iDICE programme is actually under our Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy, which has a goal to create 25 million jobs and equip youths with industry skills within 10 years”.

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