..bags WICA’s award as Winner in IT/ICT
In recognition of her efforts in brigding the gender gap in digital and solar technology, the Women in Infrastructure Community Africa, (WICA), honoured Her Excellency, the Wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Chief Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, with a Winner in IT/ICT Award.
The State Chairperson of WICA, Dr. Mrs Aminat Ajenifuja-Abubakar, while presenting her the award at the First Lady’s office in Government House ground Alagbaka, Akure earlier today, noted that the association appreciated Mrs Akeredolu’s efforts in promoting Information and Communication Technology in girls through her BeMore Empowered Initiative, therefore, working towards bridging the gender gap in the sector.
Ajenifuja-Abubakar, who explained that the Ondo First Lady was nominated for the award during WICA’s first anniversary, asserted that the anniversary featured presentation of different categories of awards under infrastructure, saying that: “And in the process of doing that, you were nominated for the ICT/IT Digital infrastructure because of the footprint that you have set in that area.
“We are here to first appreciate you for all the works you have been doing since you assumed office and even before, and to encourage you not to relent”.
Responding to the honour, the Ondo First Lady, appreciated the Women Professional body for recognising her efforts and reiterated her commitment to keep promoting the interest of girls in digital technology, which she said was one of the sector that is gender-neutral.
“It’s been a pleasure that I am making my own contribution in promoting digital infrastructure and I will continue, because I have seen that some of these things we thought will cause arm and a leg for a Nigerian child is doable; you only need to have the passion and vision to be able to do it.
“It was because of the need to represent that I went into the digital space having recognised the gap, very deep gully when it comes to ICT and SOLAR technology. And when you look at the space, you can count women on your finger tips and like I always said, these are sectors that are gender-neutral”, says Mrs Akeredolu.
Mrs Akeredolu, while explaining the motive behind her commitment to train girls in ICT and Solar Technology through the two weeks BeMore Empowered Initiative, noted that, as someone who had traveled far and wide, she had realized a deep gender gap in these sectors in Nigeria compared to the what is applicable in the Western world.
“I have seen how they care about girls,they just pamper their women and girls; why can’t we do the same? When it comes to digital economy, a lot of efforts is being made over there for women and girls to catch up. It’s not to say that everything is okay there or it’s Uhuru, but they have also recognised the need for their women to key into these spaces”.
She added further that, for Nigeria to really develop, there should be gender inclusion in all sectors, and called for an attitudinal change in gender discrimination.
According to her, the BeMore Empowered Initiative, which had produced about two thousands girls trained in ICT, Solar Technology and other life-enhancing skills, was a long time investment that many might not appreciate now but in a few years time when it started yielding results.
“If you make these children computer literate, the outcome in ten years or so will be so amazing. You would be shocked about the transformation. It’s really transformative and my girls are already demonstrating that this programme has made profound impact on them; quite a number of them are in higher institutions.
“Those who wanted to read medicine are now doing Engineering, we even have some of them who are already Certified Solar Technician”, she hinted.
By Mary Agidi
Special Assistant to the Governor on Media
Office of the First Lady
March 1, 2022