By Emeka Aginam

The Federal Ministry of Technology in partnership with Huawei Technologies, last Monday in Lagosflagged off a training programme on basic ICT knowledge for 1000 Nigerian girls.

Also, the ministry launched the  SmartWoman Nigeria initiative in collaboration with US based social enterprise ChangeCorp and WIMBIZ same day in Lagos.

Launch of the gender initiatives is expected to help empower Nigerian women and girls in ICTs.

About 1,000 female students are expected to benefit from the training programme which started today in Huawei’s ICT Training Center in Lagos The three day training programme  is expected to  empower  Nigerian female students  with ICT skills and knowledge.

Minister of Communication Technology (FMCT), Mrs Omobola Johnson while speaking to IT Journalists during the launching of both initiatives said that it was time the imbalance in ICT adoption and appropriation among men and women was removed.

The Minister emphasised that ICTs have the transforming power to accelerate the development of women by helping them to be more efficient and effective in their jobs, careers, and business and to generate new employment opportunities.

According to the Minister who is passionate about youth development via software development and innovation, ICT has unlimited potential to significantly contribute to increasing the social welfare of women.

She said that the Ministry was committed in empowering women and girls to embrace ICTs to actualize their potentials and contribute to the economic development of Nigeria through various specific technology initiatives.

However, the launch 1000 girls training program is part of Huawei’s corporate social responsibility across the country.

“The program was part of Huawei’s commitment of localization, technology transferring to Nigeria and employment promotion, Mr. Hover Gao, Vice President of Huawei West Africa, said, , adding that , “ “Huawei is the first ICT solutions provider to establish an ICT training center in Abuja back in 2004 and since then the training center has provided more than 5,000 opportunities to ICT  practitioners.

“ Huawei and FMCT orientation program on ICT Basic Knowledge for female students is not a one time off event. On the contrary, Huawei and FMCT will develop this campaign into a long-term project. The training also enables us to create an ICT talents pool and some of the trainees will become Huawei employees”, Hover said.

Meanwhile, the SmartWomen initiative seeks to promote the development of women in Nigeria by harnessing the power of mobile communication tools provided by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

The SmartWoman initiative which featured at the first meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development Working Group on Gender in Mexico City of which the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson is a member is targeted at low- to middle-income urban and high-income rural women business owners.

It offers learning in communication skills, banking, financial, health, and family work/life balance issues.

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