Technology

MTN, Galaxy Backbone, others partner eBusinesslife on Girls in ICT campaign

As the date for the eBusinesslife International Girls in ICT Day draws near, more corporate organisations have come to align with the campaign geared at sensitising young girls to take up career paths that are related to ICT.

The event which is slated to hold at Oriental Hotel, Lagos on Thursday, April 22, 2021, has attracted support from MTN Nigeria, Galaxy Backbone, VDT Communications, Inq Digital, SystemSpecs, and Caleb Ayanwusi Foundation. The nation’s telecommunication regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has earlier taken the lead as a partner to the event.

With the theme, “Expand Horizons, Change Attitudes: Breaking Gender Norms in Career Choices”, the event is part of a global campaign to encourage young girls to delve into ICT as a profession and contribute their quota to the growth of the industry in Nigeria while also actualising self-development.

To be chaired by the Founder and Executive Director, Cybersafe Foundation, Constance Staveley, the eBusiness Life International Girls in ICT Day celebration, which is in its 10th edition, will see students from select secondary schools converge for seminar and competition. Also a roundtable discussion, interactive and motivational talk from renowned women ICT professionals, will be part of the events lined up for the day. It is expected that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami and the Minister of Women Affairs and Social development, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, will be the Special Guests of Honour, with other government officials in support.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of eBusiness Life Communication and convener of the event, Mrs. Ufuoma Emuophedaro, the need to sensitise young girls is premised on the fact that society has unconsciously relegated the female gender and delegated careers in technical fields, especially in ICT, to their male counterparts.

She called on corporate bodies and the society at large to recommit to supporting every girl to develop her skills, enter the workforce on equal terms and reach her full potential. “We need to equip the girls with transferable and lifelong skills such as critical thinking, creativity and digital awareness. Having role models will also be critical, especially in the sciences and other fields where the presence of women is sparse.”

She further noted that efforts should be made to introduce young girls to career opportunities in technical fields in both the public and private sectors to help them have a wide range of options and contribute their quota in the industry.

Mrs Emuophedaro stated that pursuant of the International Girls in ICT Day celebration and subsequent campaign will further open up opportunities for girls in the ICT sector.

Speaking further, Mrs. Emuophedaro noted that supporting the global Girls in ICT movement empowers girls and young women, giving them the confidence to pursue ICT studies and careers. “Girls and young women have the potential not only to become ICT users, but also to become ICT creators. “

She had earlier called on corporate bodies and the society at large to recommit to supporting every girl to develop her skills, enter the workforce on equal terms and reach her full potential.

She said: “We need to equip the girls with transferable and lifelong skills such as critical thinking, creativity and digital awareness. Having role models will also be critical, especially in the sciences and other fields where the presence of women is sparse.”

She further noted that efforts should be made to introduce young girls to career opportunities in technical fields in both the public and private sectors to help them have a wide range of options and contribute their quota in the industry.

A statement from the organisers concerning the partners for the event indicates that they are socially responsible corporate organisations that have played well in their sectors.

MTN Nigeria, is one of Africa’s largest providers of communications services, connecting over 76.5 million people in communities across the country with each other and the world.  Guided by a vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world, MTN Nigeria has been in the forefront of this campaign to build human capacity in Nigeria.

Systemspecs, with its flagship solution, Remita has been able to transform the epayment arena in Nigeria, becoming a top choice for remittance of funds both in the private and public sectors of the economy. The company’s support for the campaign is stemmed on its belief in global competitiveness through manpower development.

VDT Communications, which, aside its backbone and broadband service provision, operates a Modular Trainee Engineering Program through which it trains engineering graduates annually, says its quest to train young Nigerians is to increase their employability in the industry, especially young girls. The company had consistently partnered with the organisers on the campaign.

Inq. Digital, which rebranded from Vodacom Business Nigeria, is a leading provider of total communication solutions that delivers reliability in bringing power of cloud to networking stacks. It is a leading pan-African corporate connectivity and telecommunications provider that has brought affordable and reliable connectivity to Africa.

Galaxy Backbone PLC is a public enterprise of the Federal Government of Nigeria incorporated in 2006 with the primary mandate of setting up and operating a unified ICT infrastructure platform that addresses the connectivity, transversal and other technology imperatives. Galaxy Backbone was established in 2006 by the Federal Government based on the need for Government to pursue a coordinated and harmonized approach to ICT acquisition, operation and use in the public sector.

International Girls’ in ICT Day is an initiative launched through an ITU Resolution with the idea of creating a global environment that will empower and encourage girls and young women to consider careers in the field of ICT.

In the past nine years, eBusiness Life had organised the event annually in Nigeria, gathering young girls from different schools, to educate and sensitize them on the opportunities inherent in professions in ICT, and providing a platform for organisations to synergise on complementary ways to further the cause. Also the girls had been made to go through hands-on training on various aspects of ICT and facility visits to ICT companies to get first-hand experience of the intricacies of the ICT firms.

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