Minister rallies girls to embrace ICT

State Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Aidah Nantaba has challenged girls in school to embrace Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and not just leave it for their male counterparts, who seem to have dominated the field.

With support from Government through the set-up of an ICT hub in Nakawa, Nantaba believes that this could encourage young female innovators to realise their dreams by also coming on board thus becoming game changers in society.

“People inventing in ICT are all men.

“The other day we were rewarding inventors and 99% were men. I wanted to comment about it but they would have said am being too gender sensitive.

“I could hardly see a girl’s company taking on an award,” Nantaba wondered.

“I encourage girls to take on ICT because there are women in ICT.

“One of the main things today is to make sure we extend education opportunities to all those interested having ICT as their area in education and to potentially use it as a tool for extending education opportunities.

“I want to ask of you to always take use of the available resources, to acquire knowledge and skills so that you can help Uganda grow,” she added.

Nantaba was speaking at the commemoration of Girls in ICT at Nabisunsa Girls’ School on Thursday.

The minister also said that given the digital era, it is high time schools started to take it more serious and equip students with the necessary skills.

“The time has come for us to think otherwise, ICT is sweeping the world. We are talking about an era where we are going in for a cashless society, time will come when you do not have to exchange money with your hands, while buying something, you will just have to present yourself with an ATM or credit card and then you transact business,” Nantaba said.

“We are moving an era where there will be less paper work in offices; therefore you will have to transact business on a computer. The world is going digital like it or not,” she said.

Barbara Mutabzi, the founder and Executive Director of Women In Technology Uganda (WITU) lauded Government for trying its best to support ICT in schools, with the recent distribution of computers in some schools by UCC.

Mutabazi said that there is however still more that is needed to be done especially in schools to make ICT shine.

She said the teachers are few and there are some schools are still using old methods of teaching thus the need to train the teachers as well.

“In the last two years we have stepped up in ICT for example UCC last year gave over 1000 computers in several schools and ICT teachers have also been recruited,” Mutabazi said.

“I see us getting out of the 60 to 80 percent unemployment, by using technology to create jobs and solutions in different fields like agriculture, health, education, basically all the challenges we are facing.

“All the problems we face I feel like ICT can play a role by eradicating them or helping us move a step a further,” she added.

Girls in ICT day initiative is a global effort to encourage girls and young women to consider studies and careers in ICT.

It takes place every year on the fourth Thursday of April and since 2011.

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