By Adaeze Okechukwu
THE United States Consulate has revealed that 55 percent of female students in Science,Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduate programmes in the U.S are on full scholarships.
Head of Public Affairs, U.S. Consulate, Mrs. Darcy Zotter made this disclosure during the debut of When Women Win, WWW, conference themed ‘Reach for the Stars’ that held in Lagos during the weekend.
She said, “55 percent of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEMs) female graduate students have full scholarships. While people interested in humanities many not be as fortunate, nonetheless, 41 percent of female graduate students in humanities programmes get full scholarships.
“Currently, American colleges and universities are actively looking for African students, particularly from Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya. These universities typically prefer applicants from these four countries because of the language skills and because students from these countries have traditionally had impressive academic performance overtime.
“For someone seeking an international career in the United States, it is very important that she prepares herself. The first thing to be done is a thorough research on the field of interest and the desired state in the U.S. Following suit, she must look at the qualifications required for the job and ensure she fits that role.”
Speaking further on how Nigerian businesses can create U.S. partnerships, Zotter suggested that they engage the Office of the Commercial Services in Lagos. “For Nigerian businesses looking to expand their markets to the United States, we have an Office of the Commercial Services here in Lagos that can help you.
“We recognise that Lagos is the hub of entrepreneurial activity in Nigeria, hence I encourage business people looking to penetrate the U.S. to reach to the Foreign Commercial services office. By scheduling an appointment with them, they can help you identify trade partners in the United States. Recently, we had a delegation of cement producers as well as purchasers. This group of Nigerian business people went to the United States on trip organised by the Office of the Foreign Commercial service. Recently, the Foreign Commercial service held an event for a large American company- linking them to business people in Nigeria. We host events in Lagos and the U.S. for Nigerians,” she added.
The When Women Win initiative was created to address the issue of inequality cuts across all sectors of the society including education, politics and governance by providing affordable access for women to the knowledge, inspiration and opportunities they need to rise above any challenges or limitations, reach for their dreams and succeed in whatever field they want to.
Advisory Board Member, When Women Win (WWW), Mrs Motola Oyebanjo during the conference explained that “the core principle behind the initiative is that when more women are empowered, they can become better contributors to our economic development.