US Consulate launches ‘Osun Girls Can Code’ campaign

The United States Consulate has launched a project to empower 300 high schoolgirls in Osun State to pursue education and careers in STEM fields.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday by the Information Specialist of US Consulate Public Affairs Section, Mr Temitayo Famutimi.

The project tagged ‘Osun Girls Can Code’ will give 300 schoolgirls training on coding, web design, and product creation, all key skills needed in today’s increasingly competitive job market.

Famutimi said that the goal of encouraging the role of girls and women in STEM fields has been the cornerstone of the technology-learning programmes supported by the U.S. Mission in Nigeria.

His statement was corroborated by the U.S. Consul General, Claire Pierangelo, who noted that the six months capacity building programme will foster a supportive community where the young girls can receive mentorship, network and share internship opportunities in STEM fields.

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According to Pierangelo, the “Osun Girls Can Code” programme is one of the many initiatives of the U.S. Mission that seeks to ensure gender parity, and provide women and girls with opportunities to contribute to creating sustainable and inclusive economic prosperity for Nigeria.

“The United States promotes the rights and empowerment of women and girls in our foreign policy, and we have invested millions of dollars to advance gender equality across sub-Saharan Africa,” Pierangelo said.

“When barriers to the participation of women and girls in STEM fields are removed, we all benefit. Whether at home or abroad, promoting women in the STEM fields is a U.S. government priority.”

In addition to the capacity building programme for the 300 high school girls, the US consul said that 60 female STEM teachers from Osun State will receive training to help teach more effectively and on how to mentor women and girls about careers in tech fields.

The project will end with a pitch competition to showcase the participants’ achievements, with U.S. Consulate representatives taking part on the panel and the winning schools receiving prizes.

A 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow, Dayo Adeniyi, is implementing the project with a public diplomacy grant from the U.S. Consulate General.

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