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 Thursday, May 16, 2013
National Broadcasting and Telecommunications (NBTC), Thailand has last week launched a campaign to boost computer literacy and bridge digital divide in rural areas.

In partnership with Intel Corporation, “Be Amazing” roadshow campaign will travel to 27 provinces to educate the public in the remote areas, particularly first-time users and college students, on the use and benefits of computers especially for education purpose. The roadshow will start from May 14 to the end of December 2013.

Computer makers participating in the campaign are Asus, Acer, Samsung, Lenovo and Toshiba along with the broadband providers TOT and Advanced Info Service.
Affordable prices device to be featured during the roadshow include THB 7,900 (US$ 263) tablets.

“Only 6 million of the 20 million Thai households own computers”, said Accharas Ouysinprasert, Intel Thailand Manager. Computer penetration is 90% of households in some developed countries.

Ouysinprasert said the campaign is expected to reach 550,000 households this year. Thailand’s telecom operators just kicked start official 3G services last week, following last month’s official approval from the government after ending the long complication.

Gen Sukit Khamasundara, NBTC Member said the launch of 3G and 4G service is expected to boost computer use to 80 per cent of total households.
He added that the NBTC is considering trimming down the universal service obligation (USO) fee from 3.75 per cent to 2 – 3 per cent in order to reduce the burden on licensees.

The USO fee is collected from telecom operators with an aim to provide services in rural areas where telecom investment is not commercially justifiable.
Under the USO master plan from 2012-16, the NBTC will spend 20 billion baht to install fibre-optic networks in rural areas to allow as many as 80% of the citizens to access broadband, up from 32% now.

The spending will cover implementation of the networks and community computer centres for 7,000 sub districts, up from 1,000 at present.

(Source: FutureGov)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 8:13:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


University of Computer Studies, Yangon (UCSY), and University of Computer Studies, Mandalay (UCSM) joined forces with Cisco for a channel partner network under the collaborative support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

The establishment of the country’s first two Cisco Networking Academies at the UCSY and the UCSM was announced last week, and the programme is being support through Cisco’s long-term partnership with the USAID.

The project is also a part of the Myanmar government’s initiative to work with private and public organizations in the country to build a “Smart and Connected Myanmar”.
Thought the programme, Cisco will be providing training and development to foster the business partnership in Myanmar. Cisco’s authorized channel partners will be trained to help ensure that network equipment is regularly upgraded and software is up-to-date, and protecting the integrity of the network.

The two training centres will provide students with critical information technology and networking skills to design, build, and maintain the infrastructure highway, while increasing the number of job-ready graduates for the country’s ICT sector.

Under the agreement, Cisco will be donating networking equipment for labs and providing 21st century career skills training for up to 15 faculty staff from the two universities to support the programme.

Chris Milligan, USAID/Myanmar Mission Director, said technology is a powerful tool to advance Myanmar’s development while contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

“This collaboration with Cisco brings innovative technology and education to build on the strengths and capacity of the country. The initiative will provide ICT skills training and increase the number of job-ready graduates for the country’s emerging ICT sector”, he said.

Not only Cisco showed interest in moving into one of the least-connected places like Myanmar, USAID-sponsored delegation also included Google, HP, Intel, and Microsoft.
The USAID technology delegation aimed toward improving technology education as the first step towards commercial engagement.

Further details

Thursday, May 16, 2013 8:08:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
In cooperation with the Jordan National Commission for UNESCO and Arab Women Media Center, UNESCO has been working to incorporate media and information literacy (MIL) into the Jordanian school curriculum by providing high school teachers and students the training to gather, analyze and utilize information through new and traditional media, and to develop debating skills so that they are able to express themselves in a professional manner.

A closing event was held under the patronage of His Excellency the Minister of Education, Dr. Mohammed Al-Wahsh, at Al Hussein Cultural Center to mark the achievements of this pilot project. The students practiced their newly developed debating skills and took part in a debating competition on the topic of “Freedom of Expression via Modern Tools”. Electronic newsletters produced as a part of the project that highlighted vital issues in their communities – with a special focus on youth and gender – were displayed at the event, while students gave testimonies of their experience and learning from the MIL training.

“MIL is one of the essential capacities that enable people to interpret and make informed decisions as users of information and media, as well as to become skillful creators and producers of information and media messages in their own right”, said Dr. Anna Paolini, Head of UNESCO Amman Office and Representative of UNESCO in Jordan.
Implemented throughout the second scholastic semester of 2012-2013, the project targeted 40 male and female students aged 16 and 17 from four UNESCO Associated Schools in Amman, Ajloun and Aqaba. The schools – Princess Taghreed School and Modern Systems Schools in Amman; Prince Faisal the First School in Aqaba; and Kufranja Secondary School in Ajloun – represented the southern, northern, and central areas of Jordan.

Officially titled “Integrating Media and Information Literacy into Jordanian Schools”, the project consisted of two phases. The first was training the teachers that would be involved in the project, followed by the second phase where specialists and teachers provided hands-on training to the students on journalistic writing skills, debating techniques, web search, website development, and management and dissemination of information through modern media tools. By introducing MIL and demonstrating its importance in education, the project aims for MIL to be adopted into the Jordanian curriculum so that it can be taught on a sustainable and impactful basis.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 8:03:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

What are the implications of the ICT revolution for TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training)?

