Lafarge Africa has launched its Girls in Tech program to close the gender gap in the technology sector and empower 10 young women aged 18 to 25 years from Lafarge Africa’s host communities in Cross River.

Tribune Online reports that the goal of the Girls in Tech program is to tap into the unique talents of these young women and introduce them to the dynamic world of technology. By providing them with the necessary skills and opportunities, this initiative aims to help them become self-reliant and capable of solving society’s problems.

Partnering with Aptech and Arena Multimedia, globally recognised leaders in technology incubation and opportunity, as well as The Bridge Leadership Foundation, this boot camp promises to be a transformative experience for the participating women, who are eager to make their mark in the tech industry.

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Speaking at the launch of the program held at Hogis Hotel in Calabar, Lafarge Africa Plc Plant Manager Sotirios Valsamakis, represented by Human Resources Business Partner, Lafarge Africa Plc; Barong Ita said the program is in line with the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

She also added that the initiative is designed to ignite a spark of inspiration, hope, and possibilities in the hearts of the selected young women across the host communities.

“As an organization, people are an integral part of our sustainability drive, and we have invested in building lasting progress by empowering members of our host communities. We also recognize the need for greater and greener diversity and inclusivity within the tech sector.

“Today’s event is not just about launching a program. It is about igniting a spark of inspiration, hope, and possibilities in the hearts of these young women. It is about challenging stereotypes.

Also speaking at the event, the Cross Rivers State Commissioner for Science, Innovation & Technology, Justin Beshel represented by Technical Senior Advisor, Cross Rivers State Ministry of Science & Technology, Edwin Adie, commended Lafarge Africa for the initiative adding that it is in line with the State government’s plan towards science, technology and innovation development.

“We like to appreciate Lafarge for onboarding the girls in tech program because it’s in tandem with what we believe in and we are happy to see Lafarge as an esteemed partner in driving our people to getting this opportunity.”

Meanwhile, his counterpart from the Ministry of Youth Development, Hon. Ijom Agim stressed that the initiative is a way of empowering and giving back to society.

“It is the primary responsibility of our ministry to get involved in youth empowerment and training in all ramifications. Therefore, I’m deeply elated to have Lafarge come up with such an initiative, which, as far as I’m concerned, is a way of empowering the youth of Cross River State. Even though this program is actually tied as our girls’ onboarding program, it is very much in tandem with our plan in the state.”

In the same vein, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hon. Edema Erom commended Lafarge Africa for investing in the girl child.

“Gender equality is a cross-cutting issue that affects all the 17 SDG goals. This Girls in Tech onboarding program can be leveraged to deliver a transformative impact in our society and in our state. On this note, permit me to thank Girls in Tech team of Lafarge, all the supporting organisations, and our esteemed Girls in Tech ambassadors.”

Several beneficiaries expressed gratitude to Lafarge Africa for this opportunity, promising to take the six-month program seriously and also replicate the knowledge acquired with other girls in their communities.

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