Chioma Chuka, Founder of TechHer, a community of women passionate about technology wants Nigerian women to be technology-literate and explore diverse opportunities in information and communication technology (ICT).
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Technology Times on the sidelines of the 2016 Social Media Week Lagos event underway in Nigeria’s bustling economic capital, Lagos, the TechHer Founder says that over 50% of Nigerian women still lagging behind in technology, which she attributed mainly to non-chalant attitude of women towards technology.
According to Chuka, “women are not being excited by technology in the first instance. And there is also the problem of them not having the money or funds that they need to run the programmes that they want to run. So, what we do at this time is to enlighten them and help them get to a point where, even with the little amount of money that they have, they can still make great impact with the work that they do.”
She thinks that other levels of infrastructure such as inadequate power supply and poor Internet connectivity have also contributed to the high rate of technology-illiterate women in Nigeria.
“Anything technology has to do with power and that women in areas where there are no light and/or Internet connectivity are completely shut out”, she adds.
The TechHer Founder says that, ”this is where the government has to come to the rescue of the women by providing the infrastructures that are necessary for technology to function properly.”
According to her, there are several organizations like hers that empower women in technology in various ways, such as providing them with services that will make them better at what they do already.
“We ask them how we can help them be better people and when they say that they need this and they need that, so long as it is service-oriented, we help them with that”, Chuka tells Technology Times.
“So far, we have taught them things like digital marketing, web development and coding as well. As long as it will help them be better at something that they are already doing”, she adds.
She is convinced that women in Nigeria can generate revenue with the use of social media by advertising and selling their products and services online.
For that to happen, Nigerian women need to develop business ideas that meet a need, she says, underscoring that the only way by which a business can grow is by selling products and services that are needed by the people in that business environment and in the larger community.
The TechHer Founder cites examples of online services like “mamalette” that takes care of new mothers by offering them access to products that they need.
The use of mobile phone enhances education because some mobile users do not have any formal education but they are able to basically use a phone, and also meet people, socialize, and form a network which is also a learning process, according to her.
Chuka expressed disappointment in the lack of interest being shown by the government in empowering women in technology and is craving government’s indulgence in empowering women in technology by supporting the various organizations that are out to do that and provide technology infrastructure where they are needed.