New technologies allow for better and easier access to education, nationally and across borders. The availability of broadband internet is increasing in all parts of the world. While access to learning resources used to be very restricted, more and more high-quality resources become available for free, anytime, almost anywhere. At the learner’s end mobile digital devices become cheaper and more easily available and are being introduced increasingly in educational contexts. Around the world, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) enable the implementation of education and training, the provision of learning content, and communication between teachers and learners. For that purpose, ICT should be harnessed with the purpose of providing more widespread access to TVET.

In 2008, UNESCO defined its vision for ICT in education: “A world without boundaries where technologies support education to build inclusive knowledge societies”. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are fostered by UNESCO-UNEVOC by using its online services as a tool to communicate with the UNEVOC Network and facilitate knowledge exchange in the global TVET community.

To explore the role ICT plays in access to and quality of TVET, UNESCO-UNEVOC is organizing a virtual conference on ICT and TVET from 14 to 28 May 2013 on the UNEVOC e-Forum. The discussion will be moderated by Nik Kafka, CEO & founder of Teach A Man To Fish, an international NGO supporting schools across the developing world to use enterprise initiatives as means of improving their financial sustainability and broadening access for the poorest children to a quality education. From a career in banking an interest in social change led him to Paraguay where he worked on a pioneering model for self-sufficient vocational schools; laying the basis to create Teach A Man To Fish on his return. He is an active member of several boards as well the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader community and has been an active member of the UNEVOC e-Forum since 2006.

The 2-week discussion will aim to explore ICT as a tool for increasing the reach and effectiveness of TVET worldwide, and will look to identify how mobile, online and multimedia learning can best be used to complement or even replace traditional TVET Centre based education. What are the implications of the digital learning revolution for TVET around the world? UNESCO-UNEVOC is calling for e-Forum members and the global TVET community to share their experiences and promising practices in utilizing ICT in TVET.

The input to the discussion will be synthesized and summarized into a report, which will provide directions for future research and programme work in this field. To sign up for the discussion, click here.

Further information

Thursday, May 16, 2013 7:59:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The annual meeting to review and measure progress towards targets set in Tunis in 2005 at the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) opened on 13th May. This meeting of the WSIS Forum also marks ten years since the first phase of the Summit was held in Geneva in 2003.

In the coming week, the WSIS Forum will focus on the future of information and communication technologies (ICT), particularly as an engine of growth in a post-2015 development environment. Participants will engage in discussions on a number of diverse topics, such as ICT infrastructure, cybersecurity, enabling environment, e-learning, e-health, e-agriculture, media, accessibility, and ethics. High level dialogues with government ministers and representatives from business and civil society will examine:

- Women's empowerment in the information Society: systematic, scalable strategies
- Smart climate change monitoring: Expanding access to information on weather, climate and water
- ICT innovations and standards: Creating technology for the next three billion
- Securing cyberspace in a borderless world: Vision 2015 and beyond
- ICTs and post 2015 goals
- Youth and ICTs

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said, “This year’s WSIS Forum is a unique opportunity to develop multi-stakeholder consensus on what is needed for the WSIS process in the future, to ensure that the bottom-up approach of the WSIS process is preserved and that the decisions concerning modalities also respect the real requirements of the use of ICTs for socio-economic development, while ensuring growth in the ICT ecosystem itself”.

More than 1500 participants from government, private sector, civil society and international organizations are expected to attend the WSIS Forum during the week.
Former UN Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan will address the WSIS Process beyond 2015 as well as his engagement with young people in a webinar to inspire them to contribute to the post-2015 development frameworks currently under negotiation.

Approaching ten years since the Summit in 2005, the WSIS+10 Visioning Track will bring all emerging challenges related to the information society into perspective, ensuring that the new vision for WSIS beyond 2015 builds upon real needs of people at the bottom of the pyramid.

The United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS), consisting of 30 members, will issue a joint statement on the Post-2015 Development Agenda to harness inter-agency expertise and experience in addressing development challenges of the 21st century.

Following the opening ceremony, a high-level session kicked off on Emerging Trends and Innovation in the Ecosystem, attended by over fifty government ministers from around the world as well as industry executives.

An exhibition will showcase global initiatives for a more efficient Information Society.
WSIS Forum 2013 Partners

This year’s WSIS Forum programme has been greatly enhanced through the strategic partnership and contribution of the Sultanate of Oman (government) and Intel Corporation (private sector). Contributions for specific activities have also come in from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Mexico, Poland, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania as well as from Hewlett-Packard. The United Arab Emirates is the WSIS+10 Visioning Partner.
For more information, please see www.itu.int/wsis/implementation/2013/forum/

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:28:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU, the Kofi Annan Foundation and One Young World are working together on a new series of youth-oriented online discussions designed to stimulate debate among young people around the world on challenges central to their lives and prospects, such as unemployment and democratic governance.

Former UN Secretary-General Annan will launch the Kofi Annan Dialogues: LIVE series on Wednesday, 15 May, with the first online discussion to take place over the Google Hangout platform from 11:00 - 12:30 CET.

With the topic of ‘Young People and Leadership’, this first session gives six aspiring young leaders the opportunity to share their views with Mr Annan, watched by a global audience who will be able join the conversation and pose their questions via social media.

The outreach to young audiences will form a key element of a direct youth engagement process building up to ITU’s BEYOND 2015 Youth Summit in Costa Rica and the One Young World Summit in South Africa, to be held in September and October respectively.

ITU will host the first Dialogue from its Geneva studios on the occasion of the WSIS Forum 13 event taking place this week (13-17 May) at the Geneva International Conference Centre. The world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community, WSIS Forum is focused on defining strategies to help countries and organizations more effectively harness the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, now less than two years away.

