By Princess-Ekwi Ajide, Abuja
The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy Abuja has launched a three-month Technology Entrepreneurship Programme, Mobile Application Building, for in- school and out of school girls.
The global technology entrepreneurship programme-Technovation for young women and girls between the ages of eight and eighteen years, is designed to infuse curiosity and bridge the gender gap in technology with the quest to inspire more girls to pursue study and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics or STEAM.
The Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer, U.S embassy, Peter Burba, said the programme has been in existence since 2013 and will assist young girls learn skills that will help them later in life.
He noted that the world is becoming technology driven and women are lagging behind hence the need to educate the women who are often under represented adding that at the end of the programme, the participants will have better opportunity to create employment for fellow young people in Nigeria.
The Technovation Northern Ambassador, Engineer Stella Uzochukwu, gave insight into the programme which she said provides challenge based technology and engineering education for undeserved children to create peace, solve problems in health, education, environment among others.
According to her, the programme is in three categories – beginners for eight to twelve years, Junior for ages thirteen to fifteen while the senior category is for those aged sixteen to eighteen and they are all expected to identify a problem in society to solve, using technology.
For a technovation alumni, Mariam Bello, though she did not win the competition, she learnt a lot and hopes to use it to fight cybersecurity, get rid of unemployment, poverty and crime in Nigeria as well as be a mentor to other girls.
Some participants, Paula Onuoha, and Chioma Obiora are looking forward to building their capacities and assisting in building resilient communities.
It is an intensive 50-hour duration program where teams of young girls work together to imagine, design, and develop mobile app solutions to problems affecting their local communities in line with the Social Development Goals, SDDs, which will thereafter be pitched as “start-up” businesses to investors.