Thursday, July 3, 2014

NiWIIT President’s Address at the 2014 Girls in ICT Day


I welcome you all to this maiden edition of the International Girls in ICT Day 2014. We could not observe the day on the 24th April 2014 with other nations because secondary schools in Nigeria were on Easter holiday at the time. However, I am glad we are still able to observe the day today.

Participants with NiWIIT officials at the International Girls in ICT Day 2014 in Owerri Imo State on 27th May 2014.

As an interest group in the Nigeria Computer Society, NIWIIT provides a voice for both professional and non-professional females in the IT industry as she embarks on advocacy for them. As a gender-based Interest Group, we seek to educate women on the several ways IT can be beneficial to them and how they can take advantage of the IT resources available to them. Therefore, the seminars we are going to have today will address some very basic IT-uses that everyone can benefit from.

Dr(Mrs) Adeola Ilechukwu (NiWIIT) President, right) and Mrs Ronke Bello (NiWIIT) Vice-President, left) with the winners of the competition

One of the objectives of NIWIIT is to reach out to special target groups such as students in secondary schools and tertiary institutions in a bid to “catch them young.” With the project “Catching them Young” we will be facilitating the increase in the number of girls and women in the fields of technology and IT in particular.

It has been observed globally that the number of school girls opting to study technology-related disciplines is on the decline in most countries worldwide, thus International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is committed to championing the catalytic role a tech career can play in creating exciting, far-reaching opportunities for women and girls.

It is for this reason that the International Girls’ in ICT Day has been instituted to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICT). The initiative is committed to celebrate and commemorate the International Girls in ICT on the fourth Thursday of every April as established by the ITU membership.

Like other member states of ITU, the Nigerian Women in Information Technology (NiWIIT) thought it very important to set apart today for this event. It is not usual to have events such as this in the South-East Region, so this decision to have the maiden edition of International Girls’ in ICT day in Imo State signals a bright future for our girls in this part of the country in the IT industry.

Dr.(Mrs) Adeola Ilechukwu, NiWIIT President, congratulating the overall winner of the competition, Jane Chinonye Ogbonnaya, SS2 student of Spring of life International School, Enugu

I hereby invite you to relax and enjoy your day. During the interactive session you will be given the opportunity to ask questions that have been bothering your mind, and I assure you that there are a good number of IT professionals here today that will answer those questions with professional expertise.

Once again, I welcome every one that has taken out time to be a part of this special event today.

Thanks for coming and God bless you all.

Dr.(Mrs) Adeola Ilechukwu, FNCS, MCPN
National President

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Opportunity for Young Women in ICT Africa

A great opportunity has been announced for two young women in ICTs, one in Africa and one in Latin America.

The organizers are on the look out for a young woman from each of the two regions to be part of this impressive documentary.

According to the release, Big Dream documentary directed by Iron Way Films in partnership with Microsoft follows young women from small town America to the Middle East who will stop at nothing to achieve their Big Dream in technology.

You can view a teaser for the film here: Teaser

They are looking for two young women - aged anywhere from 17 to 22 - one to film in Africa and one in Latin America to feature in the documentary.

Filming will be over a few days in August.

Contact: Kelly Cox at
kelly (AT)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Keynote Address: Nigerian Women In Information Technology (NIWIIT) Lagos State Chapter Inauguration

Keynote Address: Nigerian Women In Information Technology (NIWIIT) Lagos State Chapter Inauguration by Mrs. Adekeyede Elusoji, National Secretary, NIWIIT

Mr President, the Executive of NCS, Fellows of the Society, Executive of ITAN & ISPON as well as our dear NIWIIT Executive you are once again welcome to this occasion.

Mrs Adekeyede Elusoji, National Security, NIWIIT and Dr. Deola Ilechukwu, President, NIWIIT

As we all know, Governments, academic institutions, corporations, non-governmental organizations, professional journals and magazines, and many individuals are all talking about bridging the digital divide. While everyone basically understands what the digital divide is, there has been much less agreement on how the digital divide can be bridged, its historical significance, and its absolute impact on the global economy.

For most governments and corporations, the conventional approach to bridging the digital divide is to provide computers, Internet access, and technology training to people in disadvantaged communities. Thus, determining whether the digital divide is being bridged is based on the increasing numbers of our citizens who use computers, who have access to the Internet, and those who received some level of technology training.