“I congratulate Kofi Annan on an excellent and much-needed initiative to reach out to youth. These online Dialogues are an excellent example of using the power of ICTs to connect people to influence change”, said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré. “Our young new generation of ‘digital natives’ feel completely at home communicating online – and harnessing today’s social media channels allows us to create a truly global platform that cuts across geographical boundaries and brings in voices from right around the world”.

Participate in the first live Dialogue:

When: 15 May, 11h00 - 12h30 CET
Where: http://dialogueslive.kofiannanfoundation.org/
How: Send your questions via Twitter
#kofiannanlive #BYND15 #OYW #WSIS
Follow the Kofi Annan Dialogues: LIVE on Twitter and Facebook at: https://twitter.com/KofiAnnan #kofiannanlive
https://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Kofi-Annan/228449696042

Learn more about ITU’s forthcoming BEYOND 2015 Youth Summit here.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:19:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Rwanda received an award from WSIS Project Prizes 2013 organized by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) where the Africa Digital Media Academy was voted as the best project in media category. This has been revealed on the 13th May 2013, in Geneva during the WSIS Forum focusing on post-2015 development agenda.

The WSIS Project Prizes is an annual contest which recognizes excellence in the implementation of projects and initiatives which further the WSIS goals of improving connectivity to information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Africa Digital media Academy (ADMA), located in the city of Kigali, a vocational training program initiated in March 2012 by Workforce Development Authority (WDA) together with Pixel Corps Ltd, provides students with skills necessary to work in all areas of the digital media industry.

This center prepares its students for production work needed in digital media. Through live, hands-on learning in the computer lab and production studio, with distance learning from television experts in the U.S, students are given instructions to proceed at their own pace with support from the instructors. The emphasis is on student collaboration with the community as the foundation for effective learning.

The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana said that ADMA is the first of its kind in Africa to provide students with the skills necessary to work in all areas of the digital media industry.

He added that this will add on another step for Rwanda to be on the forefront in using ICT, especially for edutainment and infotainment to create jobs, especially for Rwanda youth.

More than 280 projects from 64 countries have participated in the contest. During the voting phase, more than 3500 registered users appreciated/voted for the projects according to the rules and instruction of the contest. 18 winners announced and awarded a prize at the WSIS Prize Ceremony 2013.

Further details

Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:09:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 10, 2013
On April 25, 2013 we celebrate the "International Day of Girls in ICT", globally. The initiative, promoted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), seeks to promote the participation of girls and young women in careers related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This celebration is an effort of great importance in a global context that fosters a growing expansion of employment in an industry predominantly male.

In accession to the celebration of "International Day of Girls in ICT", DINATEL has released the current status of the participation of girls and young women in the educational system and the labor market in Uruguay.

The study by DINATEL evidence the present challenges in the national reality regarding the participation of girls and young women in ICT careers.

Download the full report here.

(Source: DINATEL – Uruguay)

Friday, May 10, 2013 6:28:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The latest in Startup Weekend's new women-focused events, Startup Weekend Algeria was the first event of its kind to feature a 54-hour weekend intensive composed only of women.

The event Thursday, April 18th “was the first ever Startup Weekend Women edition with no men involved in the organization at all,” pointed out Marion Desmazières, a Startup Weekend organizer originally from Paris, who flew in from Seattle to help organize the event. “True, we had Startup Weekend Women editions in San Francisco, Seattle, London and Singapore in the past, but their organizers accepted male coaches and male attendees who signed up with women”.

True to the style of all Startup Weekends, the three-day event began at Cyberparc of Sidi Abdallah in Rahmania with an icebreaker and then a “pitchfire”, in which 24 ideas were pitched and 10 projects were formed. Topics ranged from e-commerce for antiques to e-learning platforms, babysitting websites to car repair business, says Desmazières.

Throughout the weekend, “working with other women judges and coaches boosted their confidence”, says Berrayah. “Many of the women arrived not being sure of their ability to build a technology product, but by the end, we helped them understand how far they could go”.

“They felt really confident and able to go out of their comfort zones”, says Desmazières. “Many girls removed their hijab because they were only with women, and the first night, they spent a sleepness night together, building their projects. She thinks everyone left the event with 54 other friends”, she illustrates.

The top three teams, awarded on Saturday, April 20th, spanned typical topics presented at Startup Weekends:

First place: Dalil Med: an online repository for professionals in the health industry.
Second place: Teach me: a virtual platform for connecting students and teachers.
Third place: Covoiturage DZ: a car-sharing service

While Startup Weekend’s motto is that it’s about creating entrepreneurs, not startups necessarily, this Startup Weekend was about creating startups, insists Berrayah. All of the winning teams have contacted her since the event to sign up for the incubation they won from Cyberparc and take their business to the next level, she says. Companies incubated at Cyberpark can stay for six to 30 months.

Further details

Friday, May 10, 2013 6:25:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Girls in Tech Egypt is a new branch of global organization Girls in Tech (GIT), which focuses on women’s    innovative and entrepreneurial achievements in the world of technology through global mentorship programmes.



The mission of GIT’s new branch in Egypt is to empower Egyptian women “to embrace risk and build on their entrepreneurial aspirations”.
The organization hosts mini tech conferences and professional meet-ups where the majority of speakers are women who aspire to share their entrepreneurial and technological aspirations with the public.

Explaining the concept behind the project, GIT’s main website says that Girls in Tech “was born out of a need to provide a place for women to cultivate ideas around their careers and business concepts involving technology”.

The organization was originally founded in San Francisco in 2007 by Adriana Gascoigne.

