The Akure Tech hub, an Information Communication Technology Centre domiciled in the Federal University of Technology, Akure FUTA, has launched “HERNOVATE” a project targeted at the empowerment and development of women and girls’ interest in the ICT sector in Ondo State. Speaking at the launch, the First lady of Ondo state, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu- Akeredolu commended the drivers of the project and charged them to bring more women into ICT. The first lady pointed out that ICT innovations are dramatically changing the way governments and businesses operate. She said economic benefits and potentials of ICT in the society cannot be over-emphasized, saying the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shetty, was quoted to have reported that about $40 billion Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) came into Nigeria in 2018 through the ICT sector, an increase of $8 billion from 2015.
Mrs. Anyanwu-Akeredolu said though women only make up a fifth of the total number of people working in Information Communication Technology sector, and about 22% of total number of Engineering and Technology University graduates each year, it was heartwarming to note that more women were leap frogging all obstacles and fast becoming pacesetters in the I.T. sector in Nigeria.
Mrs. Anyanwu-Akeredolu reiterated that as a practical way of bridging the gap in Information Communication Technology she launched the “BEMORE” summer boot camp for girls Naija, and the initiative has produced 750 young girls with newly acquirer skills in ICT and solar technology. She urged stake holders to continue to work on removing the gender barriers to ICT education and training, while promoting equal training opportunities in ICT related fields for women and girls.
On his part FUTA Vice Chancellor Professor Joseph Fuwape commended the initiative of the organizers, and also said the First Lady is very passionate about women and the girl child. He commended the first lady for championing the cause for the development of the digital capacity of women and girls in Ondo State. Prof. Fuwape stressed that with the involvement of the First Lady HERNOVATE will gather momentum and the speed it requires to make impact.
The Executive Director of the Hub and an Alumnus of FUTA Mr. Abraham Akpan said Hernovate was coined from two words Her and Innovate. He said the man aim of the programme is to build, support and collaborate with stakeholders in the digital industry to raise and encourage the competence of women and girls in the industry.