In the face of the rapidly growing tech industry, the Kaduna State government, in collaboration with Google, has announced a pioneering initiative to train 5,000 women and girls in data science, artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurial application of digital technologies.
The initiative is part of a broader skills development programme supported by Google.org. It aims to empower 20,000 more women and young people across Nigeria with 21st-century skills, positioning them for opportunities in the digital and creative industries.
In his remark, Uba Sani, governor of Kaduna State, explained that the initiative goes beyond social equity to the economic empowerment of the citizens.
“Inclusion in technology is not just about social equity but economic progress. By empowering our women with digital skills, we’re not only breaking gender barriers but also setting the stage for significant economic growth.
This partnership with Google underscores our commitment to harnessing the vast potential of our women for the socio-economic transformation of Kaduna State and Nigeria at large,” he said.
In sharing his views on the initiative, Olumide Balogun, director for West Africa at Google, said: “The future of tech in Nigeria hinges on tapping into the potential of every individual, irrespective of gender.
Our collaboration with the Kaduna State Government is a testament to our unwavering belief in the transformative power of women in tech. Through the support of Google.org, we’re dedicated to fostering a more inclusive digital landscape, ensuring every trained woman becomes a beacon of change in the tech world.”
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The governor emphasized that the state consistently leverages technology to drive economic growth. Central to this vision, he said, is the inclusion of women in the tech space.
“By providing focused tech training and ensuring accessibility, the state aims to empower this demographic, recognizing their potential to be significant contributors to the digital economy and the broader socio-economic landscape,” he noted.
Google.org is supporting Mind the Gap’s Arewa Tech4Ladies initiative, designed to train 5,000 women and girls in data science, artificial intelligence, and the entrepreneurial application of digital technologies as part of the organization’s contribution to addressing the challenges of improved women representation and inclusivity in the tech industry.
The programme will be executed by Data Science Nigeria, which will set up Arewa Tech4Ladies. This initiative is crafted to serve four critical semi-urban and rural communities in Kaduna State, offering specialized women-focused learning, mentoring, and job placement support facilities.
This collaboration clearly indicates both parties’ commitment to driving inclusion in the tech industry, ultimately supporting improved economic livelihoods through the digital economy in Nigeria.
Arewa Ladies4Tech, an intervention of Data Science Nigeria/DSNai, also known as Data Scientists Network, with the support of Google.Org, is dedicated to empowering the extraordinary women of northern Nigeria, inspiring them to lead, innovate, and shape a brighter future. Our program focuses on harnessing the potential of the evolving digital landscape, offering essential AI skills that unlock limitless opportunities in today’s fast-paced digital era.
It is the first-of-its-kind particular capacity development intervention to empower 5000 women and girls in northern Nigeria to build world-class skills in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and related digital technologies and thus be ready to take on the world as work-ready professionals, expert researchers and AI entrepreneurs who can build data-powered and AI-enabled businesses that will create jobs and advance prosperity for all.
Its objectives include a clear understanding of the intricacies of AI, Data Science and Digital Technologies, empowering women with skills to extract valuable insights from data and develop Machine Learning models, and nurturing a pipeline of skilled female tech professionals in the Northern Nigeria region, among others.