Since 2007, the network has grown to include over 8,500 members from different parts of the world including China, Greece, France, the United States, and Chile.
The new branch in Egypt seeks to “empower women in technology by simply providing them with more visibility”, the website says.
On its Facebook page, GIT Egypt states that its activities mainly focus on “the engagement, education and empowerment of like-minded, professional, intelligent and influential women in technology”.

The new branch in Egypt aims to focus on the promotion, growth and success of women in the field of technology through using the GIT network.
The network offers a variety of resources and tools for women to supplement and enhance their professional careers, skills and aspirations in the creative field.
Some of these resources include educational workshops and lectures, networking functions, round table discussions, conferences, social engagements, and recruitment events.

Further details

Friday, May 10, 2013 6:14:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
IBM has long held a presence in Africa (for 90+ years). Offices now exist in over 20 African nations. Within the East Africa region, a full subsidiary office opened in Nairobi, Kenya in 2009. Since then, the company has partnered with East African universities in software development, made plans to turn Nairobi into a Smart City, and attempted to reverse the African brain drain. Most recently, in May 2013, IBM opened a research lab in the city amid much fanfare. In particular, IBM was drawn to Kenya for its great long term vision (Vision 2030) and the ability of Kenya to take innovation and use it. The company’s goal in Nairobi is “to help feed the momentum”.

Specifically, the center will house up to 50 researchers within five years. Candidates will come from public and private sectors across Africa. All sorts of ICT projects will be tackled – from water management to traffic management. IBM categorizes the areas as: Next Generation Public Sector, Smarter Cities, and Human Capacity Development. The center will also open opportunities for developers through a tight partnership with iHub Nairobi. Another key component will be the center’s ability to link venture capitalists with local innovators.

IBM also released a video discussing how public-private partnerships (PPPs) are driving East African economic growth. Victor Kyalo, CEO of the Kenya ICT Board, gave insight that can be summarized as:

- Kenya needs need technology to solve problems.
- Kenya needs PPPs to move to the next level.
- In 5 years Kenya will be using IT to enable daily tasks.

See the video presentation

Further details

Friday, May 10, 2013 6:09:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
World Pulse and Telecentre.org Foundation (TCF) have recently entered into a partnership agreement that intends to support the digital empowerment of grassroots women worldwide. The agreement, which was finalized last April 22, 2013, aims to equip women with digital literacy skills and enable their participation and leadership at local and global levels.



Specifically, the agreement will focus on introducing World Pulse as a resource to women participating in telecentres via activity cards in Eastern Africa and Central Asia. World Pulse will work with TCF representatives and network coordinators to identify the needs of telecentre women, and hopes to strategize with TCF to scale the pilot and bring digital empowerment to all women participating in telecentres around the world.

Jensine Larsen, CEO of World Pulse says, “TCF is on the cutting edge of empowering women through ICTs, and World Pulse is honored to partner with them to magnify the power of women’s voices worldwide”.

Tess Camba, Director of Operations for TCF also expressed support for the partnership saying, “WorldPulse is one of the foremost action media networks for women globally and TCF is very excited to have them join us as a partner for our Telecentre Women program”.

The agreement between the two organizations will be formally announced at TCF’s Spark13 conference, which takes place this coming May 28-29 in Granada, Spain.

Further information

Friday, May 10, 2013 5:58:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


On the International Day of Girls in ICT held by the International Telecommunication Union, the ICT Ministry joined with the completion of a forum called "Women with Digital talent", which was virtually carried out through a hangout.

The forum was held on Thursday, April 25 at 11 am and was attended by distinguished Colombian women in the ICT sector, as the Deputy Minister of Technologies and Information Systems, Maria Isabel Mejia, who spoke about the opportunities of Colombian girls to study ICT-related careers.

Also participated Maria Fernanda Ardila, Digital Culture Deputy of MinTIC (@ mafeardilalopez), who presented the offer of the State for the use and appropriation of ICT in women. It also included the presence of a representative of the ITU, who shared with the public via online, international action that advances the organization for girls and women trained in ICT professions. During the space participated recognized women entrepreneurs, activists and users of community access points of Vive Digital Internet.

The topics discussed were:
• Study opportunities for women in ICT careers
• Offer of ICT Ministry in the use and appropriation of ICT
• Labor Opportunities in the ICT sector for women
• Access to ICT for rural women
• Active in social media software development by women

All activities could be follow hangout. Likewise, people who want to follow this celebration can do so via Twitter with the hashtag # GirlsinICT

(Source: MINTIC)

Friday, May 10, 2013 5:51:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Mobile phones can soon be used to help teachers improve English language literacy skills among primary school students in Nigeria. The project is being launched by UNESCO and Nokia, with support from the British Council and the National Teachers’ Institute of Nigeria.

Participating teachers will sign up for a mobile service called “English Teacher”, which sends teachers educational content and messages with pedagogical advice once a day. The messages are organized into thematic modules and include images and exercises. The service runs on the popular Nokia Life+ platform and is one of the first attempts to employ mobile technology to improve tools for primary school teachers.

On May 2 and 3, UNESCO and Nokia hosted a training seminar with teachers from almost 50 different schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria, where the project is being piloted.

”English Teacher” leverages a technology that is already owned and used by a majority of Nigerian educators. Over 90 percent of Nigerians have access to a mobile network, and mobile phones are fast becoming a major gateway to the internet. This means that the service is available to most people, including teachers in difficult areas such as the northern states, where educational needs are most urgent.

