Ondo State First Lady and the Quest for a Digitally Driven Society

Digital Mama!

This is the lovely title that greets the mention of her name among digital circles in Ondo State.

Few months back, we published an article that emphasized the importance of the tripod of Government, innovators and the people in building a thriving ecosystem. The Ondo State First Lady, Mrs. Betty Ayanwu-Akeredolu has used the platform of her office to demonstrate this reality since her husband, Rotimi Akeredolu became the Governor of the state. She has brought together the people, coordinated strategic efforts with the government , corporate bodies and innovators to inspire the next generation of excellent techies.

The AkureTechUp Community ( A thriving community of techpreneurs in the Akure cluster) has consistently emphasized the goal to Akure the go-to area for innovative solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2025. The fact that the city is arguably a connecting point for major areas in the country(From the North to the South and even the Eastern part of the country), the closeness to the economic capital;Lagos and the proximity to a local manpower from tertiary students in the Southwest ( FUTA and LAUTECH are worthy of note) strengthens the possibility of achieving this goal.

Hence, to have a reliable support in the Government House in person of the First Lady, is a big step towards providing a platform that can be leveraged to build a tech cluster that can produce globally relevant tech solutions. Already, we have PlanetNest doing great things in terms of globally relevant solutions and its SeedDev programme training over 3000 rural kids in the basics of software development, FourthCanvas is on a realistic journey towards achieving a global disrupt in the visual communications sector, Prunedge is taking the lead in developing enterprise solutions for major brands across the country, Popstand.com and a whole lot of innovative companies are creating excellent narratives for tech community in Ondo State.

Zumalo was at the signing of the MOU by the Ondo State government, the Federal University of Technology,Akure (FUTA) and the AkureTechUp community to build a TechHub in Akure, which according to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu will be the first of  many of such projects in the state; and the Governor was quick to mention that right from his first attempt to be Governor, his wife has been at the forefront of making sure that a TechHub is built as part of the socio-economic development programmes of his administration. It did not happen at his first attempt and immediately he became governor, she reminded him again and that he believes technology is a worthy tool to achieve the sustainable growth and development of the state.

Joel Ogunsola and Aboluwarin Kitan-David
Joel Ogunsola and Aboluwarin Kitan-David (AkureTechUp) signing the MOU

It needs to be stressed again, the Tech community has a reliable partner in the Ondo State Government house, our Digital Mama.

Recently, the First Lady, Mrs. Akeredolu in partnership with SeedDEV, SAO Capitals, BEMORE Empowered Foundation and a host of other corporate partners organized a four weeks ICT summer camp training for 100 girls drawn from different schools in Ondo State. The girls were tutored in the basics of software development to spark up their interests in the areas of science and technology. The girls went home with a Tablet PC each at the end of the training and the needed knowledge to engender an informed career in ICT.

First Lady and some of the girls at the ICT summer training camp.
First Lady and some of the girls at the ICT summer training camp.

 

Few days after the end of the Summer ICT Camps, the digital mama was at work again at the closing ceremony of the of the solar4girls Naija training at Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, Ondo State. According to the first Lady, the training which she organised in partnership with Ashadam Solar Limited is aimed at :

“… the solar4girls Naija initiative is borne out of the need to educate young girls on ICT with a view to enhancing their future development.The main objective of educating girls by building solar panels is to bridge the gap between men and women in solar energy sector, with the mission to promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the solar energy industry…The training our girls got from this programme on renewable energy and climate change will have ripple effects on our great nation and help in reducing our fossil fuel dependence”.

Over 100 girls who participated in the training were given certificates and solar lamps at the end of the training; a student of Stella Maris College, Okitipupa Tolu Emosan emerged the overall best student after the training.

The First Lady, Mrs. Akeredolu is not done.

Video Credit: ITV News

According to her, the next step is to to establish a Digital Academy in the state to train boys, girls and mothers on Information Communication Technology (ICT). The first lady emphasised that she aims to bridge the gap and help increase access to quality education in the rural areas. The plan is to have digital schools that will connect credible tutors from around the country with students in rural areas, hence allowing them to access the best of education beyond the barrier of urbanization. So not only is our first lady concerned about training the next generation of tech and science enthusiasts, she is also fully committed to deploying innovative tech solutions to solve the various socio-economic problems plaguing the state.

 

Opeyemi Olugbemiro

Your tech story amazes me. When you think of a tech innovation that makes life better, you’ve caught my attention. #SerialOptimist

Contact: ogbemiro@xumalo.com

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