In partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s (UNIDO) Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) in Nigeria, the Sterling One Foundation has hosted players within the Nigerian technology and art spaces to discuss ways to boost women’s participation and impact in both sectors.
The event, hosted in commemoration of International Women’s Day focused on highlighting the work being done by women to grow the economy and how digital tools can be used to scale this work.
This year, International Women’s Day is being celebrated under the theme – “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, with the focus being thrown on the many ways women and girls are missing out on the digital revolution, and what a change to that means for the future. Statistics show that over 200 million more women are without internet access compared to men, representing a massive gap for women as everyone strives to gain more digital skills and access opportunities in today’s hyper-connected world.
While sharing her opening remarks at the event, UNIDO’s Head of Investment and Technology Promotion in Nigeria, Ms. Abimbola Olufore Wycliffe, highlighted some of the strategic work being done by her organization to reposition more women for success and give them the tools to tap into the many opportunities available in the technology space.
The CEO of the Sterling One Foundation, Mrs Olapeju Ibekwe, while reiterating the importance of such strategic work explained that her organization has gone even further to start their outreach from secondary schools as a means of getting girls invested in science and technology from the very early stages.
In her words, “part of our approach has been to catch them young, which is why we have supported various STEM boot camps for girls and set up school clubs for young girls where they are learning about climate change, recycling, and other important concepts.”
She also highlighted the work her organization has done in using entertainment to raise more awareness about gender-based violence which continues to pose a threat to the achievement of gender equality.
As part of the event, at least 7 women got the chance to showcase their art using digital media, with one of them given the opportunity for a physical exhibition and a live painting session. Key stakeholders in the art space including Kavita Chellaram, Founder of Arthouse Contemporary Limited, and award-winning artist, Marcellina Akpojotor, also got an opportunity to share insights into the impact being made by female artists in the space and how access to the right digital technology has been a game-changer.
Founders of the bookkeeping platform, Dukka, and Afrilabs – a network of African technology hubs and innovation centres, further provided more insights into what needs to be done to close out the digital gender gap in Nigeria and Africa.
The event also had as partners, IHS Towers, the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Nigerian-German Chamber of Commerce, and the Nigeria-Türkiye Business Council.