“Our aim from the beginning was to develop a service that teachers working in difficult conditions and without a great deal of support could access quickly”, said Steven Vosloo, the project coordinator for UNESCO. “Mobile technology is a promising avenue and, in some instances, the only option in terms of technology”.
“English Teacher” is available to anyone in Nigeria without a subscription fee. It is hosted on the popular Nokia Life+ platform, which offers an extensive menu of content and covers topics as diverse as education, health, agriculture, and entrepreneurship. When teachers sign up for the service they receive daily messages designed to improve and support their instruction.

The content was developed by the British Council and draws on the organization’s 75 years of experience building resources for English language teachers. Thematically-organized and sequential modules, generally broken across one or two week periods, promote strategies to encourage learner independence, cultivate different learning preferences, and prompt educators to reflect on their teaching practice, while providing links to relevant outside resources.  The programme runs for 72 weeks and begins whenever a user signs up for the service.

“We are delighted to partner with UNESCO in launching the ‘English Teacher’ service and provide high-quality professional development services to primary grade English teachers across Nigeria”, said Jawahar Kanjilal, VP and Global Head of Nokia Life. “English teachers using the service will benefit from the rich learning experiences presented in an engaging manner through the Nokia Life+ web app”.

The mobile technology project in Nigeria reflects UNESCO and Nokia’s commitment to enlist technology in the global effort to promote literacy and equitable access to education.

The educational challenges facing Nigeria are daunting.  Some 42 percent, or roughly 10.5 million primary age children, are out-of-school, and those girls and boys who do attend are struggling to learn basic literacy and numeracy. This has resulted in one of the highest adult illiteracy rates in the world.

(Source: UNESCO)

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 3:46:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Last month, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ford Foundation, Show of Force, and Games for Change launched the Half the Sky Movement Media and Technology Engagement Initiative. Over the next two years, this initiative will work to create behavior change toward gender issues in India and Kenya through an integrated media campaign. It will use a combination of traditional and social media, which has been demonstrated to be a powerful approach for shifting gender-related norms and behavior.

This new alliance builds on an initiative developed in collaboration with authors of the best-selling book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

The initiative is focused on advancing gender equality, which is increasingly being recognized as a key factor in improving development outcomes. Each additional year of education for women reduces child mortality by 18 per thousand births. When women cannot fully engage in the labor force, either by law or custom, GDP growth can suffer by as much as two percent.

Gender equality makes sense not just for the woman herself, but for her family, community and the economy of her country. Yet in many low- and moderate-income countries, women and girls struggle for equal access to healthcare, education, and professional opportunities.

"Educate girls and you change the future for a nation”, said Maura O'Neill, USAID's Chief Innovation Officer. “Give women all the economic opportunities that men have and within a generation a strong middle class will emerge. It is just that simple".

(Source: USAID)

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 3:40:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Vice President of Dominican Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, said that technology is a tool of empowerment training and essential for development of girls, because it facilitates active and equal participation in the labor market, in making decision, culture and society.

Dr. Cedeño de Fernández spoke in those terms, during the opening of the forum "Technology needs  girls: A promising future for a new generation of women", organized by the Vice President, the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (lNDOTEL) and National Commission on Information Society and Knowledge (CNSIC), as part of activities in the International Day of the Girls in ICT.

"So today we stress the importance of bringing and empower women, girls, young women to the world of technology, in order to promote gender equality and promote social inclusion", said the Vice President.

In that regard, she said that the era of knowledge demands high skilled, creative and innovative persons, so that technology is a powerful tool to promote and enhance human development, transform the lives of people, develop their capacity and enable insertion into the labor market.

She said that since the Vice President, through the 93 Community Technology Centers operating nationwide and the implementation of initiatives – such as Women in Network and TecnoChicas-, they have managed to make the Information and Communication Technology a development tool, of equity and social inclusion for adolescents and Dominican women living in vulnerable conditions and extreme poverty.

"For that reason, from the vice presidency, we continue our work to promote access to ICTs in every corner of the country and we fully intend to build strategic alliances and develop initiatives to further reduce the digital divide and social that separates rural and urban areas and those who have access to ICTs from those who do not have", said Dr. Cedeño de Fernández.



Further details

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 3:35:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
In Nigeria, it was about empowering young women. Talk about girl power, talk about Girls in ICT Day. With women in the IT field coming out in impressive numbers to impart on tomorrow’s leaders discussing topics like Blogging as a means of Livelihood by Tolu Agunbiade, Why Leave ICT to Boys by Dr. Bolanle Oladejo, Careers in ICT by Dr. Florence Oladeji and Surfing the Net To My Advantage by Dr. Olukemi Adebimpe Fadehan (Librarian, University of Lagos).

Girls in ICT Day is an event run all over the world simultaneously to honour women who are into ICT and to extend a warm embrace to the younger generation so that they can see that there is beauty in the field of ICT and equal opportunities as well as benefits, compared to their male counterparts. This year’s edition is the maiden edition, hosted by Eko-Konnect Research and Education Initiative in conjunction with the University of Lagos and Women in Technology Education (YabaTech) tagged Empowering Young Women Through ICT.

It was an exciting and educative symposium as attendees learned the basics of blogging as well as its prerequisites, dug into the track records of exceptional women in the field of ICT and were also sensitized towards discovering the boundless prosperity awaiting ICT. According to Dr. Bolanle Oladejo:

“We are in an age where the internet is the tool to do virtually everything – learn, buy, socialize, read the news, get public services, apply for jobs and do so much more”.
This means that the internet has become an integral part of human living as it rears its pretty head in every human endeavor. It will also do girls a whole lot of good to put behind the negative sensations they have had about ICT in times past and look upon the hopeful part of it all. To drive home this opinion, Dr. Florence Oladeji broke down the exigencies of a career woman, career opportunities in ICT and requirements to become an ICT practitioner which include a bit of programming solving skills, problem solving skills, inter-personal communication skills, flexibility and adaptability, characters and ethics and being legally minded; in a nutshell, anybody can be an ICT practitioner.

