The wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu in partnership with Nigeria Women Techsters (NWT) and Microsoft is set to empower about 7,200 women in Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in the next three years.

Speaking at the maiden press conference held at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Akure, the wife Governor thanked the team for finding her worthy to be a part of the initiative while expressing optimism that the project will fly and ultimately be utilized to solve societal problem.

“Given what has happened within the last one month, I can confidently say that we are on the path to bridging the gender gap between men and women in ICT world. Given our experience with two initiatives that we had during this summer, I am excited about the possibility which is endless.

“We are set to nurture new Nigerian young women in the technology industry. The kind of feedback we got from the over 100 girls that participated in our ICT programme really should make everyone that came close to that training programme very excited. I am looking at a situation where we not only bridging the gender gap but rather train these women to use ICT to solve our social problems”, she added.

Arabinrin Akeredolu further charged that Microsoft to continue to provide support.
“It is not enough that these young women become ‘techy’ enough but I am expecting that they should be able to use their skills to solve social problem. I believe that with ICT, we can leap-frog and make it possible for marginalized communities to get education through. We can have virtual classrooms”, she said.

Earlier in her opening address, the Programmes Manager, Peace Odili affirmed that the maiden press conference was to officially announce the opening of the application process for interested women to register for the programme at www.nigeriawomentechsters.org free.

According to Odili, 7,200 across 12 states of the federation will benefit from the programme and it is hoped that some percentage of the trained participants will become professionals while some others will choose technology as a career. The goal, in her words, is to bridge gender gap in ICT and empower women in technology skills, web application, Game development among others.

On the essence of the programme, Joel Ogunsola affirmed that the intiative was put together by Nigeria Women Techsters in partnership with Microsoft and the Office of the First Lady, Ondo State to train women in ICT so that they can become women entrepreneurs

On the 12 benefiting states which include Ondo, Ekiti, oyo, Kwara, Kogi, Abia, Kebbi among others, Ogunsola noted that the team picked states that had a huge gap in ICT and whose leadership are willing to participate in the programme. It is expected that the programme will span a period of 3 years and would be facilitated by professionals.

Microsoft Representative, Olusola Amusan who reaffirmed Microsoft’s commitment to empowering everyone to connect more also thanked Mrs. Akeredolu for championing the cause of women and the girl-child in Ondo State.

“We want to empower everybody to connect more and that is why we are supporting this initiative. We want to empower more women in technology so that they would be able to take their rightful place in the society”, he adds.