The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his government will sustain efforts at providing the enabling environment and infrastructure to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, so as to encourage more women to tap into the potential of digital technologies.
The governor gave the assurance in commemoration of the International Girls in ICT Day, marked yearly by the United Nations and its sister agencies to draw attention to the critical need for more girls and women to get involved in the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector.
Obaseki, who described this year’s theme, ‘Access and Safety as apt,’ said his government will continue to pursue reforms to guarantee safe and reliable access to the internet and other digital tools to enable more girls and young women to thrive in the 21st century, which is driven by technology and innovation.
He noted, “This year’s International Girls in ICT Day provides yet another opportunity to step up efforts to encourage more girls and young women to pursue STEM education and explore new roles in digital technologies, considering the very important role women play in solving societal problems and advancing socio-economic development.
“Women make up half of the world’s population and they must not be discriminated against, relegated or left behind if we are committed to quickly recovering from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and finding lasting solutions to global challenges that threaten human existence and survival, including the global food crisis.”
“We must empower our women, leveraging their creative thinking and innovative capacity to innovate solutions to some of these difficult and complex global problems through STEM. Global stakeholders must ramp up collaborations and partnership to inspire and encourage more women to pursue education and careers in STEM fields, supporting them to proffer solutions to societal problems through technology,” he added.
Reassuring that his government will continue to support more women and girls in the state to realize their fullest potentials, Obaseki said his administration has embarked on several reforms and programmes to equip them with the requisite skills to survive in a technology-driven world.