Lagos State Government, yesterday, urged women to embrace technology and its digital tools for personal growth and business development. The state’s Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Co-operatives, Dr. Lola Akande, gave the charge at an event entitled: “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality,” organised by NECA Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW) to mark the International Women’s Day, in collaboration with International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria and supported by ActionAid Canada in Lagos.
Akande emphasised that the use of technology and innovation would play a part in responding to multiple and overlapping crises of cost of living, toll of conflict and the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic.
According to her, technology will increase the net worth of women in business and networking among them, as well as strengthen productivity and profitability.
She said that the state government had provided economic stimulus packages and incentives, which include but not limited to installation of the first phase 3,000km of 6,000km fibre optic across the state to assist micro, small and medium enterprises, whose operations depend on fast Internet network to drive businesses for economic development, export and promotion of non-oil products.
President of NECCA Network of Entrepreneurial Women, (NNEW), Mrs. Funmilayo Arowoogun, said if women digitise their businesses, they would gain higher outcomes, patronage and productivity.
She, therefore, called on governments to provide Internet infrastructure that is cheap and easy for women and girls to access towards enhancing their living standard.
The Keynote Speaker, Mrs. Nozipho Sibanda, told the gathering that technology is the equaliser needed to break disparity and inequality in today’s world, noting that many women are financially independent because they embrace technology and its tools.
Earlier, Director-General of NECA, Mr. Adewale Oyerinde, represented by Thompson Akpabio, appreciated the resilience of women and their ability to play actively in almost all fields of endeavour, adding that being a woman is never a disadvantage. Oyerinde, therefore, advised women to embrace self-education, market place education, enjoy being a woman and stand out.