The North East Humanitarian Innovation Hub (NEHIH), Yola, has trained 100 women and girls on ICT and entrepreneurship under its Women Codepreneur Programme (WCP).
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of women, the Program Coordinator, Mrs Bamsen Rimdans, said the programme was one of the steps taken in addressing the challenges in education and livelihood of women in the North East.
“It’s an initiative that aims to bridge the digital literacy gap of women in entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“The program thus trains women in ICT and entrepreneurship with an opportunity to leverage their newly acquired skills to better compete in the workforce and bridged the gender gap in ICT and business.
“We trained the women in five courses namely IT Essentials, Get Connected, Android Development, Web Development and Entrepreneurship. The programme partnered with tech giant CISCO on the three of the courses and to deliver the professional certifications offered on the programme, ” Rimdans said.
She noted that the programme centered on women only because of their disadvantaged position and research prediction that 90 per cent of jobs in the next 10 years would require technology skills and knowledge which most women lacked.
“In 2020, we want to train up to 500 women with this programme by running the course all year round. We foresee this growing into a well established ICT academy for women and girls in the north east becoming the foremost developer of digital skills in the region,” Rimdans said.
In his remarks, Adamawa Deputy Governor, Chief Crowther Seth, lauded the NEHIH for the initiative and assured it of the state government support to succeed.
Seth, who was represented by his Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Hamman Musa, said empowering women is equivalent to laying a solid found for the growth of nation and deserved full support of all stakeholders.
In their respective keynote addresses, Ms Karin Rheeder of American University of Nigeria (AUN) Yola, and Mr Olarinde Onaolapo of CISCO, Abuja, who enumerated the importance of the training in building the capacity of the graduates, urged them to be bold in facing challenges as they move to establish their businesses.
Highlights of the occasion include presentation of certificates to the graduates and a competition on business plan presentation by some of the graduates.
Laptops and other gifts are also presented to some of the graduates who distinguished themselves during the training programme.