Group unveils 8th Technology Innovation challenge for young girls

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By Tosin Kolade

The Odyssey Educational Foundation on Monday unveiled its 8th Technology Innovation challenge to encourage young girls’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

Mrs Stella Uzochukwu-Dennis, Chapter Ambassador for Technovation in Nigeria, who spoke at the Technovation Regional Pitch event in Abuja, said it was an opportunity to empower young girls through technology and innovation.

According to her, Nigeria’s participation in Technovation has helped teams represent the country several times in California as finalists since 2006.

She said that the Technovation programme was a beacon of hope and opportunity for girls, equipping them with the skills and confidence to solve real-world problems using technology.

“The programme fosters a sense of empowerment and independence, teaching young innovators not just to code but to think critically, work collaboratively, and lead fearlessly.

“By participating, these girls are breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes, thereby paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable future”.

Uzochukwu-Dennis also highlighted the crucial role of mentors in the Technovation programme, saying they provide guidance, share their knowledge and expertise, and inspire the next generation of tech leaders.

“The benefits of Technovation extend to the state and country as well, fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

“This contributes to building a stronger, more resilient economy by encouraging local solutions to local problems, driving sustainable growth and development.

“It also positions Nigeria as a leader in the global tech industry, attracting investments and creating opportunities for youth”.

Uzochukwu-Dennis expressed profound disappointment over the lack of financial support from the government and agencies, in spite of the programme’s numerous benefits and immense potential.

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She explained that no monetary aid or resources had been provided to support the programme, in spite of the countless hours of hard work, personal sacrifices, and support from international partners, and others.

The chapter ambassador said the winning team from this year’s programme would receive an all-expenses-paid trip to California.

She extended a heartfelt welcome to all attendees, noting that over 2,000 apps were submitted this year, with Nigeria having the highest number of quarterfinalists.

Mrs Vivien Kwande, CEO of LifeAid International Initiative, said the event was an opportunity to celebrate the creativity, dedication, and resilience of young technologists who have worked tirelessly to bring their innovative ideas to life.

Kwande said that participants have researched, designed, coded, tested, and refined their ideas, transforming visions into viable solutions with the potential to impact communities and the world at large.

She expressed her belief in the power of technology to drive change and the potential of youth to lead this transformation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event saw many schools participating in ICT innovation pitches.

NAN also reports that Technovation has improved the lives of over 270,000 women to participate in science and technology in 120 countries globally. (NAN)

Edited by Nick Nicholas and Abiemwense Moru

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