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AfDB Urges Governments to Prioritize Inclusion of Women in Science & Technology

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On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the African Development Bank calls on African countries to make science, technology and innovation (STI) policies inclusive and to place women and girls at the centre of STI programmes.

Celebrated each year on February 11, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. The day is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technology communities and that their participation should be strengthened.

“Africa cannot talk about innovations without investing in its human capital. Support and mentorship are essential to increasing the participation of youth and women in science and technology,” said Oley Dibba-Wadda, Director of Human Capital Youth and Skills Development at the African Development Bank.

“Decision-makers must prioritize the inclusion of youth and women in science and technology. African entrepreneurs and innovators must also be equipped with the right skills to succeed in a rapidly changing workforce.”

Through its numerous interventions in this area, the African Development Bank is pointing the way to how women and girls can be supported to make a difference in science and innovation.

For instance, through the Nigeria Technical Cooperation Fund (NTCF), the Bank is providing scholarships to African students to develop and build their capacities in science and technology at the African University of Science and Technology in Abuja, the country’s capital.

One of the beneficiaries of the scholarship, Sandra Musu Jusu of Sierra Leone, is gaining global attention with her research into an alternative treatment for breast-cancer – an ailment that is prevalent among African women.

Musu Jusu, a Sierra Leonean, said, “I am happy the scholarship came at the time it did, as it helped me remain focused on my goal which is to become a researcher. My Master of Science project is focused on breast cancer − the violent cancer types that kill African women.”

According to María-José Moreno, Chief Gender Officer at the African Development Bank, “In its operations supporting science, technology and innovation in Africa, the Bank has set indicators reducing gender gaps amongst students, and amongst teachers.”

A society needs the talent of all its citizens, men and women, and cannot thrive when half of the population does not develop its potential, she said.

The African Development Bank uses a multi-pronged approach to support girl’s education especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Between 2005-2017, the Bank approved US $2 billion to support more than 70 education projects for Africa. US $ 52 million in support to technical vocational education, training, and teacher education in Tanzania is helping reduce gender imbalance in science and technology related programs where female participation was only 11-19%.

10,800 students, 50% of them female, have benefited from the program.

Through the bank’s support of the Network of African Institutions of Science and Technology (SNAIST) Project, the 510 students graduated from Master’s and Ph.D programmes, with 48.9 % being female. The project awarded 48 scholarships to students, including young women.

The goal of the African Development Bank project is to contribute to the building of high-skilled human capital, especially in science and technology for the technological advancement of the African continent.

One of the graduates – Ufuoma Bright Ighore and her professor – were awarded first prize in the 2nd international Bernard P. Zeigler Discrete Event System Specification modelling and simulation competition in Boston, Massachusetts.

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FG Rakes in N50.45bn from May Bonds Auction

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The Federal Government has recorded N50.45 billion from its May bonds auction, lower than the N70 billion it targeted to raise, the Debt Management Office (DMO), has said.

According to the auction result obtained from the DMO website on Thursday in Abuja, the Federal government made N3.50 billion from a five-year bond at 12.75 per cent.

It also made N8.54 billion from a seven-year bond at 13.53 per cent and N38.50 billion from its 10-year bond at 13.98 per cent, bringing the total amount realised from the May auction to N50.45 billion.

The DMO added that N14.99 billion of the 13.53 per cent for March 2025 and N14.99 billion of the 13.98 per cent for Feb. 2028 were allotted on non-competitive basis.

It also said of the 101 bids, only 62 were successful, adding that the auction drew subscriptions of N89.82 billion.

Nigeria issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.

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NDIC Emerges First Public Organization to be Awarded Three ISO Certifications

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The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has become the first public sector organization in Nigeria to be awarded three International Standards Organization (ISO) certifications by the British Standards Institute (BSI) simultaneously.

At an elaborate ceremony in Abuja, the Corporation was presented with the three certificates by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria who was represented by the Lead Trade Adviser for Education Sector Opportunities, Ms. Natasha Anjekwu.

The three certifications achieved by NDIC are on Information Security Management System ISO/IEC 27001:2013, IT Service Management System ISO/IEC 200001:2011 and Business Continuity Management System ISO22301:2012.

Expressing her delight at the development, the National Coordinator/CEO, SERVICOM Office in the Presidency, Mrs. Nnenna Akajameli. The SERVICOM boss, who was present at the event, lauded the NDIC for the feat.

She urged the Corporation to view the certifications as its most valuable assets which should spur it to greater performance.

She concluded by stating that the SERVICOM Office intended to project the NDIC as a model to other public institutions in its efforts to optimise service delivery among public institutions in Nigeria.

Earlier, in her own remarks, Ms. Natasha Anjekwu described the feat as a great achievement. She said NDIC’s fulfilment of the requirement for the certification bore eloquent testimony to its adherence to international best practice in its operations.

Also speaking at the event, the Director of Home Finance in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Olubunmi Siyanbola, who represented the Minister, also lauded the Corporation and urged it to view the development as a spur towards achieving greater heights.

Responding, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the NDIC Umaru Ibrahim reiterated the commitment of the Corporation to lead in addressing the challenges of the financial services industry in Nigeria with a view to engendering professionalism and accountability.

While expressing his delight at the emergence of the Corporation as the first public institution in the country to be certified with the three standards at once, the NDIC Boss added that the feat was consistent with the implementation of its renewable 5-year strategic plan, and its desire to be the best deposit insurer in the world by 2020.

He promised that the Corporation would not rest on its oars in maintaining the standard it has set for itself.

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation successfully obtained the three ISO Certifications from the British Standards Institution (BSI) in 2017 after a rigorous process of satisfying the conditions precedent to accreditation.

The British Standards Institute UK thoroughly engaged and audited the Corporation operational processes between April and July of the year to determine the conformity of the Corporation to the standards.

By these achievements, the Corporation is poised to enhance the level of its operational readiness to deliver on its core mandate while continuously improving on the service delivery to meet the expectations of its stakeholders through sound information security, efficient IT management system and a robust business continuity system.

Amongst others, there would be improved information deliverables, availability and efficient services, effective communication as well as sound internal processes that would further engender public confidence in the banking system which would deepen financial system stability.

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Lagos NIPR Holds Lecture Today

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Olusegun McMedal

The Executive Council of the Lagos State Chapter cordially invites the management experts and communication practitioners to the Leadership Lecture, themed: Boosting Competitiveness & Inclusive Growth through Communication, holding at the AGIP Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos on Thursday.

 

The Leadership Lecture is part of a series of activities marking the Lagos Public Relations Week 2018.

 

The Vice Chairman, Channels Media Group, Mrs. Olusola Momoh is the Special Guest of Honour & Chairman of the Lecture. The former Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Phillips Consulting Group, Mr. Foluso Phillips; an industrial economists and chartered accountant, with tremendous experience in finance, business administration, general management and organisation development committed to the African Renaissance, will deliver the lecture.

 

The Managing Director/CEO, C & F Porter Novelli, Mr. Nn’emeka Maduegbuna will chair the panel of distinguished discussants featuring the Chief Executive Officer, Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation, Ms Osayi Alile; General Manager, External Affairs & Communications, Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Dr. Chioma Nwachuku; Chief Consultant/Lead Strategist, TPT International, Mr. Tokunbo Modupe; and Group Director, Consumer & TMT Sector, africapractice, Mr. Hameed Abubakar.

 

Expected at this conference are public relations and communications professionals, economists, legislators, management experts and business leaders from across different sectors and industries in sub-Sahara Africa, civil servants and other stakeholders including the media.

 

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