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International Women's Day Microsoft, Tech4dev graduate 450 women coders in Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo

Tech4devis a non-profit social enterprise that seeks to create proactive and reactive technological solutions to help solve the world's greatest problems.

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Microsoft, Tech4dev graduate 450 Nigerian women coders play

Women coders who benefited from Tech4dev, Microsoft training

(Tech4dev)
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Tech4dev has graduated about 450 women coders from the Nigerian Women Techsters first set of training; in a bid to bridge the gender divide in the tech ecosystem in Nigeria.

The move is also aimed at empowering women to be self-reliant and employable.

Tech4devis a non-profit social enterprise that seeks to create proactive and reactive technological solutions to help solve the world's greatest problems.

It focuses primarily on education, public health and civic engagement.

Tech4devis which is backed by Microsoft, came up with the Nigerian Women Techsters (NWT), an initiative that is aimed at helping young women between the ages of 18-40 get the training and support needed to acquire coding skills.

Microsoft, Tech4dev graduate 450 Nigerian women coders play

Women coders who benefited from Tech4dev, Microsoft training

(Tech4dev)

 

Training in the first cohort began on November 11, 2017 in Ondo state and subsequently in Ekiti and Oyo States.

The women were trained in the three training tracks of Web and Mobile Applications Development, Embedded Systems and Games Development as well as an online business training module.

The training which lasted 12 weeks has given birth to at least 450 certified women coders.

International Women's Day

On Saturday, 3rd of March, 2018, to mark the International Women’s Day themed #PressforProgress and #MakeWhatsNext, about 450 women coders, who had undergone training under the Nigerian Women Techsters were graduated at the Curator’s Hub.

This event, powered by Microsoft, featured Keynote addresses from Kiitan Aboluwarin, Project Lead, SeedDev and Dr. Ronke Thompson of the Federal University of Technology, Akure.

Both speakers stressed the importance of creating an enabling environment for women to thrive in the tech ecosystem.

While Aboluwarin admonished the participants to never get too comfortable but to constantly seek knowledge, Thompson encouraged beneficiaries of the programme to think themselves activists for other women henceforth by pressing for improved conditions and access to development training.

Olusola Amusan, Philanthropy Lead at Microsoft Nigeria reiterated that Microsoft believes that empowering women in STEM fields drives economic growth, equality and innovation.

Microsoft, Tech4dev graduate 450 Nigerian women coders play

Women coders who benefited from Tech4dev, Microsoft training

(Tech4dev)

 

“Despite the stats, a new generation of ‘girl geeks’ are making a real mark on the technology sector and propelling the economic growth of their countries forward, like Senegalese, MariémeJamme, CEO of IT organisation, SpotOne. We need more female leaders like this. It is hard enough to navigate a career path without a mentor, particularly without female mentors in STEM that can act as ambassadors for young women”", said Amusan.

Speaking on her experience as a participant, Ngozi Aduloju, who is a 40-year old mother of four said “for me, the Games Development class has not only impacted my life but has set a lot of things in motion for my future and that of my generation.

"I have a 13 year old son who picked up interest in my classes, we became a team; studying and watching online tutorials together. I now have an understanding of what it takes to make a game and have become more appreciative of what it takes to conceptualize a game that can actually keep me interested.

"I also totally agree that educating a woman implies educating a nation because my kids have developed some interest in coding and they share this interest with their friends too. That way, we keep spreading the attitude.”

Sustainable development

The graduating participants presented their team projects, pointing out their relevance to sustainable development in their communities; from games that can help sensitize the public on Lassa fever, devices that are useful in smart farming an application that allows people to donate used books, etc.

Microsoft graduate 450 Nigerian women coders play

Women coders who benefited from Tech4dev, Microsoft training

(Tech4dev)

 

While speaking at the event, Laide Ajanaku, Communications Lead, Tech4dev, said “The project is set for a period of three years during which Tech4Dev as well as other supporting agencies intend to take the programme to other African counties thereby giving African women an opportunity to develop themselves.

“This vision is what is taking us to the United Nations Commission for the Status of Women (UNCSW) in New York. We hope to be able to meet with other people from other nations who are passionate about leveraging ICT to better the lot of women in their communities and share our ultimate goal with them.”

Speaking on the long term lifespan of the Project, Peace Odili, Education Programs Manager, Tech4dev opined that hopefully, in the next three years, the organisation would have been able to get a very reasonable number of African women to become tech mavens in their communities.

She also announced that the award presentation in Oyo State was billed for the 24th of March at Seed of Life Schools, Eleyele, Ibadan, Oyo State.

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