The underrepresentation of women in the Nigerian tech space is conspicuous and many would argue that the reason for this is a bit biased.
MasterCard, in celebration of International Women’s Day, has launched the rollout of its 2020 Girls4Tech programme in Nigeria which engaged 60 girls between the ages of 9 and 12 but also extends to girls ages 13-16 with Girls4Tech 2.0 as well as a 20-week coding program for girls 8-10.
Why just girls?
Ifeoma Dozie, Director of Marketing and Communications, MasterCard Sub-Saharan Africa says “this programme is designed to drive inclusion and equality by bridging the gender gap that currently exists within STEM careers and MasterCard is committed to reach 1 million girls globally by 2025 to make this a reality”
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, program encourages and inspires young Nigerian girls to embrace the STEM culture giving them a voice in the development of innovative solutions that will be relevant in the future.
These kids are mentored through practical exercises such as encryption, fraud detection, data analysis, digital convergence, cybersecurity and AI. The program also emphasizes important skills such as collaboration, creativity and communication to enable young girls to apply their technical knowledge to solve real-world challenges. With the current pandemic and schools having been shut down until the not so foreseeable future, MasterCard has introduced online access to their signature STEM curriculum for children, teachers and parents with Girls4Tech connect.
The IPSOS survey says 89% of African women are usually the decision-makers or co-decision makers for household purchases yet UNESCO says the share of women working in research and development is 32% in Sub-Saharan Africa which makes programs like Girls4Tech so critical as it allows for a larger representation of women in the field that would help facilitate designs solutions that better suits their needs and increase their opportunities for employability and a voice in conversations that drive the Nigerian digital economy.
Women make up on average just 22% of the total number of Engineering and technology university graduates each year, regardless of the fact that they make up almost half of the entire population.
So far they have reached more than 800,000 girls in 27 countries of 6 continents and over 100 girls in Nigeria since its launch in 2017. Over 4,400 employee mentors worldwide have been engaged as well, there’s a regular revamp of the curriculum as technology skills evolve.
Programs like Girls4Tech is imperative in the growth of the industry. Below are a few reasons why we need more women in tech:
- Research shows the most effective problem solving comes from collaborating with individuals of different genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities and race. A calculated inclusion of these factors will lead to innovation.
- Women have the ability to tap into the largest economic force in the world. They control the larger percentage of all household spending in Nigeria and a lack of women in the field can lead to an inability to market effectively to that audience which in turn could greatly impact the success of many tech-related Nigerian companies.
- The Nigerian tech space could use more tech talent giving the critical skill shortages. There is a wealth of female tech talents waiting to be utilized, until this is achieved we may never really have competitive advantage in the global market.
- STEM skills are key to a country’s development and future prosperity. The majority of future jobs will require some combination of STEM, yet the numbers are rather discouraging. These kinds of programmes will help reduce the shortage of STEM skills that are needed to boost Nigeria’s economy.
- The gender gap in the STEM space is too evident. Nigeria is ranked 128th out of 153 countries in the 2020 Global Gender Gap Report.
- STEM jobs are highly sought after- this is key when considering the high unemployment rate in Nigeria which stands at around 28%.
Nigeria has a lot of catching up to do in terms of tech innovations and the gender gap is undeniable in this field but the inclusion of women in tech growth efforts could be a really effective start to a revolutionary period.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 24th of February 2021, 655 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 153,842 confirmed cases.
On the 24th of February 2021, 655 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 153,842 cases have been confirmed, 130,818 cases have been discharged and 1,885 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.49 million tests have been carried out as of February 24th, 2021 compared to 1.44 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 24th February 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 153,842
- Total Number Discharged – 130,818
- Total Deaths – 1,885
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,489,103
According to the NCDC, the 655 new cases are reported from 21 states- Lagos (240), Ogun (88), Rivers (56), FCT (51), Kaduna (43), Kano (25), Plateau (21), Taraba (19), Edo (17), Abia (15), Delta (13), Nasarawa (11), Akwa Ibom (10), Kwara (10), Oyo (10), Kebbi (9), Borno (5), Bayelsa (4), Gombe (4), Ekiti (2), and Osun (2).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 55,122, followed by Abuja (19,115), Plateau (8,854), Kaduna (8,422), Oyo (6,708), Rivers (6,398), Edo (4,491), Ogun (4,277), Kano (3,716), Ondo (2,944), Kwara (2,875), Delta (2,539), Osun (2,326), Nasarawa (2,208), Gombe (2,031), Katsina (2,029), Enugu (1,998), Ebonyi (1,839), Anambra (1,615), and Abia (1,487).
Imo State has recorded 1,440 cases, Akwa Ibom (1,439), Borno (1,247), Bauchi (1,221), Benue (1,188), Niger (912), Ekiti (797), Sokoto (768), Bayelsa (767), Adamawa (762), Taraba (712), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (358), Yobe (268), Cross River (267), Zamfara (219), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.
On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.
Cornerstone Insurance Plc appoints Ogechi Adeola as Director
Dr Ogechi Adeola has been appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director at Cornerstone Insurance Plc.
Cornerstone Insurance Plc has appointed Dr Ogechi Adeola as its new Independent Non-Executive Director, subject to ratification by members at general meeting.
This is according to a notification sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange platform, dated 24th of February, 2021, as seen by Nairametrics.
Dr. Adeola’s profile
Dr. Adeola has over two decades of work and consulting experience in the Nigerian Financial services sectors. She is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Lagos Business School and an alumna of the Manchester Business School, United Kingdom.
On the other hand, Cornerstone Insurance closed trading today (24th of February, 2021) at the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange with a share price of N0.59.
Results from the recently released FY 2020 financials posted by the firm showed that gross premium written increased from N13.06 billion in 2019 to N17.6 billion. However, profit for the period declined to N1.6 billion, from N4.11 billion recorded in 2019.
What you should know:
Cornerstone Insurance Company Plc is a Nigerian-based insurance company offering services in the life and non-life categories.
It was incorporated on the 26th of July, 2021, initially as a private limited liability and subsequently became a public limited liability after its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1997.
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