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Women urged to take up careers in ICT

Women urged to take up careers in ICT
By ANDREW MUKOMA
SMART Zambia Institute (SZI) says there is need for women to take up careers in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) so that they can contribute in reducing the digital divide in the country.
SZI acting coordinator Percive Chinyama said there is a global movement to increase the representation of girls and women in technology globally.
He said this will enable them realise the potential of ICT to provide empowerment and an escape from the poverty trap that has long haunted national development.
Mr Chinyama said this during the official opening of the girls in ICT digital skills training programme, at the National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) in Livingstone.
He said SZI wants to ensure a digitally transformed Zambian Society where the Girl Child will actively participate in socio-economic activities.
And NIPA, Executive Director, professor Royson Mukwena said the girl-child has been affected by this digital divide amid enormous societal expectations placed on her shoulders.
He said most activities are happening online and girls have no adequate means to participate online.
Professor Mukwena said ICT also enables the girl-child access to information which is transformed into knowledge, and helps learners to make rational decisions as well as compete favourably in education and in their careers.
Livingstone District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Aiden Kambunga said girls are poorly placed to benefit from the knowledge economy in developing countries.
Mr Kambunga said girls have less access to skills training and development that would enable them to participate in the digital economy.
He said technology needs girls for all sorts of reasons but perhaps the most important one is that women drive social and economic growth.
Mr Kambunga said it is for this reason that there is need girls to be interested in pursuing ICT studies.
He said Girls in ICT digital skills training programme is aimed at delivering digital skills training to girls in schools in underprivileged communities and STEM Schools.
He said this is to inspire the girls and make them understand the opportunities of undertaking STEM studies for their future careers.
This programme is a collaboration between the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Cisco, SMART Zambia Institute (SZI), Ministry of Education and Airtel-Zambia.

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