A six-month mentorship program for tech skills has been launched by TechHer and Plan International Nigeria for secondary school students in Abuja.
The initiative, which began in July 2022 and will end in December 2022, carries on the work that has been done under the supervision of both organizations to support the advancement of girls and women in non-traditional fields like Science, Technology, and Engineering.
TechHer's Executive Director, Chioma Agwuegbo, described the partnership as one that represented a shared vision for giving women and girls access to skills and opportunities for both personal and economic growth in a statement on Tuesday.
The initiative, according to the group, aimed to spark interest in girls' STEM careers and lay the groundwork for their success, especially by exposing them to early career opportunities in technology.
"Tech continues to transform human endeavors, and the COVID19 pandemic served as a sobering reminder that increasing digital literacy, penetration, and adoption are essential for societies to advance. Unfortunately, inequalities remain, and women and girls have yet to benefit from or equitably integrate into the opportunities that technology provides.
“Amongst Nigeria’s 18.5 million out-of-school children—the highest in the world, 60% are girls." These are problematic figures, especially as the number has risen exponentially instead of decreasing.
“The gap in this area continues to widen, and we must deliberately close it by supporting more girls and women to grow their information and communication technology skills and be prepared for the job market."
“This partnership with Plan International Nigeria presents an excellent opportunity to remedy the educational gap amongst Nigeria’s teeming youth population, especially amongst women and girls, whom we must equip with digital skills to thrive with their global counterparts.
“We’re grateful to Plan International, with whom we share a long history of providing pathways for more young Nigerians to access tech skills, compete globally and contribute to national development,” she said.
The Country Director of Plan International Nigeria, Mr. Charles Usie, spoke on reducing gender inequalities in ICT to improve women’s economic fortunes in Nigerian society.
“We are pleased to partner with TechHer on the Digistar Tech Mentorship Programme for adolescent girls in Abuja. Through our innovative and gender-based programming, we remain committed to supporting 10 million girls in Nigeria to learn, lead, decide and thrive.
Despite advances in the world today to ensure gender parity, women, especially adolescent girls, remain largely unsupported and their unique needs uncatered for, especially in technology. Women are not typically found in the world of tech.
“We, at Plan International, want a change. We believe governments at all levels, stakeholders and development partners can make this happen if it is prioritised through support for girls from their early years.
A balanced world is a fair world. Let’s support women in ICT, "he emphasised."
Students selected to participate in the mentorship programme are winners of a quiz competition organised by TechHer and Plan International to commemorate the 2022 International Day of Girls in ICT.
This was said to be TechHer’s digital literacy efforts for secondary schools in Nigeria. Upon the completion of the programme in December, certificates will be awarded to the participants.