TECH CAREERS

Initiative to promote girls in science launched

Less than 25 per cent of African higher education students are in STEM fields.

In Summary

• Asharami Synergy country manager Debola Adesanya said getting more youths involved in science is one of the surest ways to achieving accelerated development.

• 'Science is at the foundation of what Africa needs to take advantage of the huge potential it has in its robust youth population and abundant resources,' he said.

Alliance girls students pose for a photo after receiving corporate souvenirs from Asharami Synergy Limited.
Alliance girls students pose for a photo after receiving corporate souvenirs from Asharami Synergy Limited.
Image: COURTESY

Girls have been challenged to be more aggressive in pursuing careers in science to enable them to take up roles in technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

To do this, they have to study STEM courses in high school and then at university. Energy and infrastructure conglomerate Asharami Synergy (Kenya) has stepped in to promote girls in STEM. 

Asharami Synergy country manager Debola Adesanya said getting more youths involved in science is one of the surest ways to achieving accelerated growth and development.

“Science is at the foundation of what Africa needs to take advantage of the huge potential it has in its robust youth population and abundant resources,” he said. 

Adesanya said the company was committed to promoting girls to pursue science-related careers.  

“Asharami Synergy is delighted to take this all-important step of creating awareness and supporting initiatives that will give more Kenyan boys and girls access into the world of science,” he said at Alliance Girls High School on Friday. 

According to the African Development Bank, less than 25 per cent of African higher education students are in STEM fields. The majority of students study social sciences and humanities.

The situation has led to a dearth in the domestic STEM workforce and consequently, the outsourcing of jobs in Africa to other countries, including the US, China and India.

Alliance Girls principal Virginia Gitonga said more students at the institution had expressed interest in the sciences. She would continue to support their dreams of becoming great scientists from Africa.

“We are grateful to Asharami Synergy for spearheading this initiative of promoting more participation of girls in science. With the support of Asharami Synergy and more stakeholders, the future definitely looks bright for Kenyan youths,” Gitonga said. 

Students speaking during the session expressed confidence that their decision to pursue science-related subjects will lead them to be inventors and renowned scientists with global acclaim.

“The beauty of science is that it unites people despite their race, religion, and ethnicity as they come together to solve problems facing our society. A great example is the Covid-19 pandemic.

"That’s why is important to encourage young people especially girls to embrace science by rising against the social stereotypes,” Branice Kazira Otiende, a student, said.

Shirley Munene said girls often shy away from science thinking it’s only for boys or have the mentality that it is hard or complex.

“We live in a gender-equal society where knowledge is open and free for all,” Munene said.