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The Centre for Information Technology and Development with support of Lenovo Foundation had on
the 23 rd of June, 2022 organized a One Day Round Table Forum on the Challenges of Seeding and
Nurturing Creativity and Innovation among young Women in Northern Nigeria at Hall B, CITAD. The
Discussion which was chaired by Professor Asabe Sadiya Muhammad, Provost, Aminu Sale College of
Education, Azare had Dr. Sana Muaz of the Department of Software Engineering, Bayero University,
Kano, Aliyu D. Aliyu, an Independent Consultant and Malama Aisha Bako, Managing Director/Chief
Executive Officer, Onyx Investment Advisory Limited, Abuja as the panellists. The discussion is part of
the Centre’s project titled Digital Creativity and Innovation for Girls (DICIG) that will work towards
empowering girls to have access to digital skills in order to address the gender digital divide in
Northern Nigeria with aim to: Provide digital skills training for 200 girls (100 per year), to produce 80
digital entrepreneurs (40 per year) and create 160 new digital jobs for girls (80 per year)
Selected participants were: girls between the ages of 18-30 who have a minimum secondary school
education and are from Bauchi, Gombe and Kano States in addition to having an interest in building
and running their business.
Giving an update of the project at the forum, the program officer of the project, Engineer
Kamaluddeen Umar said the three main objectives of the project are to: Provide digital skills training
for 200 girls (100 per year), to produce 80 digital entrepreneurs (40 per year), and create 160 new
digital jobs for girls (80 per year). Speaking about how the project will be conducted, Engineer
Kamaluddeen stated that the program will be conducted on phases. The phase one of the project
will be on the Basis Digital skills which will last for one month and it is expected that the participants
will undergo a 20-hour basic digital literary consisting of Introduction to Windows, Microsoft word,
Excel, PowerPoint and internet application while the phase two of the project will concentrate on
advance Digital Skills which will also last for another one month. Participants at this stage will
undergo another 30-hour module of advance digital skills. The phase three of the project will look at
business ideation which will take participants two months. He went further to state that the phase
four and five of project will give the participants the opportunities to learn business development
support services and Transition to market.
At the end, he mentioned that a second level of selection will be conducted at the end of the digital
basic skills training where participants will be selected based on the followings: performance at the
digital skills training phase, interest to continue and preparation and submission of a business idea.
Speaking at the panel of discussion, one of the panelists, Aliyu D. Aliyu, an Independent Consultant
started by lamenting that there are a lot of challenges with regards to socio- economic and cultural
role in society, he went further to say that over 70% of businesses in the country are controlled and
owned by men and there are small number of women role models in the society which is affecting
the development and creativity of young women in the society.
Speaking about problems solving, Mr. Aliyu stated that women are very creative and good problems
solvers, all the young women needed now is thinking outside the box. He mentioned that to be
successful nowadays one has to be creative using digital devices, get inspired by others and have a
mentor. Mr. Dahiru said getting a mentor will help one to realize his dreams and bring out his

creativity. Citing an example at the discussion, the speaker said there are a lot of young women who
are making huge amount of money by using their talents and creativity online; what one needs is
just to sit and think outside the box and come up with new innovation.
Advising the young women at the forum, Mr. Dahiru said young women need to use their time in a
way that will better their lives, use social media in an effective and rewarding way, set their priorities
and know how to achieve them. He also advised that in doing business one needs to know that what
matter most is herself only, think of the way to get grant and create a great business.
Also speaking at the forum, Dr. Sana Muaz of the Department of Software Engineering, Bayero
University, Kano started by narrating about her own life, Dr. Sana said she grew up in an area where
girls are given less priority and attention. Dr. Sana also said that she met with many obstacles while
growing up but passion and zeal to excel made her to keep going. Speaking about the importance of
ICT, Dr. Sana stated that for women to be economically independent they need to embrace ICT, and
for this to happen young girls need to be nurtured. Discussing on starting new and innovative
business by young women in the society, Dr. Muaz said starting a new business is not the challenge
but how to sustain it and bring good vision into it. She stated that the issue of competition needs to
be looked at; young entrepreneurs needs to be creative and innovative in starting their businesses,
don’t just go into business because others are making profit out of it, create your own brand. She
added
Advising the young girls at the forum, Dr. Sana said this society is a male dominated society but
women need to work hard to penetrate into it, however, in trying to penetrate, she advised the
participants not lose their women self because one day they will be role model to other women. Do
not be discouraged by failure and what people will say about you, focus on what you believe is good
and work tirelessly towards its success.
In her contribution, Malama Aisha Bako started by lamenting that most of the apps being created
are being developed by men which made the applications to be women biased and not addressing
most of the women needs. By this Malama Aisha said women need to be involving themselves and
equip themselves with better ICT knowledge in order to compete in this competitive world. She
went further to say women can make a lot of money on social media if they utilize the platforms well
instead of creating nuisance and making the platforms for chatting and fun. According to her,
platforms like TikTok and Instagram are paying and bring huge amount of money to those that know
how to use them well. Speaking further, Malama Aisha said there are many young women who are
selling their products using technology tools. Giving an example, Malama Aisha mentioned that she
knows of a woman that is selling tomatoes in a modernized way, where she package it in a crate to
send it to her customers in Lagos and the products are being purchased on social media page she
created.
Closing the discussion, the chairperson of the forum, Professor Asabe S. Mohammed commended
CITAD for coming up with this initiative, she stated that even though this is not the first time CITAD is
organizing this kind of program but this one is unique looking at the approach of the program and
the different components its contains. She went further to state that nurturing young girls and
women is key to the development of women nowadays and this particular one is timely looking at
how young women are being abandoned in the society. At the end she urged the participants to
seize the opportunity and the challenge thrown at them to better their lives and the society at large.

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