In order to encourage technology adoption among young girls and in commemoration of International Women’s Day, GoDo Hub has decided to launch the Techamaka program, which drives tech adoption among young girls through structured programs, mentoring and provision of enabled devices.
According to Godo Hub, the program is geared towards reducing the barriers to qualitative economic entry and involvement across all verticals, especially in tech, to ensure that all genders are part of the country’s economic development.
“Nigeria’s population is expected to exceed 260 million by 2030, about 50% of that would be female – we must reduce the barriers to qualitative economic entry and involvement across all verticals, especially in tech, to ensure that we are all part of the country’s economic development. Techamaka provides girls, even those from the most underserved communities, a chance to have a fulfilling career in tech – irrespective of whether they can afford to go to university as the market now needs skills, not degrees,” said Head of strategy, GoDo Hub, Grace Oluchi.
A 2019 survey on interest in science, tech, engineering, or math career among over 1000 children aged 13 to 17 found that only 9% of girls were interested in STEM careers, a drop of 11% in the previous year. Similarly, a 2016 Microsoft survey of 11,500 females aged 11-30 across 12 countries to identify their attitudes to STEM showed that there was a high interest from age 11 which dropped steeply by age 15. The main reason was a lack of visible female role models in STEM as well as socio-cultural biases which often steer girls towards other careers.
Globally, less than 30% of tech jobs are held by women and while we have seen more interest and adoption of tech skills in women over the past couple of years, it is critical and urgent to bridge the interest gap early so that we sustain girls’ interest in STEM and have substantially more females in STEM within the next few years.
The Techamaka team is doing its part to bridge the gender STEM gap in Nigeria by launching a program specifically targeted at driving tech adoption in young girls. With the 4th Industrial Revolution, the growth of tech skills, the thriving global gig economy and the acceleration of digital adoption driven by COVID-19, there is now, more reason to support girls to develop these skills so they plug into these new opportunities.
Techamaka which is part of the Women@GoDo initiative simply means “Tech is great”, is a women-focused program situated at GoDo Hub which provides software and hardware training, coding camps, as well as career counseling and mentorship to girls aged 11 – 19. The curriculum is offered through a combination of online and in-person sessions to support the building of a community among the participants which supports success even beyond the duration of the cohort. Techamaka program officer, Gracefield Maxcot stated “As girls become more aware of themselves, they need representation to help express their inner goals. They need representation not just from mentors, but also from peers. When they see others like them who want to learn to code or fix a laptop or do graphic design, then they are more confident in pursuing these skills. We have also created career counseling and mentorship system, again led by women, to help our cohorts develop long-term strategies for developing STEM careers”.