The Realities

Sexual hierarchy, as evidenced within both the education and labour sector, is not the dictate of biology but is the result of socially constructed norms. These norms have played a direct role in the creation of a gendered digital divide that is primarily caused by a lack of women pursuing careers in science and technology. A variety of socio-cultural reasons for the sex related differences are offered. These include the tremendous burden that has been placed on women to conform to society norms of what is considered feminine. Ideas about the appropriate roles for women in the labour market and in society, or about the biological unsuitability of women for science, serve as primary impediments to women choosing careers in science and technology

What is the impact of computer technology on gender equity and education? Researches have shown that:

1.    Girls made up only a small percentage of students in computer science and computer design classes. The gender gap widens from grade eight to eleven. Girls are significantly more likely than boys to enroll in clerical and data-entry classes, and less likely to enroll in advanced computer science and graphics courses.
2.    Girls encountered fewer powerful, active female role models in computer games or software
3.    School software programs often reinforce gender bias and stereotypical gender roles.
4.    Girls use computers less often outside of school.
5.    Girls of all ethnic backgrounds consistently rate themselves significantly lower than boys on computer ability.
6.    Boys exhibit higher computer self-confidence.
7.  Teachers receive little or no training in how to use technology to create an innovative, engaging, equitable learning environment.

Globally, studies have shown that mathematics, physics and technical subjects are considered to be “hard” and therefore, more suitable for boys than girls. The absence of suitable role models for girls further compounds this problem, where there is a predominance of male science teachers. Furthermore, career guidance counselors frequently steer women away from careers in sciences, directing them into careers more “suitable” for women. Thus, generally, men far outnumber women in engineering, science (Computer Science) and industrial arts. This poor representation of women, particularly among black women, in the fields of science and engineering, is reflected in women’s position within the labour force.

The most recent study shows that girls are critical to the computer culture and are NOT computer phobic. Instead of trying to make girls fit into the existing computer culture, the computer culture must become more inviting for girls.  Other findings of this report are instructive:

  • Girls find programming classes tedious and dull, computer games too boring, redundant, and violent, and a computer career option uninspiring
  • Girls have clear and strong ideas about what kinds of games they would design…Games that feature simulation, strategy, and interaction. These games would, in fact, appeal to a broad range of learners –boys and girls alike.
  • Gender equity cannot be measured by how many girls send e-mail, use the Internet, and make PowerPoint presentations. Rather, gender equity means using technology proactively, being able to interpret the information that technology makes available, understanding design concepts, and being a lifelong learner of technology.

When women, who make up half the workforce, account for only a small percent of those with information technology credentials, it is a clear sign that we have to make computers and technology relevant across the job market to nontraditional users. I am not sure what the percentage of women in technology in this country would be, but I would guess that a large disparity does exist between women in the labor force and those with IT credentials.

The Way Forward

In light of this above discussion, we should be able to draw a few conclusions about the concerns of women in higher education as related to gender and technology. I return to my initial question, what most women in higher education demand of the information technology revolution?  The answer lies in the formation and effective administration of women oriented organizations such as NIWIIT.

NIWIIT is an Interest Group of  Nigeria Computer Society like ITAN and ISPON. Membership is therefore open to female members of Nigeria Computer Society, CPN and any woman involved in IT.  Since NCS requires every registered member to belong to an interest group, NIWIIT becomes an option for all female in the IT industry.

Members of the National Executive of NIWIIT


(1) Foster unity among Nigerian women in the IT industry through networking.
(2) To maintain and defend the integrity and right of women in the IT industry.
(3) To promote professionalism, capacity building and good relationship among members through mentoring.
(4) To maintain the highest standard of ethics, conduct, virtue, etiquette and discipline among women in the IT industry.
(5) To engage in any activity and ventures which will promote NIWIIT and welfare of members?
6) To create a platform by which women in IT can collaborate with other women in other professions in Nigeria and elsewhere.
(7) To develop and train members of the NIWITT through workshops and capacity building programs.
(8) To create awareness programs for IT related services and products among women in the rural and sub-urban areas in Nigeria, special target groups and students in secondary school and tertiary institutions.
(9) To encourage more female participation in the IT profession.
I am confident that the inauguration of NIWIIT Lagos Chapter will contribute immensely towards the realization of these noble objectives.

Thank you and God bless you all.

