Lafarge Africa Launches Girls in Tech Programme in C/River

Fadekemi Ajakaiye

Recognizing the underrepresentation of women in the technology sector, leading innovative and sustainable building solutions company, Lafarge Africa Plc, has launched the Girls in Tech Program, a pioneering initiative aimed at empowering young women in technology. Meticulously crafted to bridge the gender gap in tech and empower 10 young females between the ages of 18-25 years from Lafarge Africa Host communities in Cross River State, this programme is poised to make a significant impact in the region.

The Girls in Tech Programme seeks to harness the unique talents of these young women and introduce them to the dynamic world of technology. By providing them with essential skills and opportunities, the initiative aspires to equip them to become self-reliant as well as problem solvers in society.

In collaboration with Aptech and Arena Multimedia,globally recognized leaders in technology incubation and opportunity, as well as The Bridge Leadership Foundation, this boot camp promises to be a transformative experience for the participating girls, who are eager to make their mark in the tech industry.

Speaking during the onboarding to flag-off the program held at Hogis Hotel, Calabar on Friday, April 5, 2024, the Plant Manager, Lafarge Africa Plc, Sotirios Valsamakis, who was represented by the Human Resources Business Partner, Lafarge Africa Plc; Barong Ita, revealed that the program is in line with the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. She also added that the initiative is designed to ignite a spark of inspiration, hope, and possibilities in the heart of the selected girls across the host communities.

“As an organization, people are an integral part of our sustainability drive, and we are invested in building lasting progress by empowering members of our host communities. We also recognize the need for greater and greener diversity and inclusivity within the tech sector. Today’s event is not just about launching a program. It is about igniting a spark of inspiration, hope, and possibilities in the hearts of these young women. It is about challenging stereotypes.”

Also speaking at the event, the Cross Rivers State Commissioner for Science, Innovation & Technology, Justin Beshel represented by Edwin Adie, Technical Senior Advisor, Cross Rivers State Ministry of Science & Technology commended Lafarge Africa for the initiative adding that it is in line with the State government’s plan towards science, technology and innovation development.

“We like to appreciate Lafarge for onboarding the girls in tech program because it’s in tandem to what we believe in and we are happy to see Lafarge as an esteemed partner in driving our people to getting this opportunity.”

Meanwhile, his counterpart from the Ministry of Youth Development, Hon. Ijom Agim stressed that the initiative is a way of empowering and giving back to society. “It is the primary responsibility of our ministry to get involved in youth empowerment and training in all ramifications. Therefore, I’m deeply elated to have Lafarge come up with such an initiative, which, as far as I’m concerned, is a way of empowering the youth of Cross River State. Even though this program is actually tied as our girls’ onboarding program, it is very much in tandem with our plan in the state.”

In the same vein, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hon. Edeme Erom commended Lafarge Africa for investing in the girl child. “Gender equality is a cross-cutting issue that affects all the 17 SDG goals. This Girls in Tech onboarding program can be leveraged to deliver a transformative impact in our society and in our state. On this note, permit me to thank Girls in Tech team of Lafarge, all the supporting organisations, and our esteemed girls in tech ambassadors.”

Some of the beneficiaries expressed appreciation to Lafarge Africa for the opportunity while pledging to take the six months’ program seriously as well as replicate the knowledge acquired in other girls in their communities.

The event was also attended by the State Commissioner for Environment, program partners from the Bridge Leadership Foundation, Aptech, Arena Media, and representatives of some of the host communities. 

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