The Sapphires Development Initiative

SustainHERbility (Digital Skills Workshop) Report

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

The NBS reported that only 22% of Nigerian tech- graduates are females. WhileĀ ONE Campaign and the Center for Global Development reports that only 30% ofĀ technologically inclined firms are owned by females. Much more, personalĀ experiences and expectations for this webinar from attendees revealed that manyĀ females rely on ā€œtech-brosā€ for the smallest things including their own business flyersĀ or videos. To this end, Equiverse organized this meeting exclusively for females inĀ order to empower them and bridge the tech gap. In the words of the EquiverseĀ representative, this webinar is to train them on digital skills and how they can use itĀ 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,Ā and templates. She started on the theory of design and did a practical. She askedĀ the attendees to pick a design to work on and they picked a Nigeria IndependenceĀ Day flyer. She then went ahead to highlight the principle of font usage in a designĀ and how just two fonts should be used in a design. She highlighted the importance ofĀ considering background color in choosing fonts. Finally, she also showed themĀ around the Canva software for them to become familiar with it.

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

In the end, the workshop was indeed successful, as participants shared their groupĀ designs with other attendees. Furthermore, as instructed, they practiced individuallyĀ and shared the finished designs on their social media handles while tagging TheĀ Sapphires Development Initiative. This, in general, is a good step towards changingĀ the narrative of ā€œtech brosā€ to include ā€œfemales in techā€.

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