The U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) initiative, in cooperation with the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, kicked off a networking workshop for 25 science and technology entrepreneurs to promote women’s access to entrepreneurship resources. This workshop in Lagos, which is being implemented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), is a series of workshops – GIST Women’s Village Workshops – to be held throughout Africa in 2016. Science and technology entrepreneurs are attending a two day workshop where they learned how to network, build successful entrepreneurship ecosystems, and leverage resources to benefit women entrepreneurs. Each entrepreneur is now challenged to increase awareness and improve access for women entrepreneurs by teaching what they have learned to 60 people within 6 months of completing the workshop, and to expand the reach. This is part of the U.S. Government’s initiatives to train, mentor, and connect more than 10,000 young African women science and technology entrepreneurs by July 2016. Other initiatives by GIST include: Africa-focused GIST TechConnect and GIST Startup Boot Camps.
At the event, PAO Dehab Ghebreab in her remarks told the participants; “You are part of a vibrant youth that will change Nigeria for the better.” She challenged them to take advantage of the knowledge and skills acquired to improve their lives and also mentor others who were not so fortunate to participate. She highlighted U.S. Government Exchange programs that the participants could take advantage of locally and internationally: Mandela Washington Fellowship, TechWomen, Fulbright programs, and Humphrey Fellowship. She invited them to take advantage of resources at our Information Resource Centers and American Corners in Nigeria.
Haley Smith, the leader of the delegation, and Program Manager, Global Engagement for GIST gave a brief background of GIST initiatives and the role the STEM Village Workshop will play in the U.S. Government’s overall strategy to empower women in Africa.
Workshop participants were drawn from various parts of the Lagos State.
Three resource persons will facilitate the two-day event namely: Maggie Dugan, Lead Instructor at Knowinnovation; Dr. Shaaretha Pelly, Senior Program Associate and Dr. Charles Dunlap, Program Director, both at American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).