BAAF AND FUTA PARTNER TO BOOST PRESENCE OF WOMEN IN ENGINEERING
Betty Anyanwu -Akeredolu Foundation (BAAF) and the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) have kicked off a partnership to train female students in renewable energy and ICT development to boost participation of females in the field of Engineering and Sciences. Speaking on the content of the partnership, the founder BAAF and First Lady of Ondo State, Arabirin Betty Anyanwu–Akeredolu ,during the inaugural meeting on February 2,2020, noted that the collaboration was aimed at bridging the gap between town and gown by filling the missing link which had long existed in the ratio of male to female in the sciences. She stated that time had come to change the narrative of cultural stereotypes towards female children which limits them from aspiring to some professions like their male counterparts. The first lady who explained that only a sprinkle of women are found in the area of Science and Technology irrespective of the changing time and age disclosed that BAAF was poised to aid female relevance in the application of skill and knowledge transfer to aid problem solving particularly in the area of energy production. She noted that investing in the girl child is a step towards making them aware of their humanity and developing them to be resilient contributors to the nation’s social and economic development. She cited her BEMORE Empowered Foundation annual Summer Boot Camp as a major activity set up to furnish girls between the ages of 10 and 16 with all round training to enable them find their feet in the emerging world of technology. While anticipating a robust relationship with the University through its association with the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology which serves as focal point for the collaboration, Mrs. Akeredolu sought commitment towards the provision of resource persons and relevant materials to run the established programmes to enable sustainability.
The Dean, School of Engineering and Engineering Technology (SEET), Professor Aremu Akintunde who expressed excitement at the choice of SEET as focal point for the collaboration noted that the first lady was taking a step in the right direction following the challenges plaguing the world. He noted that the world would thrive better with more hands on deck to create solution to existing and emerging problems. He emphasized the readiness and capability of SEET to partner and deliver result to time judging by the array of men and materials in the school while highlighting the University’s ownership of several relevant departments and centres.
The Chair of Nigeria Society of Engineers, Akure Chapter, Dr (Mrs.) Christiana Ijagbemi, Chair, Association of Women in Engineering, Akure, Dr (Mrs) Ojo, the School’s Sub-Dean, Dr. Olaolu Fadugba and Heads of Departments of the nine departments in SEET, other senior members of staff of the School, members of BAAF and enthusiastic students were present at the kick off of the collaboration.