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15-year-old envoy urges Nigerian govt to invest in tech education for girls

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The ceremonial Ambassador of Sweden to Nigeria, Miss Mercy Chrimon, has charged the Nigerian government to invest in girl-child education especially in the area of technical and digital literacy.

She made the call during a hybrid (online and in person) forum at the Swedish embassy when she assumed ceremonial duties as ambassador of the mission for a day at the Swedish mission’s office in Abuja in commemoration of the October 11 International Day of the Girl (IDG) 2021.

“Digital literacy will help us to improve our writing, reading, listening, and speaking skills,” Mercy, the fifteen-year-old primary six pupil of OakBridge Foundation, said in a statement by Plan International Nigeria.

She added: “Through the internet we can learn, connect with other girls around the world, express our thoughts and talents, have fun and discover new things.

“False information makes us doubt ourselves and our worth. False information harms our mental health. It affects our trust in politics and politicians. And most of all? It stops us achieving our ambition.”

Mercy emphasised that girls needed the access, knowledge and skills to be online with confidence, to find information, and create and share content.

Earlier in his remarks, the ambassador of Sweden to Nigeria, Mr. Micheal Grans said digital literacy and access remain major challenges for girls and the gap between men and women in tech was wide.

He noted that it was “important that women and girls have the same rights online” and while issues like online bullying and harassment was not gender specific, girls have been seen to be more targeted than boys.

The Continental reports that the United Nations declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl in 2012 to highlight challenges faced by girls and encourage public discourse on how to address them.

This year’s event was organised by Plan International Nigeria and the Embassy of Sweden in partnership with the TecHer Foundation ahead of October 11. The theme of this year’s IDG is: “digital generation, our generation.”

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