Visiola Foundation set to harness the potential of visionary leadership in Africa
By providing academically excellent youth with scholarship opportunities, mentorship and training in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, the Visiola Foundation helps to promote the emergence of a new cadre of African leaders.
The recently concluded STEM Summer Camp for Teenage Girls was aimed at gearing the often marginalized 50% of the Africa’s population—women, towards pursuing careers in science. During the summer camp, students learn valuable skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork as they are taught to view the world through the lens of STEM subjects.
This camp exercise and growing confidence of the teens who participated, will go a long way in bridging the gender gap by empowering high-potential girls and young women to become leading professionals.
Numerous opportunities provided by expertise in the STEM fields help to boost Africa’s long-term socio-economic transformation. It is therefore great news that women are getting more involved in Africa’s fast growing tech community. As such the fact that their skills are critically required to stimulate Africa’s growing industrial and manufacturing base cannot be overemphasised.
Barely two months ago, four young Nigerian women won the Global Technovation Challenge in the High School Category for developing Discardious– a mobile to tackle waste disposal in Nigeria. Under the tag of Team Nigeria, Praise David-Oku, Sonam Kumar, Nmesoma Ogbonna, and Grace Akpoiroro became the first ever group from Nigeria to come first in the Technovation contest which this year involved participants from 64 countries and featured over 300 app submissions
In June, three South African teenage girls created Africa’s first private satellite. The satellite, which will launch in the first quarter of 2016, is not only a celebration of African innovation, but a positive shift in participation of the African girl child who would have, in the past, let the “geeky boys” handle it.
Teenagers like Nina-Rose Clarke of Pinelands High School have become more confident as young women and can testify to this paradigm shift. “I never thought building things could be this interesting. I am loving this experience. It’s so exciting to be exposed to more than just drawing and studying ideas. Constructing stuff is so much better.”
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