W.TEC empowers 1,820 women, girls with technology skills
The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC), Lagos trained no fewer than 1,820 women and girls on technology programmes in 2021.
The centre’s Communication Officer, Yemi Odutola, made this known in an interview in Lagos. W.TEC is a Nigerian non-profit organisation focused on encouraging girls and women to pursue technology careers.
Odutola said that the training of women and girls was done through the centre’s technology after school clubs, camps and other programmes. He noted that the centre was able to train those numbers of girls through the various training programmes held last year.
“Last year, we successfully launched our in-person ‘MakeHerspace’ training for participants in Nasarawa, Bauchi and Abuja after the passing of the second wave of the pandemic in Nigeria.
“During these classes, a total of 887 girls and women were trained on electronics and renewable energy panel projects at 12 centers across the three states. This successful phase of MakeHerspace was targeted at two groups which were ages 10 to 17 and 18 to 25,” Odutola said.
He said that the MakeHerspace project which was done with the support, of Google, was a technology initiative that taught young women to create engineering-based solutions to solve problems in their communities and provide information about career options.
The communication officer said that the NGO also organised an after-school computer programme for girls in public secondary schools in 2021,called ‘W.TEC Academy’. He noted that the W.TEC academy, which was done in Lagos and Kwara State, was targeted for girls between ages 11 to 17 years.
Odutola said that 361 girls in 14 schools benefitted from the programme in Kwara while 232 girls in nine schools under Lagos State Ministry of Education District IV were empowered.
“The academy sessions have helped the girls to deepen their skills through hands-on science and technology projects, programming classes, career talks and engagement with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals.
“The W.TEC Academy programme in Kwara State was sponsored by Oracle while the one in Lagos was supported by the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), “he said.
Odutola said that to promote sustainable and financial empowerment for female entrepreneurs, the NGO organised ‘SHE CAN with ICT” for aspiring women between the ages 18 to 35 years.
The communication offer said W.TEC’s major goal was to equip 300 aspiring or existing female entrepreneurs with technology skills and knowledge to improve their business productivity and profitability.
Speaking on the centre’s plan for 2022, he said that W. TEC Academy programme in Kwara State continues this year for the 2021/2022 session.
He said that the programme has reached 361 secondary school girls out of the estimate to reach 1050, adding that this year the programme is projected to reach 689 of them.
“W. TEC Academy Lagos programme continues this year with an estimated reach of 120 secondary school girls in addition to the 232 last year to wrap up the ongoing cycle by June in 2022.
“SheCanWithICT programme in Lagos continues this year with estimated reach of 100 entrepreneurial women in addition to the 338 reached so far to wrap up the ongoing cycle by February in 2022.
“Also, Makeherspace is projected to reach five states across Nigeria with a total of 1602 female participants in 2 groups, “he said.