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Nigeria ICT initiatives aim to empower women

omobolajohnson

Nigeria’s ministry of communication technology has unveiled a new set of initiatives aimed at empowering women and girls in the ICT sector.

Initiatives planned to boost the representation of women in the sector include ‘Smart Women Nigeria’, ‘1,000 Girls in ICT’ and the ‘ICT Girls Clubs’.

According to ICT minister, Omobola Johnson, the various initiatives are geared towards educating, empowering, developing and making women and girls “ICT savvy”.

According to the minister, two of the initiatives, the Smart Women Nigeria and the 1,000 Girls ICT training programme are planned to be launched on Monday, while the ICT Girls Clubs is expected to be launched in January 2014.

“The aim of these clubs is to help to bridge the existing digital divide between boys and girls and remove the barriers that discourage girls from embracing ICTs. The goal is to ensure that more girls embrace and adopt careers in ICTs. The clubs will teach animation, website development, blogging, software development, graphics design, games, computer programming among other," Johnson said.

Smart Women Nigeria, developed by the United States-based social enterprise, ChangeCorp, is to be launched in collaboration with women’s empowerment group, WIMBIZ.

The initiative, according to Johnson, seeks to promote the development of women in Nigeria by harnessing the power of mobile communication tools provided by ICTs.

She said the Smart Women initiative would target women in a range of income brackets. The programme will offer them learning in communication skills, banking, financial, health, and family work/life balance issues.

Set to be launched in collaboration with Huawei, the 1,000 Girls in ICT initiative aims to equip 1,000 girls with crucial ICT skills necessary for empowerment and development of the girls.

Over three days, the girls will be trained in telecommunication networks, transmission network and GSM, LTE, WCDMA and other ICT skills.

According to the minister, upon completion of the first phase, the top 200 students based on performance will be given further training to become Huawei-Certified Network Associates.

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