Inclusion for All (I4ALL) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have decried the digital inclusion barriers faced by rural women in Nigeria’s agriculture sector.
This was disclosed at the thrust of the first edition of the I4ALL dialogue held in Lagos, which focused on ‘Digital ID for the Last Mile-Enabling Access to Digital ID For Rural Female Agricultural Workers’.
Head of I4ALL initiative, Chinasa Collins-Ogbuo, noted that uneducated women who have no access to a phone and live in hard-to-reach communities were less likely to appreciate the advantages of access to technology and information and the benefits of enrolling for National Identification Number (NIN).
In her words: “Universal access to formal identification requires an intentional focus on the most vulnerable Nigerians likely to be poor female farmers in rural communities. Thus far, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has done a great job with the momentum achieved towards the ID enrolment of Nigerians, and it must be maintained. Reaching the last mile is the most challenging part and specific and targeted approaches must be designed and implemented to reach them successfully and leave no one behind.”
Head, Capacity Development of IITA, Zaina Sore, emphasised the significance of digital identity in empowering rural women and transforming their livelihoods.
“Access to national identification as a means for greater financial inclusion is critical for women in remote rural areas. As many of them engage in different agricultural activities and trading particularly in the informal sector, it is important that we better understand their needs and challenges to tailor the services that will lead to greater inclusion and economic empowerment,” Sore said.