Annual Girls in ICT Day celebrated across Africa with engaging events
International Girls in ICT Day was again sponsored by International Telecommunications Union on the fourth Thursday of April (which this year turned out to be 4/24/14). The initiative, launched by ITU with the purpose of raising awareness of the importance of involving girls in ICT fields, aims to promote the benefits that ICT careers may offer.
In 2012, many African nations celebrated International Girls In ICT Day. Organizations in at least 16 African nations participated the following year. This year, we note roughly the same number of events. Also, it is worth noting that we have observed more female-oriented African tech events during the course of the year – a testament to the lasting success of the official Girls in ICT Day.
By our count, at least 14 African countries held or will hold a gathering this month to get girls excited about ICT. Most events directly aimed to encourage girls to pursue careers in ICT.
Cameroon: Girls in Tech Cameroon celebrated in Yaounde, with an emphasis on professionalism.
Congo-Brazzaville: Femtic Congo, with the support of the telecoms regulator ARPCE, celebrated with a series of panels on ICT and employment.
— femtic congo (@femtic_congo) April 24, 2014
Cote d’Ivoire: The Ministry of Posts and ICT (along with the Ministry of Solidarity, Family, Women, and Children) hosted an event with the organization Femmes & TIC.
— Femmes & TIC (@FemmesetTIC) April 23, 2014
Ethiopia: International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaboration with Africa Union Commission, UNECA, UNDP, UN Women, other UN Agencies and the private sector held an event in Addis Ababa.
The Gambia: Girls in ICT Gambia held a logo design competition and school debate on the importance of ICTs.
Ghana: The Ministry of Communications, with the assistance from other ministries, will hold an event in Koforidua (Eastern region).
Kenya: AkiraChix, for the second time, will host a day-long event at iHub Nairobi for high school and university girls interested in ICT. Successful female entrepreneurs will be on hand to share their experiences.
Liberia: The Ministry of Gender and Development held an event where iLab Liberia, among others, gave a presentation.
— iLab Liberia (@iLabLiberia) April 24, 2014
Malawi: Malawi through the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) will celebrate on May 2nd, 2014. Activities for the day will include career talk from ICT role models and drama on ICTs. MACRA will also connect internet at the school and offer computer training to student for two weeks.
Nigeria: The Federal Ministry of Communication Technology is implementing three flagship programs to close the ICT gender gap in Nigeria. An event honoring Girls in ICT Day was held on April 15th in Abuja. WITIN held a tech forum in Lagos to bring women leaders together. Eko-Konnect Research & Education Initiative hosted a robotics/engineering event at the University of Lagos. The group also launched a ‘Girls in ICT Club.’
— Fed.Min.of Comm Tech (@ngrcommtech) April 24, 2014
Senegal: Microsoft partnered with the Ministry of Communications to host a series of panels for students and professionals. Jjiguène Tech Hub has participated in multiple Girls in ICT events this month.
South Africa: Intel Africa and Girls Invent held a coding session for girls.
— Natassia (@ndevilliers) April 24, 2014
Uganda: The Commonwealth Peoples’ Association of Uganda, supported by the Government of Uganda, held an ICT-themed debate on April 9th.
Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe celebrated girls in ICT in Chinhoyi where more than 80 students from different rural and urban schools converged.
Other posts, videos, and anecdotes about how African girls are utilizing technology were also shared under the hashtag #GirlsinICT.
Just because the official Girls in ICT Day is over doesn’t mean that we should forget about strengthening the involvement of girls in ICT! In Africa, girls generally have less access to a formal education, let alone one involving the latest technology. Providing girls with access to ICT (and role models to foster their passions) is vital if African nations are to become information-based societies.