By Ijeoma Olorunfemi
Abuja – Women In Aerospace, Nigeria (WIAN), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has stressed the need for
public and private sector engagement in the space industry.
The President of WIAN, Mrs Nwanneka Ibekwe, said this on Friday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
She said that the space industry in the country was currently being handled by government alone, as there was relatively low awareness about it.
According to her, public and private engagement in the space industry will create platforms for sensitisation and encourage more women participation.
She added that “other stakeholders need to create awareness for the development of the space industry.
“Presently, it is only the government that is involved, as the private sector is yet to harness the potential in the space industry.
“We need the private sector and government to get involved in creating awareness for the industry and this way, women will be
encouraged to go into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers, especially the space related ones.”
She explained that the private sector could foster scholarships in
courses like Remote Sensing, saying “if the private sector can
participate in any of the space businesses, there will be platforms for women to interact.”
Ibekwe said that women were not asking for favour but equal opportunities to be represented.
She, however, added that the percentage of women represented in STEM was increasing compared to what was obtained in the past.
The WIAN president recalled that the group carried out an interactive
sensitisation in 2018 and realised that a lot of women were
unaware of what space industry entailed.
She said that the space industry, being a technical one, needed advanced form of sensitisation to attract more women.
The president added that WIAN was working toward pushing for women in the field to reach management level for even representation.
She said “if you don’t have a voice, nobody will fight your cause and
nobody will want to represent you because every other person
have their interest.”
According to her, there are competent women in the industry and across the nation who are making the country proud.