Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation Facilitates Basic Digital Literacy For Rural Clusters in Cross River State

As the world continue to harp on the gains and merits of technological development, Cross River State benefits from the Basic Digital Literacy training for Rural Clusters.

This is part of Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030) Vision to transform the country into a leading digital economy providing a better quality of life for all Nigerians in 10 years, the UK Government, via its Prosperity Fund Digital Access Programme, signed an MOU for a training agreement with the Nigerian non-profit organisation, Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative (Tech4Dev) and Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation as Partners to conduct the Basic Digital Literacy for Rural Clusters in Cross River State aimed at Enhancing Pandemic Resilience.

The training programme had over a thousand beneficiaries who had indicated interest across the State and drawn from vulnerable people (50%), People living with disability (30%) and 20% vulnerable groups. 60% of the beneficiaries are in the age groups of 8-18 years and 45-65 years while 30% of the beneficiaries are married and 7 of every 10 are currently pursuing an educational career.

Asuquo Ekpenyong who spoke for the foundation disclosed that the focus is to get as many people as possible, especially in the rural areas to become digitally literate. “The world is fast-moving, and we must move with it. The global village is currently in its 4th Industrial Revolution – The Internet of Things and while It is true that there are gaps in Nigeria, we must work hard to bridge the gap in our competence in the 3rd revolution of Computing & Automation”

He said the Foundation deemed it necessary to support digital & IT skill training to enable our vulnerable and most at risk to develop the competence required to compete in today’s world”.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Offiong Oku a Government retiree revealed that she has gained tremendously from the program over the last 2 weeks. She lauded the Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation for facilitating the training while stating “I can now earn supplementary income to my pension all while working from home”.

Tech4development Representative, Ms Goodness Odey disclosed that digital literacy programme is aimed at sparking interest in gaining advanced digital skills or even pursuing a career in technology.

According to her, the Curriculum includes a computing device and internet usage, digital information handling, online communication, online safety, virtual collaboration and exchanges aimed at closing the digital divide, enabling inclusive digital access for all while building communities resilience to current and future pandemics for the digitally-excluded and underserved groups in Nigeria.

The program is built on a Train the Trainer curriculum to enable skills transfer at the community level to further amplify the positive multiplier effect. The major challenges identified were connectivity and access to hard & software infrastructure. The Asuquo Ekpenyong has committed to close this vacuum.

The program recorded huge successes with a current class of 300 people and a commitment by the Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation to extend the program for at least 3 other classes due to the waiting list of potential beneficiaries.

The Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation has further committed to equip the best graduating students with the softwares and hardwares required to further develop & deploy their newly learned skills.