Mrs. Adekeyede Elusoji
National Secretary, NIWIIT

NIWIIT marks Girls in ICT Day

NIWIIT (Nigerian Women In Information Technology) will be marking the 2014 Girls in ICT Day on May 27, 2014. Venue is Rochas Foundation, Okigwe Road, Owerrii, Imo State, Nigeria. Time: 10am - 2pm. NIWIIT is an interest group of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), led by its President, Dr. (Mrs) Deola Iluchukwu focused on becoming one of the top recognized organizations advancing the cause of women and girls in IT in Nigeria.

According to the release from NIWIIT, a total of 5 female students from each of the15 schools invited from Imo, Abia and Enugu states are expected. Also invited are teachers from the schools, NIWIIT members from the 3 states and members of the public.

Although the International Day for Girls in ICT was observed on the 24th April 2014 globally, West African Examination Council (WAEC) exams were ongoing and schools were closed for the Easter break in Nigeria at that time. Since the target group for NiWIIT are JSS2, JSS3 & SS1 students, NIWIIT decided to shift its Girls in ICT day event to the month of May 2014.

According to Ilechukwu, NiWIIT decided to organize the event to mark that day on Tuesday, 27th May 2014 – children’s day. Participation is effective when the teachers are able to bring the girls for the event. The event is expected to include a seminar, a quiz competition and knowledge sharing with foremost national female ICT professionals. Winners will be presented with gifts.

The digital gender gap is a reality in the technology sector. The question is: how sustainable in progress in the industry in particular and society in general without the ideas, inputs and contributions of girls and women in ICT? Getting girls interested in technology at an early age is a necessity. Technology is essential for progress and girls need to be part of the process.

International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative backed by ITU Member States and Girls in ICT day events and opportunities are geared towards informing girls about the exciting and world changing opportunities in ICT. Idea generation, quizzes, knowledge sharing and mentoring are typical #GirlsinICT activities. The events will give them insight into why ICT is an attractive career option, and why gender in ICT is a non issue.
NIWIIT, a lead change agent committed to empowering and advancing women in ICT is therefore at the forefront of promoting ICT career opportunities to girls and women and inspiring girls, teachers, and the ICT sector to be more proactive and committed. The industry needs more women.
#GirlsinICT day  is about building interest in technology and careers in ICT among girls. For NIWIIT it is about showing commitment to the next generation.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Eko-Konnect Adopt a Bot Girls in ICT programme

In Lagos, Nigeria, Eko-Konnect Research & Education Initiative (A consortium of Higher Education Institutions in Lagos) will host its second edition of International Girls in ICT Day at the department of Computer Science, University of Lagos.

This year’s theme is Robotics for Computer Science and Engineering Education aimed at inspiring girls (and their teachers) in secondary schools and female students in higher education institutions to take up computer programming by learning to write code to manipulate robots. The programme is based on the “Computer Education For Girls Using Robotics” concept and the ‘Eko-Konnect Adopt a Bot’ programme.

Eko-Konnect will also officially launch its ‘Girls in ICT Club’ at this year’s event. The Girls in ICT Club aims to prepare girls and young women for a career in ICT and provide opportunity for girls to learn the fundamental skills they need to be competitive in an increasingly technological world. 

Eko-Konnect seeks support through sponsorship of the ICT for Girls event and Adopt a Bot

Please see Eko-Konnect Adopt a Bot’ programme


Goodness Ugochukwu,

The Eko-Konnect Research and Education Initiative
Room 003 FOSS Centre,
Center for Information Technology & Systems Building,
University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba / P.O. Box 67
Tel: +234-1-3428566 | E-mail:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Advancing Nigerian Women in Information Technology

Focused groups and associations play a major role in overcoming the challenges faced by girls and women in Information Technology and related male dominated fields. One such body is NIWIIT (Nigerian Women In Information Technology), an interest group of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS). NCS is Nigeria’s foremost Information Technology (IT) network with membership strength of Over 10,000, comprising IT Professionals, Interest groups and Stakeholders having footprints in Business, Government and Academia. NCS is the national platform advancing Information Technology Research, Practice and Innovation in Nigeria.

Still relatively young, NIWIIT was established in July 2012 when the national executive was inaugurated by the then NCS President, Sir Demola Aladekomo during the NCS Conference at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. Dr Adeola Ilechukwu emerged as the President of NIWIIT. Interestingly, it was while Dr Ilechukwu was 2nd Vice President of NCS that she took up the challenge to facilitate the inauguration of this interest group in NCS.

In addition to Dr. Ilechukwu, the NIWIIT national executive expectedly comprises of those who had shown proven commitment to women and girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Math (STEM). 

