Nigerian women, especially the young ones, have been urged to prioritise technology education, as the future relies on it. This advice was given in Lagos at the weekend, at the Public Presentation of Chris Uwaje WIN-Stem Award. The award was conducted in partnership with the Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN), and three young ladies were awarded for their technological skills.
Themed: “Empowering the Girl-Child with Tech Innovation,” the Chairman of the event, Senior lecturer, Department of Computer Science, University of Lagos, Dr. Roselyn Isimeto, said information technology solves problems in all economic domains. Isimeto said women must work hard and smart, and leverage various technology platforms to breakthrough and rise up the ladder.
The University of Lagos lecturer, who said ICT is the new ‘blood money’, asked parents to buy laptops for their children. She stressed that Nigeria is far behind when it comes to technology advancements. She stressed that it is no more Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), but STEAM with ‘A’ representing Art. As such, she encouraged the female folks to see IT as a ladder to the top.
Keynote Speaker, Dr. Chris Uwaje, who the award was named after, said the award was created to encourage and win the girl-child on the side of STEM. He added that the greatest gift to a girl-child is the gift of scientific knowledge, technology and innovation, which he said will increase their access to quality education and development in a world that is fast becoming digital.
He warned that lack of exposure or inadequate knowledge of ICT would not stand the girl-child in a good stead to compete favourably with her boy-child counterpart. Uwaje, who is a father to three female technology enthusiasts, also commended tech- women groups such as WITIN, PAWO for championing the campaign for empowering the girl-child in STEM education.
According to him, “we applaud Tech-women groups such as WITIN, PAWO and numerous other advocacy platforms for African women in tech innovation. “They have continued to advance their mission critical strategies to navigate and overcome the impediments hindering the sustainable development and innovative ambitions to engage and win the emerging tech Olympiad.
“As the battle to break down the barriers of gender disparity in Africa continues, programmes such as WIN-STEM are established to offer tech-mentorship and investment which are crucial to our national development and sustainability.
Giving more insights, the President, WITIN, Mrs. Martha Alade, whose organisation coordinated the award, said the three awardees were selected after a rigorous selection process that saw over 100 entries coming in from all nooks and crannies of the federation. Alade said the winners were selected in three categories with Sulaimon Mariam emerging as 1st prize winner, while Thompson Alero followed as 1st runner up and Samuel Tolulope as 2nd runner up. She said the programme was part of activities to mark the 2021 International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which is part of the global #HeforShe Movement.