International Girls In ICT Day celebrated in Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Swaziland, Mali
Today is the fourth Thursday in April, which can only mean one thing: it’s International Girls in ICT Day. The initiative, launched by the ITU, with the purpose of raising awareness of the importance of involving girls in ICT fields, and to promote the benefits that ICT careers may offer.
In order to expand horizons and change attitudes regarding female involvement in ICT, Ministries of Communication, Education, National Regulatory Authorities, private sector companies, academic institutions, and NGOs have organized local or national events around the globe. After some research, it appears that five African nations are holding dedicated events to celebrate Girls in ICT Day. Interestingly, most of the five African nations committed to the celebration are turning their event into a multiple-day ordeal.
- Put together by the Ministry of Communication and National Communication Authority (NCA)
- Day one: girls will be exposed to ICT companies (ie. BusyInternet, MTN, Vodafone, rLG, Zepto)
- Day two: panel discussion with Ghana’s most influential women in ICT
- Edward Tagoe
- Activities organized by Internet Society Liberia Chapter
- Day one: open day in companies (including iLab Liberia) with 5 girls each from 20 high schools and technical colleges
- Day two: conference and ICT fair with over 200 girls at University of Liberia
- Publishers of eBusiness Life Magazine, has scheduled a maiden edition of the celebration ICT Girls’ Day in the country. MainOne Cable Company is the platinum sponsor
- Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) is holding its first Technology Camp for 2012 from April 23 – 27 in Lagos
- e-Contest is launched for girls in secondary schools
- 1,000 girls will participate in ICT-related activities over the next three years
- Will raise awareness in rural areas and will rely on local language
- Speeches by ministers, multiple panels, awards, and summary of recommendations
- Multiple partners from all sectors
- Additional training held on April 24th
- Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) sponsored shadowing programs
- Were also shown the Internet Data Centre
- Orange Mali sponsored an open house (YouTube video)
Also, Cisco facilitated students from Morocco, and Egypt t0 virtually meet female leaders from Cisco who shared their backgrounds and experiences and discussed how they had developed their own careers for their respective job roles. Additional events took place in Uganda, Cameroon, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, The Gambia, and Tanzania. Unfortunately, most African countries are not offering dedicated events for young women on April 26th. Perhaps national priorities will align next year (after all coordinating an event among private and public sectors isn’t always easy).
Just because there’s an absence of an official Girls in ICT Day event doesn’t mean that efforts to advance women in technology don’t exist. For example:
- Ugandan blogger Maureen Agena is sharing information about #internationalgirlsictday. This past March, the Google Technology User Group organized a mapping event for women in Kampala, Uganda
- Women’sNet (South Africa) greatly advances gender equality through ICT.
- AkiraChix (Kenya), an association of tech-inclined ladies, provides training and mentorship.
- And the list goes on…
Those without access to a local event can still tune-in to a live webcast of the launch of ITU’s new global campaign ‘Tech Needs Girls’.