May 23, 2017, Senegal. Selassie Alitash of afrika-news.com highlights how young girls in West Africa break gender stereotypes as they compete in the Pan-African Robotics Competition (PARC). The competition is funded by the World Bank.
PARC, now on its second year, has brought the opportunity to 250 school children between ages 11-19 from Senegal, Mali and Gambia, to show off their science and technology, engineering and mathematics prowess. Founder Sidy Ndao has emphasized the participation of young girls from West Africa to breakdown gender stereotypes and flourish in a field dominated mostly by men.
According to Ndao, there are not a lot of females in STEM programs, but when there are, they are usually on top of their class. He believes that the competition will inspire African kids to develop a love for science and become successful engineers and scientists, give back to their communities and solve the current cycle of problems prevalent in the region.
Mary Teuw Niane, the Senegalese minister of higher education explains that in order for the country to become an emerging nation, its people has to master sciences, technology, engineering sciences and maths to have the expertise to manage the country’s natural resources and to create the innovations for a brighter future. The Senegalese government is especially focusing on science and engineering education to ensure their development and prosperity, that includes an integration plan for girls in the program as well as the country’s rural areas.
Here at BU Period, we believe in gender equality and in the pursuit of one’s dreams. We salute PARC, Senegal and Sidy Ndao for advocating equal education opportunities across genders and for promoting innovations in science and technology. For more information and read about Selassie Alitash and the PARC competition, click here.
Photo care of thepioneerwomen.com
By: Marijun Jam Villarino Sy
Chief Finance Officer BUPeriod