Students of the Methodist Girls’ High School, Fazi – L – Omar Senior High School, International School Lagos (ISL), Reagan Secondary School, and Yabatech Secondary School – all in Yaba environs were also present. Being young minds budding to the outside world just yet, the benefits of the event would have been greatly marred if caution was not thrown in the air for the attendees to grab. The internet is here to stay with its advantages and disadvantages which can not be over-emphasized. The Librarian of the University of Lagos, Dr. Olukemi Adebimpe Fadehan, explained explicitly the definition of internet terms, who surfs the net, general advantage of surfing, disadvantages of surfing the internet, how to carry out a purposeful search on the internet, how to evaluate internet resources as well as a list of organizations who offer scholarship to girls who are interested in the field of ICT.

Further details

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 3:23:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Girls In ICT Rwanda was born out of the ITU’s Girls in ICT Day which was celebrated for the first time in Rwanda in 2011. During the planning period for that event, the women entrepreneurs involved formed a group – Girls in ICT Rwanda – which the Ministry of Youth & ICT pledged to support.

The group’s goal is to improve the current statistics regarding the numbers of women in the ICT sector as well as to alter the stereotype held by many young girls that ICT is a man’s field.

Girls in ICT Rwanda consists of women of all ages working in the field ICT including entrepreneurs, professionals and university students. The group has visited a number of schools in Rwanda including Lycee de Kigali and Gashora Girls School. During these visits, the group’s members speak to teenage girls to encourage them to consider ICT as a career option as well help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career.

Recently they organized a Networking Night for female ICT entrepreneurs, professionals and students to network with ICT government institutions, private sector and civil society as well as a host of invited guests from the national and international community. The Guest of Honour was Ann Mei Chang, the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the US Department of State.

Session with Ann Mei

Ann Mei began by telling the group about her background in technology including a story of how, at the age of 24, she became the youngest manager at a tech company. She later worked at a number of companies including Google for 8 years where she managed engineers from all over the world.

Ann Mei highlighted several studies addressing the gender gap when it comes to women’s access to technology, particularly access to internet. She pointed out that ICT is one of the fastest growing sectors and that US Department of Labor projections indicate half of the jobs being created in the next 5 years will go unfilled given current talent growth. She said that women could help fill that gap.

A young lady asked Ann Mei if women have to have an interest in computer programming – specifically coding – and if they have to be a tomboy to work in the tech industry. Ann Mei said that women should study and work at what they are passionate about – not simply what they expect will bring in the most money. She also pointed out that women in tech fields sometimes feel pressured to fit in – to be one of the boys. She advised women to be true to themselves: if you’re a tomboy, great and if you’re a fashionista, that’s great, too – just be who you are.

Another participant asked for recommendations for people who have an interest in ICT but who don’t have time to take long term courses. Ann Mei suggested taking short courses in mobile app development.

One woman asked what needs to be done to improve the education system in order to attract more teenage girls to ICT. Ann Mei said that many universities have outdated course requirements – e.g. an A level in Physics – and that this needs to change. She also discussed the cultural barriers: because the field remains male dominated, the culture in ICT academic and professional environments has naturally evolved to be more attractive to men and boys.


 

More details

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 3:11:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Internet access and computing are quickly spreading across Africa. However, certain skills are needed before a user can enjoy all the benefits a computer has to offer. Truly using a computer isn’t as simple as sitting down and pressing a bunch of keys. Accessing the Internet isn’t just a matter of having a computer and an Internet connection.

Tutorys, a new social learning platform, fills the ICT skills void that we often take for granted. Using short video tutorials, Tutorys teaches people how to use popular software and web tools like Microsoft Office, Blogger, and Facebook. The company will soon provide guides on how to effectively use Twitter, Pinterest, and Adwords.



Tutorys has many bases covered with a simple, yet robust suite of services. Not only do they have over 500 tutorials on most major online software, but the tutorials are available in English and French. What’s more, the videos can be found both on the Tutorys site and on YouTube. The tutorials, although generally lacking audio, are extremely visual and easy to follow. One can learn the basics of Facebook in under 15 minutes, but Word 2007 understandably takes over 2 hours to fully comprehend. Fortunately, no single video is longer than five minutes as to bore a user.

Tutorys is new to African markets but has already attracted interest from multiple areas. For one, a cyber café in Conakry, Guinea is interested to use Tutorys videos for training sessions. This is great news for Conakry as a shortage of ICT skills is limiting the nation’s online presence from growing as fast as neighboring countries. Separately, LinkedAfrica, an African business network similar to LinkedIn has also expressed interest in integrating Tutorys videos with its services.

Further details

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 3:01:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 01, 2013
On the 25 April the European Commission, ITU and key European stakeholders held a joint celebration of International Girls Day 2013 culminating in the European Parliamentary Hearing on Women in ICT hosted by ITRE – The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the FEMM Committee (Women’ Rights and Gender Equality).

The Hearing attracted full house of key players of the public and private sector, academia and NGOs and many students from secondary and tertiary education also attended the event.

The hearing focused around the topics of professional women in ICT careers and developing ICT skills for ICT jobs.

