The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa), at the midweek unveiled a pivotal mentorship programme for young female students at the Federal College of Education, Technical (FCET), Gusau, Zamfara State.
This initiative, which was birthed and draws inspiration from the principles highlighted at the 2022 UN Women Convention on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York, USA, is centred around “Innovation, technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
Speaking on the initiative, Dr. Ubon Udoh, Managing Director/CEO of ASR Africa, said foundation’s commitment to education “goes beyond providing infrastructure and financial support, but also involves significant technical assistance.
“Our collaboration with the management and staff of FCET Gusau is one of such partnerships. I enjoin the young ladies of the college to fully embrace this opportunity and leverage it to become valuable contributors to their communities.
“With the launch of this programme, ASR Africa is proud to stand at the forefront of advancing the UN Women’s mission by striving to bridge the digital divide for Nigerian women and girls,” he added.
Responding, Prof. Umar Bello, Provost of the institution, expressed profound gratitude to ASR Africa’s Chairman, Abdul Samad Rabiu, for exceeding the institution’s initial request for infrastructural assistance to include technical assistance which has immense benefits for the school. He also acknowledged the partners who are collaborating with ASR Africa in this endeavour.
This ASR Africa mentorship programme seeks to address several hurdles that young women in STEM fields encounter, such as the scarcity of female role models, limited opportunities for mentoring and sponsorship, and deep-rooted cultural and societal biases. The programme is expected to bolster the number of female students opting for careers in STEM fields, enhancing their academic performance and preparing them for future career prospects.
The launch attracted attention and participation from numerous women’s organisations from the United Nations and across the continent of Africa, some of whom engaged the students through enlightening presentations and a thought-provoking Q&A session.