Welcome to the opening of a week of robotics learning and challenges.
As some of you may know, this is the first such event in sub-Saharan Africa.
There will be two days of trainings in Lagos followed by three days of training and competitions at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential library in Abeokuta.
In Lagos separate trainings will be held for public and private school science teachers, university students, and entrepreneurs focused on IT.
In Abeokuta the focus will be on students from across Nigeria. We expect 200 students from approximately 50 schools to participate in the learning and competition sessions.
The U.S. Consulate was pleased to support RoboRAVE Nigeria.
Last year RoboRAVE Nigeria, which is chaired by Kingsley Amade, sent a team to New Mexico to take part in the international competition.
It is our hope that holding this week long event will encourage more teams from Nigeria to participate in the national and international competitions.
I have no doubt that Nigerian students will be able to do well at these competitions.
I want to welcome Russ Fisher-Ives, the director of RoboRAVE international, and Brian Montoya, the director of RoboRAVE North America who will be leading the training.
As acting Special Representative Thomas Debass said, “because it touches on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, robotics can capture the imagination of children and young adults around the world and provide a platform for global partnerships and economic development.”
A goal of U.S. Mission Nigeria is to support Nigerian economic development and education.
I welcomed the opportunity to get involved with RoboRAVE activities in Lagos and Abeokuta because these events will undoubtedly spark interest in STEM education and careers in these fields.
We are donating forty (40) robots free-of-charge to the participating schools, many of them with little or no experience in robotics.
As a final note – this is only the beginning of our efforts to support robotics education in Nigeria.
Between November and February of next year Kingsley and his team will visit schools in the 12 participating states to monitor and support the integration of robotics education in the classroom.
Additionally, RoboRAVE will hold events in 2018 in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Benin, and Ibadan to expand access to robotics education.
Thank you again for coming.