Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has expressed satisfaction with Eko Innovation Centre’s passion towards the growth and development of startups and entrepreneurship in the State and Nigeria at large, particularly in grooming them to become global challengers, and help boost the economic revival of Africa.
The Governor who was at the Eko Innovation Centre, last Friday, as part of his tour of technology ecosystem in the sixth largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, said that the Centre’s efforts to close the gender gap in technology and bolster female participation, through a partnership with Africa Agility, speaks volumes and worthy of commendations.
TechEconomy.ng can report that Eko Innovation Centre is working assiduously with Africa Agility and Impact Lagos to train 10,000 girls in tech in Lagos over the next five years.
The project tagged “Girls in Tech Bootcamp Lagos”, had the second edition this weekend at the Eko Innovation Centre.
The event showcased the widespread impact that the Eko Innovation Centre has achieved since it commenced operations within the state. It also showcased Governor Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to innovation and technological development in the state.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu lauded the work of the centre, stressing that the Girls in Tech bootcamp is empowering females that would develop the technology necessary to leapfrog present-day challenges and transform Lagos into a smart city.
The Governor also promised to donate free laptops and tablets to 100 girls that took part in the second cohort of the program.
“Whether it is tablet or laptop, each of the girls will certainly get one. For me, that becomes a working tool that they can take forward with the learning and skills they will acquire further down the line”, Sanwo-Olu, said.
Speaking on the Girls in Tech initiative, the Founder of the Eko Innovation Centre, Victor Gbenga Afolabi, explained that the program is aimed at democratising opportunities for women in tech.
In his words: “This year we have partnered with Africa Agility to equip the Nigerian female youth with the necessary digital skills they need to access opportunities in tech and business. We trained 100 girls last year and another 100 this year as part of the Girls in Tech initiative.
“These ladies include undergraduates, unemployed and single mothers with no previous IT skills. We groomed them for about a month in the bootcamp which ended with a 3-day hackathon where they proffered tech-enabled solutions around the Lagos T.H.E.M.E.S agenda,” he added.
The Eko Innovation Centre focuses broadly on civic tech, working to drive social impact by developing tech solutions to problems faced by governments at state and regional levels.
These include innovations such as those developed at the Lagos smart meter hackathon held last year.
Also speaking at the event, Africa Agility founder, Aanu Gopald, stated the goal of the Girls in Tech bootcamp as to train 10,000 girls in the next five years.
According to her, up to 38 of the 100 participants in this year’s bootcamp have secured jobs, 7 have gone ahead to set up their businesses while a few others work as freelancers.
“The innovative solutions presented by the girls at the event include a telemedicine platform for virtual doctor appointments and a traffic management system called Track4me”.
Meanwhile, Governor Sanwo-Olu was accompanies to the event by the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Lagos State, Hakeem Fahm; Founder, Eko Innovation Centre, Victor Gbenga Afolabi; Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya; Special Adviser, Innovation and Technology to the Governor of Lagos State, Tunbosun Alake; Founder, Africa Agility, Aanu Gopald Managing Director/CEO, Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) PLC, Basil Agboarumi, among others.