Women's Technology Empowerment Centre
The Women's Technology Empowerment Centre, often referred to as W.TEC, is a non-profit organization that focuses on empowering Nigerian women and girls through the use of technology. It was founded in 2008 by Oreoluwa Lesi after noticing a gender gap in understanding of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) throughout Nigeria and other African countries. Services and programs offered by W.TEC include mentoring, training in technology, technology camp, awareness campaigns, collaborative projects, and research and publication. In 2017, Facebook partnered with W.TEC to take efforts toward improved Internet safety. Partners for the annual girls camp include Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library, Awka and the Anambra State Library Board, Hadassah STEM, Oracle, Sage Foundation and Swift Networks Limited and Laureates College, Lagos.
Over the years. W.TEC has greatly increased the scope of its work, reaching over 26,000 participants and expanding its work across Nigeria, including Kwara and Anambra states. W.TEC's work includes technology training programmes for girls through intensive girl-only camps and technology clubs (W.TEC Academy). During the camps and afterschool clubs, the girls learn to create and innovate with technology, building and making websites, web applications, games, films and other digital content. The organisation advocates against and works to break down gender stereotypes, especially with respect to careers.
W.TEC has emerged as a leading organisation in the gender and technology space, winning awards such as the 2019 EQUALS in Tech award (Skills category) and the 2019 Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) Presidential Award for Women's Development. More recently, W.TEC emerged as a 2020 WSIS Prizes Champion (Access to Information and Knowledge Category).
In March 2019, the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee visited W.TEC, as part of a 30-hour tour to a few cities around the world to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the web. During his visit to W.TEC, he spoke about the “Contract for the Web.” With the audience largely made up of young girls, he wrote on his Twitter page that they were “Wonderful energy and creativity”. In January 2020, TIME asked a group of six prominent people (including Sir Tim Berners-Lee) to write to a young person or people of their own choosing. Sir Berners-Lee chose to write a letter to the girls of W.TEC in a letter.
W.TEC Academy (Technology Afterschool Club)
Staying Safe Online
- 2020 WSIS Prizes Champion (Access to Information and Knowledge Category)
- 2019 EQUALS in Tech Awards (Skills Category)
- 2019 NIRA (Nigeria Internet Registration Association) Presidential Award for Women’s Development
- 2014 Finalist - Gender Equality Mainstreaming - Technology (GEM-TECH) Award (Category 5: Closing the ICT Gender Gap) - http://bit.ly/13LoUsW
- 2009 Recognition for Supporting Girls in ICT by Plan International
- Segun-Amao, Bimbola. "CPAfrica interviews Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi of Women's Technology Empowerment Centre". CPAFRICA. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- Homawoo, Jemima. "EMPOWERING WOMEN IN STEM SERIES: Nigeria's Women's Technology Empowerment Centre". InStepp Incorporated. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- Omeruo, Kenneth. "Women's Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) Nigeria Announces its 8th Girls Technology Camp for August 2015". TechTrendsng.com. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- "Facebook rallies partners to unite for a safer, better Internet". BusinessGhana. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- "Teary farewell for teens at STEAM camp". Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics. 2019-09-18. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- Published. "WTEC empowers 50 schoolgirls on technology skills". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- "Group organises summer ICT training for girls". National Light. 2019-09-12. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- Published. "26,214 teachers, pupils benefit from STEM programmes". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- "ICT academies promote self-employment - Operators - P.M. News". www.pmnewsnigeria.com. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- Innov8tiv.com (2019-04-07). "Oreoluwa Lesi gave innov8tiv a walk through of how she found Women's Technology Empowerment Center (W.TEC)". Innov8tiv. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- "Centre bemoans education career stereotype against girls". guardian.ng. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- "PRESS RELEASE EQUALS in Tech Awards celebrate five outstanding initiatives to promote digital gender equality". equals. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- "EQUALS in Tech 2019 Award Winners". Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), Press Release (July 8, 2019). "2019 .NG AWARDS - THE WINNERS OF THE 2019 .NG AWARDS" (PDF). NIRA Press Release. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- "WSIS Prizes 2020". www.itu.int. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- Ekwealor, Victor (2019-03-13). "Inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee is in Lagos, Nigeria". Techpoint.Africa. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- "Tim Berners Lee Visits Lagos to Mark 30th Anniversary of the World Wide Web". Technext. 2019-03-13. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- Berners-Lee, Tim (2019-03-13). "Wonderful energy and creativity — girl power at W.TEC in Lagos — should inspire girls all over the world to get into tech #Web30 #ForTheWebpic.twitter.com/ARNGsG3a3k". @timberners_lee. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- "Letters to Young People Who Inspire Us, By Six Prominent People". Time. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- Nigerian News Network, NNN (August 28, 2019). "NGO trains 50 girls on electronic circuit technologies, web designs". Nigerian News Network. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Nokoko, Institute of African Studies Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) 2013 (3) (2013). "Radio for Women's Development: Examining the Relationship between Access and Impact" (PDF). Institute of African Studies Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) 2013 (3). 3.
- "GEM-Tech Awards 2014: Finalists". www.itu.int. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
- "The State of the World's Girls 2009: Girls in the Global Economy". Plan International. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
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