The Rural Electrification Agency in its bid towards building young women in energy has held its first female Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workshop in Lagos State, Nigeria.
The workshop was organized by the Agency in partnership with leading private sector developers and was attended by power sector stakeholders and business professionals with the aim of bringing together young women in the same room with top power sector and business professionals to share knowledge and discuss the opportunities for women in the industry.
The Energizing Education Programme (EEP) being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency to provide sustainable and clean power supply to 37 Federal Universities and 7 University Teaching Hospitals across Nigeria creates an avenue for the training of 180 female STEM students (20 from each benefiting university) during the construction phase of the project which serves as a catalyst towards ensuring sustainability of the project and building young women for the future in renewable energy.
Damilola Ogunbiyi, managing director/CEO of REA in her opening remarks said, “This Workshop is designed to facilitate the increase in leadership and development of professional women. It is also a platform for the 180 female students and professionals present to network, share their knowledge, discuss achievements and encourage the advancement of women across the energy sector”
Delivering the keynote address, the minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba said “To the young women who have participated in the STEM Internship Programme, I want you to know that gender and social exclusion will soon be a thing of the past. As a government, we are working to ensure that we mitigate the plight of women and promote equality and inclusiveness across all sectors. We cannot hope to reform the power sector without the skills, innovation and expertise of our women. That is why the importance of events like the one we are having today cannot be overemphasized. I therefore urge you to take charge of your future and make good use of the platform that has been established for you.
The final activity of the workshop was the Project Shark Tank competition between the participating universities in which students of Bayero University, Kano emerged first and won a prize of N1,000,000 (One million Naira).
The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is the Implementing Agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) tasked with electrification of unserved and underserved communities. The Energizing Education Programme (EEP) is an initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide sustainable and clean power supply to 37 Federal Universities and 7 University Teaching Hospitals across Nigeria.
The project includes the provision of an independent power plant, upgrading existing distribution infrastructure, street lighting to improve security within the universities’ campuses, as well as the development of a world class training centre on renewable energy for each university. The STEM Internship training of the EEP aims to train 20 female STEM students from each university during the construction phase of the project. The programme is being implemented in three phases and funded by the Federal Government of Nigeria, the World Bank and the African Development Bank respectively.