By FEMI SALAWU
An empowerment initiative for young female technology enthusiasts tagged Code 4 Impact organized by a non-governmental organization, Hacey Health Initiative has received the backing of Access Bank and the United States Consulate in Nigeria.
Code 4 Impact will train young girls between ages of 18 to 30 on how to use programming codes to develop problem-solving applications. It is expected to span 12 weeks of intense training beginning on April 2 at the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
The programme has received technology support from other organizations including Tech 4 Development, Intel and Microsoft.
According to Isaiah Owolabi, Project Director, Hacey Health Initiative, the programme was originally scheduled to cover about 50 girls but was increased to 70 from the about 1,500 entries received from across Nigeria.
Within the training, he revealed that the participants will be exposed to knowledge in four key areas which are mobile applications, games applications, web applications and microelectronic applications.
For Dehaab Ghebreab, representative of the US Consulate, their interest in the project was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the girl child. “This project was selected out of the over 300 proposals that we received because it is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Teaching girls is an important step in bringing the technology divide due to the influential role of women in the society,” she noted.
She added that President Barack Obama of the United States has been championing programmes to support Africa through entrepreneurship initiatives such as Global Innovation Through Science And Technology (GIST). For instance, she noted that recently two female Nigerian technology whizkids benefited from the GIST programme by winning US grants to finance their projects after emerging first and second runners up in a keenly contested competition that held in Kenya.
While expressing optimism in the quality of the programme, she tasked the participants to become problem solvers in their communities with the new technology skills that they would be acquiring the weeks to follow.
In her remarks, Omobolanle Laniyan, Access Bank representative noted that the foremost financial institution has been at the forefront of women empowerment in line with the newly launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In addition, she also commended the initiative and described it as an experiential learning programme that enhance digital literacy especially coding and analytical skills in all the participants with a view to creating community impact solutions around the newly launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).