In Nigeria, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has highlighted the need for improved connectivity in the country’s rural communities, emphasising that it is already collaborating with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
ITU said improved Internet connectivity has become crucial in the subsequent development phase in Nigeria and other parts of the continent.
Just elected Secretary-General of the Union, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, disclosed this recently and said only 50 per cent of rural communities in Africa are connected, hence the need to work with the governments to bridge the connectivity gap.
Bogdan-Martin said the partnership with the Nigerian government would ensure that more women in rural areas can access the Internet. According to her, when more rural women have access to the Internet, their productivity will grow.
Addressing members at an event organised by Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN) to mark the 2022 International Women’s Day, Bogdan-Martin said rural women in Africa play a critical role in food production and need to be connected to the Internet to enhance their productivity.
“We are working with Nigeria’s Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to connect rural Nigerian women. We want to ensure that every rural area in Nigeria is connected, particularly for rural women producing most of the foods we eat.
“We have discovered that rural women produce 70 per cent of Africa’s foods, but only 34 per cent of them use the Internet. These women need to be connected. Technology can help farmers monitor crops, predict weather conditions, and combat agricultural pests. This is the area we are working with Nigeria to bridge the connectivity gap in rural areas,” she said.
Also speaking at the event, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the executive vice chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), urged rural women and farmers to leverage technology to boost food production.