Firm Calls For More Participation Of Girls In ICT

TECH DIGEST – African Cloud and Digital solutions provider, inq.Digital Nigeria has joined the global call for the increased involvement of the girl-child in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

The technology firm made the call during this year’s International Girls in ICT Day, which held in Lagos, with the topic, ‘Connected Girls, Creating Brighter Futures.’

Currently, in its 10th year, the International Girls in ICT Day is a day set aside by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to build awareness about the gender digital divide, support technology education and skills training, and encourage more girls to actively pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

At the event, factors inhibiting the participation of the girl child in STEM were highlighted, and solutions were proffered.

Peak Lane College International College won the graphics design competition held at the event with prizes, including a mentorship placement at inq.Digital and an educational tour of inq.Digital’s ICT facilities.

Managing Director of inq.Digital Nigeria, Valentine Chime, while citing recent statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said although significant progress had been achieved with increasing the participation of girls in STEM, the gender gap in ICT remains unacceptably wide, with representation continuing to be disproportionately higher for males than for females.

Chime expressed concern that the gap was even wider in Nigeria, relative to countries like Ghana and South Africa.

He reaffirmed that investment in early ICT education, affirmative action on the hiring of women in STEM and a reorientation to change the socio-cultural beliefs and practices that deter women’s participation in STEM, were approaches that should be explored to reduce the gap.

The convener of the International Girls in ICT Day, Ufuoma Emuophedaro, noted that the global event presented a platform for various stakeholders to not only highlight the gender digital divide but also proffer solutions and build partnerships that will help accelerate the movement towards the increased involvement of girls in ICT.