By Hamza Ibrahim Chinade.
The week long Kano Digital Summer Institute (KDSI) for young women has successfully come to an end with a closing ceremony where the instructors, organizers, associates, trainees, their relations, other stakeholders and the media were present. The summer training has introduced the young women trainees into various important ICT skills aimed at serving as empowerment mechanism to the young ladies. Skills acquired by the trainees during the summer included mobile apps, photography, film and video editing, graphics design, blogging, wordpress, social media marketing etc. Thirty five (35) young women were previously trained on the same skills at the Abuja Digital Summer Institute and the Kano version enrolled fifteen (15) bringing the number to fifty (50). Christine Ongjoco, Monica Gutierrez, Alexis Tirado and Emily Weiss facilitated both Abuja and Kano Summer Institutes.
Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) organized the summer training in collaboration with Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), the African Studies Program at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the Everett Program, an InfoTech Social Entrepreneurial training organization from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
In his opening remarks, CITAD’s Training Coordinator, Malam Ahmad Abdullahi Yakasai appreciated the facilitators passionate commitment towards the trainees which he said resulted in the trainees easily acquiring the needed skills. He advised the trainees to be interested in the acquired skills and explore more opportunities in ICT. Giving a background on the Kano Digital Summer Institute, Executive Fellow and facilitator at the training Christine Ongjoco said “we want the trainees to develop skills and gain access to better employment and self reliance and become agents of development in their communities”.
Also in her remarks, chair of the occasion and Director Center for Gender Studies, Bayero University Kano, Prof. Aisha Ismail represented by her deputy Dr. Amina Muhammad Lawal began with an introduction of the Gender Studies Center and advised the trainees to effectively use their skills hinting the numerous opportunities in the ICT industry. In their separate comments, Director, MacArthur Foundation, Africa Office Dr. Kole Shattima, Executive Director of Isah Wali Empowerment Initiative Hajiya Amina Hanga, Executive Director of Women Farmers Association of Nigeria (WOFAN) representative by Hajiya Maryam Alhamdu Jibril, Executive Director of Voice of Widows and Divorcees (VOWAN) Hajiya Altine Abdullahi and Hajiya Jummai Bappha all commended organizers of the event and urged the trainees to fully utilize what they have learnt, use the training as a stepping stone to attaining greater height in ICT while exploring prospects, and impress organizers of the summer by becoming success stories and role models.
Presenting certificates to some of the young women trainees, Executive Director of Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) Malam Y.Z Ya’u said relationship between CITAD and University of California has a long history and has over the years yielded positive results that have societal and community impact, noting that the relationship has extended to Johns Hopkins University giving credit to Prof. Paul Lubeck, he thanked associate Dr. Kole Shattima for being part of the Digital Summer Institute for Young Women idea initiation. Ya’u also urged the trainees to put their skills into use in order to become job and wealth creators in their different communities. Certificates were presented to all the women trainees by different dignitaries. The closing ceremony took place at CITAD conference hall and was attended by different dignitaries, trainees, their relations, women groups, civil society organizations, and the media.