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NASENI to improve women’s representation in engineering

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The Executive Vice Chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, Khalil Suleiman Halilu, said that the agency is targeting to double the number of female engineers in Nigeria over the next five years.

He stated this recently during the official launch of the “Developing Engineering Leaders Through Her” initiative, which coincided with the global commemoration of International Women’s Day.

Halilu described DELT-Her as an initiative designed to close the gender gap in engineering practice in the country.

He said it was aimed to inspire the next generation of female engineers, provide financing support for new ideas and projects, translate them into viable businesses, and ultimately strengthen the entire engineering ecosystem.

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Halilu also noted that NASENI would be funding promising engineering ideas from girls and women participating in the programme.

“DELT-Her is what I call an opportunity platform through which girls and young women can pitch and present their exciting and groundbreaking engineering ideas, for funding by NASENI, through our collaboration with the Presidential Implementation Committee on Technology Transfer.

“DELT-Her seeks to correct the balance in practice and enterprise development by focusing attention and funding on young women, and very importantly, creating and cultivating public awareness around the need to train and mentor more women into the engineering professions.”

According to Halilu, the ideal scenario would be for women to constitute half of all professional spaces in the country, adding that the current reality falls significantly short of this goal.

Globally, the average representation of women in engineering was 28 per cent and in Nigeria, it was only five per cent, with just one in 20 Nigerian engineers being a woman, he stated.

“This awareness component of the work is one that we will take very seriously, working through schools, and storytelling campaigns.

“We intend to, through DELT-HER, double the number of female engineers in Nigeria over the next five years. This will mean working extensively at the level of secondary education, which is where young girls make the vital decisions regarding choice of professional field,” he affirmed.

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