Is there a gender gap in the Nigerian tech space? Like in terms of the number of girls per guys ratio that are actively participating in technology? Your guess is as good as mine. I believe there is. However, in Ondo State, SeedDeV is partnering with the office of the First Lady and some other relevant stakeholders to bridge the gap and empower the girl child in the use of ICT in the digital age.
On Monday, 31 July 2017, the Ondo State girl child ICT programme was inaugurated at the Public Service Training Institute, Ilara Mokin, Ondo State. The initiative aims to train 100 secondary school girls around Akure in the basic knowledge of software development. The event had top government functionaries in attendance.
While speaking at the event, the Ondo state first lady, Betty Ayanwu-Akeredolu explains that the programme is geared towards encouraging Young women in the state to pursue education in the fields of Science, technology, engineering and Maths). She argues that this is Important in equipping them with the necessary skills to broaden their horizon and place them in strategically important places in the world.
“…Our girls must be included in the ICT driven world; they must not be left behind. We must not relent in finding ways to address the gender bias and improve the degree of interactions the girl child of Ondo State has with computers”
– Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu.
The first lady expressed optimism that participants in the programme will be equipped with the relevant skills to spark up interest in technology that will help them participate favourably in the national and global dialogue.
“Together we must ensure that women’s participation in innovation is not an exception, but the norm of life and work”
In the same vein, Mr Temitope Runsewe, a consultant with SAO Capital- the company partnering with the office of Her Excellency and SeedDEV – emphasised the importance of ICT towards achieving sustainable development. He added that when a woman is empowered, both the present and future generation are empowered.
During the period of the summer ICT programme for girls, 100 girls drawn from about 25 government secondary schools in Ondo State will be trained for four weeks in basic software development topics, graphics design, vocational training and different levels of computer appreciation.
This landmark initiative comes at no cost to the participants, as their upkeep, tuition and other expenses have been covered by the First Lady in partnership with BEMORE Empowered Foundation and SAO Capitals, as well as some corporate organisations.