Welcome Address by Engr. Fumilola Ojelade FNSE, President Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria; on the Occasion of the Maiden International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) of the SHEengineer Invent It, Build It Project.
I am delighted to welcome you all to this very auspicious event marking the maiden celebration of the International Women in Engineering day in Nigeria. It is indeed historic to have this event which is designed to bring into reckoning the very commendable contributions of women in engineering development world over- so celebrated!
INWED is an international awareness campaign which raises the profile of women in engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in the engineering world. National Women in Engineering Day was launched for the first time in the UK on 23 June 2014, by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) – a partnering organisation with The Royal Academy of Engineering, to celebrate its 95th anniversary. Since its launch in 2014 the event has grown enormously over the years to attract UNESCO’s patronage in 2016.
In 2017, National Women in Engineering Day became internationally recognised due to the interest and enthusiasm demonstrated by the international community of scientists and engineers in the previous years after the commencement of the well lauded initiative.
In the same vein, APWEN, which is a non-profit, non-governmental educational service organisation and a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers is happy to queue into the euphoria of the international community to celebrate our women every 23rd of June, each year. It is delightful to mention that, APWEN entered into a productive partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering, United Kingdom in 2019 with the SHEengineer Invent It, Build It Project.
The SHEengineer Invent it, Build it project was awarded a grant by the Royal Academy of Engineering UK under the GCFR African catalyst programme which is in phase 3 presently. This project is a capacity building program of APWEN for female engineers, STEM teachers and public secondary school pupils in JSS1 & 2 in the six geo political zones of Nigeria.
The aim of the GCRF Africa Catalyst programme is to strengthen professional engineering bodies in sub-Saharan Africa to effectively promote the profession, share best practice and increase local engineering capacity to help drive development. Hence, our desire to meet the global requirement of promoting diversity, has provided APWEN with the impetus to be the first Association to advocate for girl-child STEM education in Nigeria and also among the first few professional engineering institutions in Nigeria to develop a gender and diversity policy to encourage the inclusive growth of members from diverse backgrounds- for this we indeed are grateful!
Today’s event is laden with a handful of interesting activities, which include, a press conference and presentation of APWEN safety kits, we are also looking forward to hosting a webinar on the “Role of Women in Shaping the World”, and social media profiling of some accomplished Women Engineers in Nigeria. I want to sieze this opportunity to warmly welcome the NSE President, Engr. Babagana Mohammed, FNSE, and also thank him for accepting to Chair this auspicious event. We are also very fortunate to have with us our Special Guest of Honour, The President of COREN, Engr. Ali A. Rabiu, FNSE, FASCE grace this occasion in spite of his busy schedules. We are delighted to have the Executive Vice President WFEO, and NSE Past President, Engr. Mustafa Balarabe Shehu, FNSE and other distinguished panelists are on hand to justice to the panel session.
In a short while, we will be calling up our Agent of Change, Engr. Dr. Felicia Agubata FNSE to reel off the concept note of this year’s event tagged: Shape the World. Engr. Agubata is an Electrical/Electronic Engineer, an aviator, a gender advocate of note, and the grant award winner of the Royal Academy of Engineering – GCRF African Catalyst grant.
Putting an event of this nature together would require a lot of effort and planning. I wish to congratulate the project team for a job well done. I feel really encouraged by the enthusiasm demonstrated by our participants and attendees to today’s event. Once, again, I welcome you all, and wish you a very successful event.