The Managing-Director, Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), Dr Abimbola Alale, has stressed the need for the female folks to take interest in the space industry.
Alale who made the call at the Annual Conference of Women In Aerospace Nigeria (WIAN) in Abuja on Tuesday also underscored the need for women in the industry to synergise for more impact in the sector.
The conference focused on “The Impact of Nigerian Women in the Innovation and Advancement of Space Science and Technology for Sustainable Development.”
The NIGCOMSAT boss noted that women had high population in public spaces, the capacity to multi-task and their strength should be channelled towards working together for impactful development. “Women in the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and NIGCOMSAT should not compete against themselves but collaborate for more innovation,” she said.
She also encouraged the men to support their female counterparts towards pursuing careers in Aerospace, Science and Technology. According to her, without technology, engineering, other aspects of the economy cannot do much.
The managing director also urged WIAN to celebrate women who were bringing innovations and making impacts in the space industry within the country in order to encourage the younger ones.
Mrs Nwanneka Ibekwe, the President of WIAN noted that women and children were the more vulnerable in the society. Ibekwe said it was important that women in aerospace lend their voices and deploy advanced technology to impact in all aspects of life. “Our impact as women in the space industry has to be felt. “We must be at the forefront of innovation and implementation of space-based projects by adequately protecting the interest of the vulnerable in our society,’’ Ibekwe said.
She also called for more advocates by members to ensure that the public got acquainted with the benefits of space technology.
The president emphasized that women were still under-represented in sciences especially in the engineering sector, adding that interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) should be encouraged among children.
Dr Rakiya Babamaaji, the Head, Natural Resources Management Division of NASRDA said that science and technology contributes a lot to the development of any nation. Babamaaji said science and technology was also important for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal agenda of 2030. She said although there were gender policies targeted at encouraging women in science and technology but more were needed to be done for consolidation of development.
According to her, the event is a reminder for accountability among stakeholders for even gender representation which will encourage women in space science technology. The conference began on Monday with an awareness outreach to sensitize the public to the benefits of space technology as well as attract more women to the field.