Project Asha Pitch Contest Finale: Winner yet to Emerge
On the 20th November, 2021, ProjectAsha held her final pitch contest for girls who are passionate about starting a career in digital technology and STEM. The contest attracted entry submissions from over 30 girls across various geopolitical zones in Nigeria. Following a rigorous and competitive consideration, 14 girls emerged as finalists to benefit from the rewarding learning opportunities offered by partners on the project. The final pitch contest was ushered in by the pre-event virtual seminar which was held on the 13th November, 2021.
ProjectASHA is focused on empowering marginalised girls and women; and digital inclusion is one of the ways we recreate a new reality for girls and women across Nigeria and Africa.
Moderated by the National Volunteer Coordinator for Project ASHA, Joseph Waribugo and Outreach Coordinator, Bolafunmi Adedayo, the meeting featured seasoned facilitators and girls-right ambassadors like Mary Abiodun of Colibri Africa; Olorunfunmi Adebajo-Olafimihan, founder Kindle Africa and grant awardee, Vweta Chadwick ICT Hub Grant 2021; with important contributions from Maryam Abdusalam, Programme Manager at Women’s Technology Empowerment centre (W.TEC).
The discussion focused on and reinforced the role of women and girls in the tech space; encourage and galvanise support for increased female inclusion in discourses surrounding their participation in science and technology.
Girls in Nigeria, particularly marginalised ones, suffer from significantly low or no online presence due to poverty, inaccessible tech safe spaces, discouragements, discrimination, and many other reasons. A larger percentage of these girls may likely never use an internet enabled device or have access to the online community. When women are excluded, this is bad for growth. Where are we now?
On the final pitch event, girls presented their unique ideas and innovations; all proffering solutions to the challenges they will tackle when given full fledge support and a right foundation. Their interest went from developing afro-centric apps, digital marketing solutions, programming, to data analysis and product design – young innovators ready on track to changing the narratives.
Every single girl who participated in the pitch contest is truly grateful for the exciting opportunity and desires for more programs that safely moves females into enjoying the range of benefits the digital space offers. More so, employability and confidence level will be increased.
Many thanks to Team W.TEC, Maryam Abdusalam and Adeyemi Odutola (Communication Officer, W.TEC) who executed a great work by sitting as the panel of judges; W.TEC remains a solid partner to the ASHA pitch contest for girls. Also, our sincerest appreciation to Tech4dev for strongly supporting girls through this project; and Female Techpreneur, UK; the girls look forward to redeeming their boot camps learning opportunities and embarking on a fully supported tech journey.
While some women in work force still struggle to get recognized for their contributions, ProjectASHA is ensuring young girls are inspired to start their tech journeys with the right visibility. This project encouraged younger girls to see possibilities and opportunities they can benefit from as future tech experts.
While our judges deliberate on the outcome of the competition and we await a decision by Thursday 25th November 2021, Project Asha continues to seek meaningful collaborations with like-minded organisations to offer available opportunities to the participants.
At strategic level, we encourage more individuals and organisations to support girls through our projects. There is no better time to lend a voice than NOW. Reach ProjectAsha today to see what ways you can play a role and make a change.