Intel Advocates Women Empowerment Through ICT, Entrepreneurial Skills

By Maryann Balogun
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Lagos, Nigeria; March 7th 2014: In recognition of the role of women in nation building and their contribution to world development, Intel Corporation has joined in the global celebration of International Women's Day with a call for improved commitment towards the empowerment of women and the girl child in all fields of human endeavor including technology and entrepreneurial skills.

The International Women's Day is celebrated globally on March 8th of every year. The Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action and improvements. The theme for this year's celebration is 'Inspiring Change'.

The company seized the opportunity of the Day to reiterate its commitment toward empowering women and the girl child by equipping them with technological and entrepreneurial skills in order that they can maximize their potentials and be better placed to contribute to global development and economy.

In a press statement, Country Manager, Intel Nigeria, Bunmi Ekundare, stressed that Intel Corporation was committed to supporting creative initiatives that seek to empower aspiring female entrepreneurs with the needed technological and entrepreneurial training that can help them compete favourably in the marketplace.

'Empowering women through information and communications technology has been considered critical to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria. The disparity between men and women with regards to access to basic ICT services has been a gross limitation to the country becoming a major economic bloc in the African sub-region and indeed the world.

'Intel Corporation is thus reiterating its commitment to partner with any organization that is helping to bridge access to Information and Communication Technology as well as empower women with entrepreneurial skills that can help them assume their rightful position in the society and thus help the country become a key investment bloc in the continent and beyond,' he stated.

Continuing, Ekundare said that technical skills without complimentary life skills are a disadvantage and would only impede women from delivering the highest possible value in any field of human endeavour.

'Intel is committed to helping every country we operate in raise the likes of women such as Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, and Renée J. James, President of Intel Corporation. The two women are among the women whose achievements in the ICT sector are celebrated globally. While Sandberg is the first woman to serve on Facebook's board, James is ranked 27th in Fortune's 50 Most Powerful Women in business.

He stressed that this was in line with Intel's mission statement which states that we will use our technology to 'connect and enrich the lives of everyone on earth.' He added that Intel is about giving equal chances to both men and women. Through initiatives such as the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, Intel Teach and Intel Learn we are fostering the interest of more and more young women in STEM subjects, laying the foundations for a fairer and more equal future.

Intel in Nigeria has championed skills acquisition initiatives that are directed at women and the girl child. Part of this is its 'Girl Rising' initiative which focuses on teaching young girls the idea of coding, programming several skills that they can learn in the digital space to inspire them to achieve much more for themselves. Also in August 2013, the corporation partnered with the Women Technology and Empowerment Centre (W-TEC) to train female and aspiring female entrepreneurs on ICT and entrepreneurial skills. All these are in line with enabling more female participation in the digital space and encouraging the growth of individual businesses as part of a solution to unemployment.

In celebration of this year's International Women's Day, the corporation looks forward to a future with women taking the lead in several areas of life, including technology, and acknowledges the colour and beauty women bring to the world.