President Jonathan officially Launches GWIN Program

President Goodluck Jonathan today officially launched the Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria Initiative GWIN.
GWIN is an initiative of the Federal Government geared to empower women and girls in Nigeria.
GWIN is being implemented through a memorandum of understanding signed by five pilot Ministries(The Ministries of Finance, Communication Technology, Agriculture, Water Resources, Health and Works). The participating Ministries are being financed by the Federal Government to develop the potential and earning power of women via the delivery of specific programmes services that will impact positively on the lives of Nigerian women.


At the launching of the programme at the Presidential Villa, President Jonathan disclosed that the objective of GWIN is to open access to life changing opportunities for women and girls in diverse spheres and walks of life across the Federation.

President Jonathan said that the GWIN project is a product of the collaboration with development partners –which became an implementable programme in 2013 under the leadership of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala. He emphasised that to ensure effective implementation of the GWIN project five ministries were selected as pilot implementing agencies and were asked to integrate the GWIN concept into the mandate of their respective ministries.

He pledged that as a government, his administration will continue to give equal opportunities to women both big and small, so that they can continue to fly higher.
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala in her remarks, said that the present administration was using budgetary resources to start building women from the grassroots in the belief that when you empower women, you empower a nation.

Minister of Communication Technology, Dr Omobola Johnson in a Presentation delivered at the launch disclosed that the Ministry via GWIN is empowering women and girls through specific technology initiatives identified and developed to empower Nigerian women and girls to actualize their potentials. The Ministry according to Dr Johnson is intervening to empower Nigerian women and girls via ICTs through three flagship programmes. The Digital Girls Club, 1,000 Girls ICT Training Programme and SmartWoman Nigeria project (SHE App).

The Digital Girls Club was created to encourage young girls in secondary schools in Nigeria develop an early interest in ICT-related careers, the second initiative- the 1000 Girls ICT Training program was designed to provide young unemployed female graduates with job-ready skills to improve their chances of employment in the ICT sector and the third, the SmartWoman Nigeria project was designed to bring the catalytic potential of ICTs within the reach of all Nigerian women regardless of their socio-economic background
To encourage young girls to adopt careers in ICTs, the Digital Girls curriculum was developed and piloted in 12 Federal Government Girls Colleges across the six geo-political zones. About 1850 Girls registered as Members in the 12 pilot schools surpassing the initially 1200 students projected. The pilot has been concluded and the Curriculum has been reviewed based on Reports from the Pilot schools. The revised curriculum is ready to be unveiled and will thereafter be made available
for girls in all secondary schools across the country.

The Ministry through the 1,000 Girls in ICT Training Program has trained 1000 young female graduates of different tertiary institutions from across the 36 states of the Federation in the fundamentals of Telecommunications. 200 best-performing students were selected and are currently undergoing further training to become Huawei Certified Data Associates (HCDA).
20 top of the 200 will receive further training in China and upon completion of training programme, all 200 will be engaged in Huawei and associated facilities across the country.
Dr Johnson at the occasion emphasised that many of the participants in the 1000 Girls programme did not have related background in ICT but performed excellently. A graduate of Economics was the best performing participant with a score of 98%.

The third initiative of the Ministry, the SmartWoman Nigeria (S.H.E Mobile App) was developed as a brand of SmartWoman Nigeria to create the largest network of connected Nigerian women. The App will provide women with regular content on health, parenting, finance, business, etc.; thereby empowering them to improve their lives. It will also afford them the opportunity to voice their opinion on issues that matters to them. Johnson stated that women in the rural areas on SHE Mobile App network will receive relevant content via text and voice SMS and where necessary in any of the five major local dialects.
The work of the Ministry in the area of women empowerment via ICTs attracted the attention of the International Telecommunications Union ITU. From 360 nominations from 74 countries, Nigeria emerged winner in ITU’s 7th Category of “ICT and Broadband strategies, policies and frameworks that promote women’s digital empowerment. Dr Johnson, who expressed delight at the successes recorded via the Ministry’s GWIN interventions, emphasised that to sustain the programs beyond 2015, the Ministry will develop a framework to enable private sector participation in SmartWoman Nigeria and Digital Girls Club. The Ministry also intends to develop other Mobile Apps specifically aimed at empowering Nigerian women and girls as well as introduce other specific ICT-driven initiatives to foster gender inclusion in Nigeria.

Some members of the Digital Girls Club gave memorable testimonials that highlighted the crucial role the Club is playing in demystifying ICTs.

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