PIC, FCDO align to inaugurate community of practice for Nigeria’s digital economy
The Policy Innovation Centre (PIC) of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), on Thursday in Abuja, inaugurated a Digital Economy Community of Practice (DECoP) to drive inclusive growth and sustainable development for stakeholders in the Nigerian digital ecosystem.
The project is the culmination of its partnership with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to identify and boost the capacity of key digital players, and engender inclusive public-private sector collaboration to enable digital growth and capabilities in Nigeria.
The DECoP, which is an alliance of stakeholders in the digital economy, will be nested in the Digital Economy Policy Commission (DEPC) of the NESG, with technical support from the PIC. The DEPC drives public-private sector dialogues and interventions within the digital sector.
Since April 2022, the PIC has been progressively implementing this FCDO-funded intervention, tagged the ‘Sustainable and Inclusive Digital Transformation Project’, to create a framework for key players in the digital sector co-create strategies for digital cooperation in Nigeria that will facilitate the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020-2030.
Chief Executive Officer of the NESG, Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, said: “The growth achieved by the digital economy offers great opportunities but also poses the risk of leaving some people behind. Access to and use of digital devices and services are neither universal nor equitable with women and girls disproportionately affected, leaving the most vulnerable digitally excluded. The absence of a robust collaboration framework between the regulatory agencies, the private sector and development partners is an area within the digital sector that requires attention.
“In light of these realities, the FCDO has partnered with the PIC of the NESG to inaugurate a Community of Practice- a platform to drive continued collaboration between the public, private and development sectors and ensure the inclusivity and sustainability of a vibrant digital ecosystem in Nigeria…. The inauguration of the Digital Economy Community of Practice (DECoP) marks the culmination of consultative and collaborative work in the past year with a wide range of stakeholders.”
Executive Director of the PIC, Dr. Osasuyi Dirisu, emphasised the importance of bridging the digital divide through cross-sectoral collaborations amongst digital stakeholders. She said: “At the PIC, we prioritise inclusivity and diversity, hence our partnership with the FCDO to implement this project. Without focused collaboration amongst stakeholders, the unintended consequences of digital economy growth will be the widening of existing income gaps, exacerbation of inequalities and deepening poverty. We firmly believe the DECoP will support an enabling environment for innovation, digital inclusion and expansion of the digital economy in critical sectors.”