Mrs Malia Heroux, Cultural Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, says her country has spent 30,000 dollars for the technovation initiatives of the Nigerian girl-child.
Heroux made the disclosure in Abuja on Friday while speaking at the second edition of the Technovation Northern Regional Pitch organised by the Odyssey Educational Foundation.
Technovation, short for technology and innovation, is a radical new approach, process or product from a technological sphere or dimension.
The initiative involved inviting girls around the world to learn and apply the skills they need to solve a community problem using technology.
She noted that there was need to develop the capacity and education of the girl-child for the development of any country.
She said the U.S. believed in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education which could help in building their capacity.
‘‘The U.S. Embassy is involved in this initiative because STEM education particularly for women is one of the best methods to help a country develop and we focus on this.
‘‘So far, the government of America has expended 30,000 US dollars to cover for the travel trip of those who will get to the final of the competition.
‘‘We have also worked in partnership with different organisations and also reaching out to people to ensure that the capacity of the girl-child is built,’’ she said.
Earlier, Mrs Stella Uzochukwu, Programme Director, Odyssey Educational Foundation, said the initiative was part of efforts to find solutions to problems affecting communities in the country.
Uzochukwu noted that problems ranging from fake drugs and getting solutions to the various diseases associated to communities were among other things the children tried to solve.
She said it was time Nigerian children join the league of other children across the world to solve problems affecting the country.
‘‘The Technovation initiative has been on for four years to gather young girls within the community and ensuring that they solve problems within their community with the help of technology.
‘‘We also ensure that they do and learn entrepreneurship but the essence of the competition is to make sure Nigerian girls make it to the final stage.’’
Uzochukwu added that children across six states including Abuja were selected to identify a problem and provide solution to it.
She said Junior Secondary Schools in Jabi, Area 10, Area 11, Maitama among others were selected for the northern edition of the competition.
Meanwhile, Miss Fortune Somuadina, a student from Model Secondary School, Maitama, developed an App to detect malaria parasite.
‘‘There is an external device that detects malaria pigment. What you do is to download the App to your device and with this malaria parasite can be detected in few minutes.
‘‘There are some African countries that have totally eradicated malaria and Nigeria is one of the top countries with malaria incidence and this is why we have come up with the App.’’