NIWIIT National Executive at NCS Conference in Osun State

Induction of new members took place at the 2013 NCS Conference at Iloko-Ijesa, Osun state of Nigeria. Members were inducted in different categories of Professional Members, Non Professional Members and students. NIWIIT has become an increasingly diverse and growing network with members in various fields in industry, research and education. The interest group also has chapters in Imo, Enugu, Lagos, Abuja, Kogi, Ogun, Abia (although some are yet to be inaugurated).

Activities NIWIIT has carried out so far include: Awareness creation in states, Mobilization of women in IT, Inauguration of chapters and induction of members. Innformation from NIWIIT states that “This interest group has an imperative to empower and encourage women working in the field of Information and Communication Technologies. NIWIIT will work with government, interest groups and other stakeholders to achieve objectives for women in IT in unique and innovative ways. Events and activities will recognize the impact of women in ICT, while promoting the advancement of women in ICTs. NIWIIT is focused on increasing the active participation and contribution at all levels in the IT industry.”

It is expected that the group has well thought out, future plans and projects to fulfill its mandate. If NIWIIT is to become one of the top recognized organizations advancing the cause of women and girls in IT in Nigeria, it must address issues relating to capacity building, while facilitating the contribution of women and girls in the nation’s technological development. It should embrace purposeful networking - to exchange ideas, share experiences, highlight success stories, monitor progress, collaborate, mentor and build capacities. 

Women in ICT blog wishes NIWIIT well!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What are your plans for the 2014 Girls in ICT Day?

What are your plans for the 2014 Girls in ICT Day? Girls in ICT day is a day to provide information and inspiration to help girls and women grow in the dynamic and challenging information and communication technology (ICT) sector. Jidaw notes that it's about revealing the exciting multi-disciplinary ICT career opportunities for tech professionals, entrepreneurs and innovators to more young women and girls. This year’s Girls in ICT Day will be celebrated on 24 April 2014. 

ICT enabled innovation has changed the world and is the tool of opportunity. 2014, year of innovation, but what role do women play in this driver of change? This role deserves more attention. Jidaw asks: How can we help girls who have an interest in ICT? The ICT sphere is still one that is largely male dominated and a lot still needs to be done to raise awareness and inspire girls and women pursue technology careers in significant numbers.

Girls and Women in ICT in significant numbers
Backed by ITU Member States in ITU Plenipotentiary Conference Resolution 70 (Guadalajara, 2010) Girls in ICT Day is organized annually to raise issues about girls and young women in ICT. ICT is the infrastructure of the knowledge society. Activities in particular include encouraging girls and women to consider the career and entrepreneurship opportunities that abound in this sector. Jidaw is a programme contributor on the ITU Girls in ICT Project, and raising awareness to young girls and women about the importance of joining the ICT sector and organizing such events are in line with Jidaw’s vision. Jidaw is committed to this worthy cause. The demand for people with ICT knowledge and skills is huge. Why aren’t more women seizing the opportunities and living their dreams in this thriving sector? ICT career and entrepreneurship opportunities abound for talented and skilled women. So how will the gap be bridged? 

Women at the Center of Development
We must understand what more girls and women in ICT really means. Women must have the opportunity to live their dreams and write their own stories. And in the digital economy ICT must be in the picture. Without empowering girls and young women their communities lose their ideas and potential contributions. The role of women and girls in technology is critical; not just as consumers but as creators, providers and contributors. Technology empowers women, girls economically and socially. Women must be at the center of development. The empowerment of women is essential to economic prosperity and inclusive, resilient and sustainable development. The world needs their creativity and leadership qualities. There can be no development without combining the strengths of women with the strengths of men. For the forward looking nations, women are a source of strength and opportunity. 

So how will you celebrate the 2014 Girls in ICT Day? 
What will you and your organization do to foster knowledge sharing and bring attention to this critical area? I urge you to join Jidaw and other progressive individuals and organizations to acquaint girls and young women with digital opportunities and related careers. Create awareness on the important role technology can play in empowering women to meet their goals and aspirations and in eliminating gender inequalities. Be part of the advancement and empowerment of Women and Girls in ICT. 

Having more girls and young women join the ICT sector, especially in the high value areas is a necessity not a luxury. It is about creating a better future for them and for their communities. Jidaw looks forward to great and successful celebrations on and around 24 April 2014 – let’s reach even more girls and young women. 

Jide Awe

Founder, Jidaw

Nigeria Computer Society

Nigeria Computer Society
- promoting change and development for all