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APWEN boosts female engineers, STEM teachers capacity

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Chairman, Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Lagos State Chapter, Mary Afolayan (left); President, APWEN Funlola Ojelade; former President, Felicia Agubata and Secretary, Ngozi Egbeinyon during a courtesy visit to the corporate headquarters of The Guardian in Lagos PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

In its desire to promote diversity and girl child education, female engineers have launched a new scheme known as ‘She Engineer Invent It, Build It’ project.

The project is being championed by the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) through a partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE), United Kingdom.

The ‘She Engineer Invent It, Build It’ project is a capacity building programme for female engineers, Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) teachers and public secondary school girls in JSS1 and II in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The UK government is managing the grant awarded by RAE under its Global Challenges Research Fund, (GCFR) Africa catalyst programme.

APWEN is a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE). The association helps women engineers to succeed and advance in their careers and assists students in the study of engineering. Its programmes are geared towards employing, retaining and advancing women engineers through career services, professional development and of course networking both locally and internationally.

The development was disclosed by APWEN’s new president, Funmilola Ojelade, an engineer, during a courtesy visit to The Guardian’s corporate headquarters in Lagos last week. Others in her entourage are immediate past President, Dr. Felicia Agubata, Chairman, Lagos State Chapter, Mary Afolayan and Secretary, Ngozi Egbeinyon. They were received by the Acting Editor, Dr. Paul Onomuakpokpo.

Ojelade said: “The aim of GCRF Africa Catalyst programme is to strengthen professional engineering bodies in sub-Saharan Africa so that they can effectively promote the profession, share best practice and increase local engineering capacity, to help drive development.

According to her, “APWEN will execute the She Engineer project by training female engineers and STEM teachers as well as mentoring pupils in STEM. This will help to promote STEM and ultimately increase the number of female engineers in sub-Saharan Africa that will solve Africa’s problems because engineers are “problem solvers.

“And this is not limited to technical problems alone. Engineers will solve problems of institutions building, of management processes, of administration, and of governance because the engineering education develops us in skills that enable us to have an eye for detail and understanding of processes. We will take that skill and mindset out of technical work into the field of life.

Ojelade also said the association is partnering with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to ensure participation of young girls in the engineering field in the six geographical zones through scholarships and the building of laboratories in secondary schools.


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