By Vera Samuel Anyagafu and Prisca Sam-Duru
IN her commitment to building the capacity of Nigerian women who in various fields have remarkably contributed to the Nigerian communities, the US government recently honoured five Nigerian women making waves in the science and technology world.
Making reference to some African-American women who also have contributed to growing their communities through their expertise, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington said that Nigerian women are talented like American women while US and Nigeria were enjoying very friendly diplomatic relationship. The US ambassador spoke as he explained a movie titled ‘Hidden Figures.’
Prior to screening of the movie at Genesis Cinemas, Abuja, Nigeria, in honour of Nigerian TechWomen, he explained that the movie details the story of three female African-American mathematicians employed by NASA in the 1960s.
According to him, the three women worked then as human computers but were denied recognition and or promotion, yet, went on to play crucial roles in the American space programme.
“It is an amazing story of women who found something that they love, and before there were computers and the Internet, these women made it possible to put the human race in outer space. You too, can reach for the skies,” the U.S. Ambassador said, as he introduced Carolyn Seaman and Damilola Anwo-Ade, two of five Nigerian women who are selected to participate in the 2017 TechWomen exchange programme in the US. Also on the list are Olamide Ayeni-Babajide, Ijeoma Vincent-Akpu, and Petra Nnamani.
It is interesting to know that Carolyn Seaman is using technology to empower girls through her Girls Voices Initiative, while Damilola Anwo-Ade is mentoring the next generation of coders, including young women, through her initiative CodeIT.