Women in Tech in Nigeria (WITIN), a woman-focused initiative using technology for socio-economic empowerment, has launched a mobile innovation challenge to encourage female involvement in the “male dominated world of technology innovation”.
The challenge, which opened this week, will target secondary school girls aged between 13 and 18 years, who will work in a team of five to develop the apps, conduct market research, write business plans and create a pitching for funding.
The project is being conducted as a part of the ITU’s campaigns ITU’s Girls in ICT and Tech Needs Girls.
“Each team works with both a classroom teacher at their school and a female mentor or role model from the technology industry,” WITIN said.
“WITIN will lead mentors in Nigeria who would guide teachers to train teams from now till April on how to build the apps. The training culminates in a global competition where teams compete for funding to launch their company and take their app to market.”
The organisation hopes the programme will promote technology by inspiring the girls. It further expects to create a new crop of 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 with different audiences. It reinforces academic concepts such as digital representation of information, algorithmic thinking and programming, and the societal impact of information and information technology.
The winners will be recognised in Nigeria on April 25 and will travel to Silicon Valley, California, to compete in a worldwide challenge on May 1. The top prize will be US$10,000 to fund the project and to release it into the market.