Nigerian nongovernmental organization Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) is looking to groom the next generation of “ICTprenures” through their W.TEC Girls Technology Camp.
The W.TEC camp, able to accommodate 30 Nigerian girls ages 13 to 17, is competitive yet inclusive with scholarships available to public school students. Its objective: “helping girls develop an early interest in computers and other information technology,” an interest that W.TC believes will socially and financially empower Nigerian girls.
Over the course of two weeks, participants take technology workshops and engage in leadership activities. These workshops range from Basic Computer Appreciation, which covers Microsoft Office Suite and Internet use, to 3D Designing and Robotics Programming.
Supported by Union Bank of Nigeria, MainOne Cable, General Electric and Laureates College, the camp is designed not only to increase Nigerian girls’ technological capabilities but also to enhance creativity, communication abilities, problem-solving and leadership skills that will serve participants in whatever career field they pursue.
W.TEC Girls Technology Camp also covers career sessions. The 2015 lineup boasts Financial Literature, Youths and Space Technology and Software and Development Life Cycle courses in addition to field trips to innovative technology companies and conversation sessions with women working in ICT fields.
On the importance of their female empowerment focus, W.TEC stated that “statistical evidence has shown that in most African countries, women’s use and knowledge of ICTs (to store, share, organize and process information) is lower than men’s, denying them of income-generating opportunities and the chance to network with others.”
In addition to their W.TEC Girls Technology Camp, the organization conducts a variety of programs focused on technology-based projects, technology literacy training, mentoring and work placement for young Nigerian women and girls. W.TEC also hopes through research and publications to promote a dialogue about the way African women use technology and the hindrances to that use.
W.TEC seeks to empower Nigerian girls through financial independence stemming from ICT training for jobs such as computer engineers, system analysts, programmers, designers and hardware and network specialists. The organization also works to guide women through the development of technology skills that can improve their candidacy for ICT-reliant jobs or self-employment.
Dedicated to these goals, W.TEC pledges to support the use of ICT as a means to uplift women’s rights: “We also want women to develop skills and confidence to use ICTs for activism, learning, awareness-raising and advocacy for a better quality of life.”
– Emma-Claire LaSaine