Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria (GWIN) is the gender-based budgeting initiative launched, last year, by the Federal Government of Nigeria to combat the issue of under-representation of women in viable career sectors, and to empower women socially and economically via ICTs with a view to reducing the technology gender divide.
GWIN is set up in such a way that Each Ministry gets extra-budgetary funding to improve and/or grow initiatives that improve the chances of Nigerian women being included in important issues and being executed through an MoU among the ministries of Finance, Communication Technology, Agriculture, Water Resources, Health, Works and Women Affairs. The Ministry of Communication Technology is empowering women and girls through particular technology initiatives such as the-ICT Girls Clubs, partnership with a private sector IT entity to train 1000 girls, and the SmartWoman Nigeria project. A three day training programme which is organised for 50 girls per session as part of the on-going training of 1,000 girls in ICT is in partnership with Huawei, a global leader in Information Communication Technology.
The Vice- President of Huawei West Africa, Mr Hover Gao commenting on the programme, said that about 200 top participants out of the 1,000 girls will get further training for the attainment of a certification as Huawei Certified Datacom Associate (HCDA). He added that top achievers with Huawei HCDA certification will have the priority-access to be employed by Huawei.
Meanwhile, the International Telecommunication Union, ITU, commended the Nigerian government for this initiative, saying that the training programme when completed would correct the inequality in ICT adoption and misuse among women, and even men. Beneficiaries of the programme have expressed assurance that with the quality of training they were receiving, women would shortly give men a run for their place in Technology.