This Day (Lagos)

31 January 2013

Nigeria: WITIN Opens Mobile APPs Competition for Girls in Nigeria

Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN) has brought technology competition to Nigeria as part of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)'s Girls in ICT Project & Tech Needs Girls campaign.

WITIN's president, Mrs. Martha Alade, said in a statement that the mobile app challenge was opened for secondary school girls (ages 13-18) who would work in teams of 5s to develop mobile apps, conduct market research, write business plans, and create a "pitch" for funding every Monday.

According to her, each team will work with classroom teacher at their school and a female mentor/role model from the technology industry.

She added that WITIN will lead mentors in Nigeria who would guide teachers to train teams to build the apps.

Alade said:" The training culminates in a global competition where teams compete for funding to launch their company and take their app to market. The goal of the program is to promote women in technology by inspiring girls to see themselves not just as users of technology, but as inventors, designers, builders, and entrepreneurs in the technology industry.

"The girls are taught life skills such as how to identify a problem, design and test a solution, collaborate with a team, and communicate to different audiences. It reinforces the following academic concepts: digital representation of information, algorithmic thinking and programming, and the societal impact of information and information technology. "

According to her, girls will be trained two hours a week over this period to develop a potential solution to problems and programme a mobile phone application to solve it.

"The app must solve a problem in the local communities of the girls. This could be a health problem that affects their community, a social problem, or even a lack of a resource. They will learn how to study their competition, identify ways in which they can gather users and earn revenue," she said.

The statement further explained that the winning team will be celebrated in Nigeria on 25 April, 2013 (the Girls in ICT Day), explaining that the team will then travel to the Silicon Valley, California, United States, to compete globally on May 1, 2013.

"The overall winner will receive $10,000 in funding and support to complete their app development and release it on the market. In the end, Girls will learn about collaboration and teamwork and important skills in the technology industry," she said.

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