Leading African Cloud and Digital solutions provider, inq.Digital Nigeria has joined the global call for the increased involvement of the girl-child in ICT on the International Girls in ICT Day.
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 STEM.
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Currently, in its 10th year, this year’s event held at the Oriental hotel Lagos Nigeria with the topic, Connected Girls, Creating Brighter Futures. At the event attended by a broad spectrum of educationists, civil society groups and policymakers, 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 said that while significant progress has been achieved with increasing the participation of girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), the gender gap in ICT remains unacceptably wide, with representation continuing to be disproportionately higher for males than for females, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). 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 sociocultural beliefs and practices that deter women’s participation in STEM, as approaches that should be explored to reduce this 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 proffer solutions and build partnerships that will help accelerate the movement towards the increased involvement of girls in ICT. She expressed appreciation for inq. Digital’s continuous support for the Girls in ICT initiative and commended the inq.Digital’s mentorship program which provides an opportunity for girls to gain a first-hand experience of working in the ICT sector.