Mastercard, the global payment and technology company has partnered with Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF), an international non-profit-organisation to empower 200,000 girls through the Girls4Tech program by the year 2020.
Omoke Adebanjo, Mastercard’s Area Business Head for West Africa made this known during the launch of the initiative recently.
Girls4Tech is Mastercard’s signature education program designed for young girls around with the goal of inspiring girls to build skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Oby Ezekwesili, Nigeria’s former Minister for education, who was present at the launch commended Mastercard and YTF for making the educational investment to encourage more girls to take up interest in STEM subjects.
Addressing the young girls, Ezekwesili admonished them to emulate the likes of Sheryl Sandberg and Elon Musk who are making giant strides in the field of technology.
According to her, “If Nigeria is going to become a new and different country, it depends on you. You are the human capital that will completely change the basis of Nigeria’s development. Your generation is heralding the 4th industrial revolution.”
Adebanjo noted that there was a gap in the amount of jobs requiring STEM skills and the number of women taking up the opportunities.
“According to the latest statistics, about 80 percent of jobs that will be created in the next decade will require some combination of science, technology, engineering and math. Yet, women make up only 30 percent of the science and technology workforce. Therein lies the importance of the Girls4Tech initiative,” she said.
Adebanjo further added: “Subjects such Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are going to change the world in the nearest future and more girls are needed to take up more interest in these study areas. Since the inception of the Girls4Tech initiative, Mastercard has successfully trained about 30,000 girls. We leverage our employees as role models and mentors. We also work through collaborations, hence our partnership with YTF on this initiative.”
Njideka Harry, President of YTF implored the girls to take advantage of the opportunity of the exposure to the basics of the STEM subjects.
“The opportunities in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are immense, hence young girls should take up more interest. Youth for Technology Foundation has been in existence for over 17 years and we have been empowering individuals and today, we are launching Girls4Tech initiative in partnership with Mastercard to boost the study in STEM education for young girls,” Harry said.
The Girls4Tech is a global initiative by Mastercard, launched three years ago to support the global drive to encourage more young girls to undertake the STEM subjects. Through the platform Mastercard has been helped to inspire young girls’ participation in STEM subjects and increase awareness and visibility for STEM.