As a way of bridging the gender digital gap in an unprecedented manner, a non-profit organization, Tech4Dev is to train 7200 young women across 12 states in Nigeria under an initiative known as Nigerian Women Techsters .
Announcing this at a press conference in Akure, the programme manager of the Nigerian Women Techsters Initiative, Peace Odili said the programme partly funded by Microsoft, will train 7,200 women between ages of 18-40 on coding skills across 12 states in Nigeria over a 3-year period.
She revealed that training sessions would take place both virtually over the week, with participant taking online courses in entrepreneurship and change making, and physical training sessions over the weekend facilitated by professionals in the ICT industry.
"Tech4Dev with support from Microsoft is partnering the Office of the First Ladies, State Ministries of Women Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs across the 12 States in Nigeria with high female – male parity within the technology sector, to establish the Nigerian Women Techsters Initiative."
"The beneficiary states are: Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo, Edo, Kogi, Kwara, Abia, Imo, Rivers, Kano, Kaduna and Kebbi states."
She said the organization recently trained about 200 youths including 70 ladies in Lagos and Ondo States on digital literacy, especially coding and analytical skills, exposing them to available employment and entrepreneurship opportunities within the technology industry.
She said any interested young woman should fill the application on www.nigerianwomentechsters.org with the first cohort scheduled for Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo states.
Executive Director of Tech4Dev, Joel Ogunsola said his group is a social enterprise non-profit focused on solving the world’s greatest problems through technology with primary focus on public health, civic engagement and education.
Ogunsola said the Nigerian Women Techsters Initiative was conceived to help solve the growing problem of unemployment that has continued to plague youths, especially young women in underserved communities.
"Our goal is to empower young women with technical skills in web and mobile software development, embedded systems development and games development."
Representative of Microsoft Nigeria, Olusola Amusan said the organization is supporting the intitiative to bridge the gender gap.
He expressed hope that the initative will help empower families who would benefit from programme and commended wife of the Ondo state governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu for her support and interest in the future of the girl child.
"We are proud be with this initiative and will support it all through the three years life span"
Chairperson of the Advisory Board of the Nigerian Women Techsters Initiative and wife of Ondo state governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu expressed exictment and commitment to programme which she described as timely.
She said empowering young girls on ICT is a sure way to give them a better future and solve the nation’s numerous problems.
"This is one programme we will support in Ondo state because we are committed to bridging the digital divide through empowerment of the girl child"