Dr.Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the ITU opened the session by giving an overview of ITU's different initiatives to support the Girls in ICT agenda all around the world.

The key message of Vice President Neelie Kroes, Commissioner of the Digital Agenda was that ‘Today not diamonds but ICT skills are girls’ best friends (reminding of Marilyn Monroes ‘Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend’ song introduced in the original Broadway production of ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ sixty years ago) and Digital Women are worth more than diamonds for the industry!

Getting more women in ICT will enhance equality and competitiveness in an increasingly digital world’.
Please check out the summary of the day and the inspirational speaches of Vice President Neelie Kroes, Commissioner of the Digital Agenda and Dr.Hamadoun Toure, Secretary General of ITU.

ECWT has played a key role in the preparations of the Heaing through presenting a Postition Paper and organizing an on-line consultation on the Hearing in year 2011-2012.
In the Hearing MEP Edit Herczog pointed out that industries need intermediators for their collaboration with girls and stressed that the European Centre for Women and Technology has since 2009 become the key intermediator for the women in ICT agenda.

Ruthe Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives, National Centre for Women in Technology (NCWIT) raised also the importance of a regional platform and welcomed cooperation between NCWIT and ECWT in the future.

In connection with the Parliamentary Hearing the European Centre for Women and Technology published a special edition of the Parliamentary Magazine the 22nd of April.



Download the full document, here.

Further details

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 12:44:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
April 25 2013 is a super day for girls and women in technology and Cisco was very present!  The day commenced with a breakfast session Women2020 platform hosted by DIGITALEUROPE with the topic of Women In Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for Smart Growth of the pillars of the European 2020 Strategy.

The morning session included a panel chaired by Ms. Cheryl Miller, Founder of Women2020, and Dr.Hamadoun Toure’, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union; Ms. Eva Fabry, Director European Centre for Women and Technology; Ms. Marietje Schaake, member of the  European Parliament for the Dutch Democratic Party; Dr. John Higgins, Director-General Digital Europe; Ms. Patricia Reilly Member of the Cabinet-Research, Innovation and Science; Ms. Linda Corugedo Steneberg, Director for Cooperation-DG Connect; Ms. Sabiine Everaet, CIO Europe Group at Coca Cola and a packed room of participants including myself.

Dr.Toure’ appealed to private-public sectors for a 50-50 aspirational target to include women in ICT. There was so much to say in such a short period of time from sustainable STEM education; to pipelining and retaining technical talent most notably women to values from the family that encourage young girls to pursue a technology career track. The group then moved to a location featuring a Brussels youth tech agora with robotics; using technology to create music and so on. European Union Vice President Neeli Kroes along with ITU’s Dr. Hamadoun Toure’ greeted the youth technologists.

Lunch featured the Tech for Girls winners where Cisco and Intel were sponsors. Cisco Belgium and Luxembourg Manager Pol Vanbiervliet presented the awards along with ITU’s Secretary General Hamadoun Toure’.

It should be stated that Cisco is a staunch supporter of Girls in ICT, an initiative of ITU (International Telecommunication Union). In 2010, ITU members agreed to organize Girls in ICT Days on the 4th Thursday of every April. Cisco wants to encourage girls to consider ICT as a valuable career option.

Almost 80 Cisco offices in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas joined initiative this year to run local programs under the global ITU umbrella.
Additionally, Cisco’s Network Academy is doing a fantastic job with its flagship program in training young men and women globally. Cisco Networking Academy is the world’s largest classroom: with more than 1 million students participating in the program at present.

The afternoon session at the EU Parliament included members from the parliament along with EU Vice President Neelie Kroes, ITU’s Dr. Hamadoun Toure’ and participants from private industry.

The first panel was entitled “Women in ICT Careers: How to Explore Female Talent?”  
Other panel members included Ms. Gianna Martinengo, President of DidaelKTS and President of Women and Technology and Ms. Sakia Van Uffelen, CEO at Bull and CSB Consulting, and Digital Champion for Belgium. The emphasis indeed is that we do have a way to go in order to not only attract BUT to retain women in technology.

Why is this topic so important?
The top jobs of the future: What will be the hottest jobs of the 21st century; which jobs will be most in demand in 10, or 15 years time?
Hybrid jobs: combine ICT with business in every imaginable field. Examples for hybrid jobs: bioengineering, power grid informatics, digital media, social and mobile application development, telemedicine, remote learning systems, developing smart applications for buildings, transport, energy or production.
New job profiles: business analyst, data scientist and so on…

The second panel entitled, “Nourishing the Pipeline: ICT Skills for ICT Jobs” included Ms Kicki Stridh, Board Member, the European Association for Women In Science, Engineering and Technology Sweden; Ms Ruthe Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives, National Centre for Women and IT; Ms. Donna Metzlar, Community Advocate, The Genderchangers, and Ms, Nidhi Tandon, Principal Consultant and Trainer, Networked intelligence. The message was clear: Girls when given the confidence to do so can and do pursue technical careers.

The afternoon ended with a live video exchange with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook and a few members from the Parliament.

(Source: CISCO Blogs)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 12:16:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


On Thursday, April 25, 2013; Rwanda celebrates Girls in ICT day where hundreds of girls participated in this event held at Lycée Notre Dame de Citeaux; where young girls learn more from their elders.

This event has been dubbed ’Girls in ICT Career Fair’ to celebrate the International Girls in ICT day and to encourage girls and young women to consider careers in ICT. The occasion aims to inspire girls to consider a future in technology. This year’s theme is “expanding horizons and changing attitudes”.

