The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) is currently partnering with the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) to implement the Beyond Access Project in Nigeria. IREX, is an international nonprofit organisation based in the USA with its headquarters in Washington D.C is established with the objective to provide thought leadership and innovative programs to promote positive lasting change, globally.
The Beyond Access Nigeria project is aimed at creating a network of 70 strategic libraries throughout Nigeria (operated in 2 – regions, Southern and Northern Nigeria). The select public libraries recruited for this programme are to be re-energized and equipped, re-positioning them to support 21st century needs and efforts of women and youth, enabling Nigerian public libraries to deliver innovative services, establishing them as development centres for their communities.
Thus the Beyond Access Nigeria project, been a capacity building initiative for senior Nigerian Librarians, involves partnering stakeholders like; the National Library of Nigeria (NLN), State Library Boards, Librarians Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN), Universal Services Provision Fund (USPF) and the National IT Development Agency (NITDA) to ensure all public libraries recruited are fully authorized for the programme and have the adequate technology equipment for internet connectivity needed to serve as a training locations for young Nigerians looking for opportunities to strengthen their needed skills to take advantage of their economic opportunities.
The long-term goal of the project is:
• To equip librarians with the skills needed to make use of the ICTs in their libraries for internet
access, basic ICT instruction, and workforce development services
• To transform libraries into technology and information hubs with modern and accessible digital resources
• To develop capacity of librarians and the libraries to deliver services that can build the skills of
women and youth, in digital literacy, employability and entrepreneurship skills,
• To help evaluate the impact of investment in libraries by Nigerian government agencies like USPF, NITDA
and other partners that have committed to the ongoing programme.
Project Modus Operandi
To achieve the goals and objectives of the project, W-TEC is working with 36 libraries across the Southern Part of the country (South-East, South-West and South-South) while YISHDA a Northern Nigerian based NGO implements the Northern Nigeria segment of the programme.
To implement the programme in Southern Nigeria, W.TEC is working primarily with the following Government agencies:
1. National Library Headquarters – Abuja, for its select, State Libraries branches: Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo,
Edo, Cross River, Enugu, Abia state.
2. Also for State-owned libraries, W.TEC is working with 6 State Library boards:
Lagos State Library Board
Osun State Library Board
Oyo State Library Board
Edo State Library Board
Anambra State Library Board
Enugu State Library Board