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SustainHERbility (Digital Skills Workshop) Report

The SDG 5 committee (Equiverse) of The Sapphires Development Initiative held an online webinar on September 20, 2023. The webinar was a 3-hour, 30-minute workshop held to train females on the fundamental knowledge of how to use non-code applications to design. Although the technology sector in Nigeria is steadily growing, female inclusion in the technological space in Nigeria is really low and this is confirmed by both the National Bureau of Statistics and a survey conducted by ONE Campaign and the Center for Global Development among many other reliable sources.

The NBS reported that only 22% of Nigerian tech- graduates are females. While¬†ONE Campaign and the Center for Global Development reports that only 30% of¬†technologically inclined firms are owned by females. Much more, personal¬†experiences and expectations for this webinar from attendees revealed that many¬†females rely on ‚Äútech-bros‚ÄĚ for the smallest things including their own business flyers¬†or videos. To this end, Equiverse organized this meeting exclusively for females in¬†order to empower them and bridge the tech gap. In the words of the Equiverse¬†representative, this webinar is to train them on digital skills and how they can use it¬†for brand promotion and make ends meet.

The webinar held on Zoom and had about 66 people in attendance. The facilitators, Olusola Akanni and Oluwafunmilayo Ajakaiye are professionals with over 3 years experience of digital skills. After a brief welcome speech by the moderator, the participants were divided into two breakout rooms; one for video editing and another for canva design. About 29 people joined the video editing room while about 31 people joined the Canva design room.

In the Canva design room, Olusola walked the participants through the use of colors, fonts, and templates. She started on the theory of design and did a practical. She asked the attendees to pick a design to work on and they picked a Nigeria Independence Day flyer. She then went ahead to highlight the principle of font usage in a design and how just two fonts should be used in a design. She highlighted the importance of considering background color in choosing fonts. Finally, she also showed them around the Canva software for them to become familiar with it.

While in the video editing room, the participants were taught about the processes that go into video production, from preproduction to production before post-production which is where the video editing is. The participants were taught on a number of steps that need to be taken into consideration while editing videos regardless of the app, such as storytelling, organization, music and sound design, pacing and rhythm etc. Facilitator Oluwafunmilayo also emphasized creativity as a necessary qualification to be able to design.

In the end, the workshop was indeed successful, as participants shared their group¬†designs with other attendees. Furthermore, as instructed, they practiced individually¬†and shared the finished designs on their social media handles while tagging The¬†Sapphires Development Initiative. This, in general, is a good step towards changing¬†the narrative of ‚Äútech bros‚ÄĚ to include ‚Äúfemales in tech‚ÄĚ.

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