Girls in ICT Rwanda was born out of the ITUs Girls in ICT day, today, the group consists of girls in ICT including entrepreneurs, professionals and university students whose mission is to inspire girls to consider ICT as a career option as well help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career. Clarisse Ilibagiza from HeHe mobile speaking to the press said that Rwandan girls are able to use ICT tools effectively.

In his remarks The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana advises young girls to embrace the culture of hard working and aim higher; “When you are confident, determined, you’re passionate about what you want, if you have a purpose, if you have a goal, if you have integrity and courage you can be very successful”.

Oda Gasinzigwa, the Minister of Family and Gender Promotion noted that “As you are aware, the government is highly committed to promoting ICT as a key driver for rapid socio-economic development. We have put in place an enabling environment for girls to participate and benefit in ICT along with their brothers”.

International Girls in ICT Day in fact, has the aim to make everyone realize that girls are also able to use the new technologies, and that, due to the fact that girls are good at Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Informatics, they have new technologies which change the world on a daily basis.

Moreover, ICT is the fastest growing industry today and more jobs are created in this industry than any other. The same prospects are for the future. ICT has been identified as the industry that will lead forward world economies, improve lives of families across the globe and make the planet a smaller, more accessible place. Therefore, Women and Girls should take a more prominent role in this process.

Further details

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:49:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU Telecom World 2013, organized by ITU, the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology, is looking for the next generation of social entrepreneurs for its Young Innovators Competition.

Are you brave enough to transform your idea into a successful enterprise?
Can your concept or start up address one of our Global Challenges?

If you are aged between 18 and 26 and feel technology is your second nature, enter the Young Innovators Competition.

You could win a chance to take part in ITU Telecom World 2013 event in Bangkok plus benefits including:

• Up to USD 10,000 in prize money for start-ups and up to USD 5,000 for concepts; both need to address one of the Global Challenges
• High level industry mentorship for a year
• A chance to exhibit on the show floor and network with high level delegates
• Hands-on workshop training focusing on entrepreneurial skills

For details on how to enter the competition, visit: world2013.itu.int/event/innovation/ or contact us at young.innovators@itu.int

(Source: ITU)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:45:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Nigeria’s communication technology minister, Omobola Johnson, has encouraged Nigerian women to pursue careers in ICT and bridge the gap between males and females in ICT.

Speaking in Abuja on Girls in ICT Day, Johnson blamed the perception that ICT is only for geeks and men as the reason why, in spite of the advances recorded in ICT across the world, there are not enough women in the sector.

She expressed the commitment of her ministry towards the encouragement of more girls to develop interest in ICT and to erase the perception. ‘’When I was studying engineering, I was one of five girls in a class of about 80. My daughter has just graduated in an engineering degree and she was also one of about five or six girls, so nothing has really changed in 30 years’’, Johnson said.

“We need to ask ourselves why and help remove all the barriers militating against girls and women embracing technology. Some of the barriers limiting women has to do with lack of support and encouragement and the ministry will provide the necessary support by encouraging women to embrace careers in ICTs”.

The highest achieving girls in the sciences from various schools have been invited to a one-week event organised by the ministry to encourage and expose them to sciences with the goal of increasing the number of women and girls in ICT.

Johnson said the ICT sector in Nigeria has tremendous opportunities for women in areas such as software development, telecommunications, IT, space development and electronic engineering.

Addressing girls in Abuja, Johnson said: “You just need to work hard and don’t be retiring. Women tend to think that our work will speak for us – sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Speak out, work hard and don’t be afraid! Women can do it if they try”.

At the event, 35 girls who had excelled in sciences received Vantium Computer Tablets to empower and encourage them to strive for excellence in ICTs.

Further details

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:39:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Samsung Electronics, the global electronics giant, has delivered one container, the first of what could be a number of Solar Powered Internet Schools based in containers in the country.

The project is being made possible in association with the Angolan government and other partners.

The Solar Powered Internet School, which is geared to provide access to the Internet and electronic textbooks, will operate on a shift basis and will meet the needs of 200 children a day, according to Thierry Boulanger, IT director for solutions and business to business in Africa at Samsung Electronics.

“This school represents a breakthrough in the delivery of education by helping to break down the technological barriers facing education in Angola”, Boulanger said.
The facility, housed in a ‘40-foot’ shipping container, was delivered by truck to its site, he said.

Samsung said the school, which will be used on a rotational basis by children during the day, operates between 08h00 and 17h00 every day. Boulanger said: “It may be a small beginning, but for the 200 children who will benefit, the school opens the door to huge opportunities. Finding the funding to create hundreds of similar facilities across Africa could, within a comparatively short period, transform education, quality of life and service delivery across Africa”.

Samsung also said the school has the capacity to operate effectively for up to 36 hours without any sunlight at all. “The power generated by the panels each day also means that the school can be used beyond the traditional learning day. After-hours it can operate as an adult education centre or a community centre over weekends”.
Built to withstand harsh African conditions the solar panels powering the school are made from rubber instead of glass, to ensure that they are hardy and durable enough to survive long journeys across the continent, Boulanger concluded.

Further information

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:32:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
As the ITU Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT, I am thrilled to be greeting all the girls around the world, as we celebrate International Girls in ICT Day on 25 April 2013.

Technology is offering large-scale opportunities to empower women and girls, creating a systemic cultural shift by improving how they’re portrayed and represented. These are the tools that will ultimately allow women and girls to reach their full potential.

My awareness of gender imbalance in the media came when I started watching children’s television, videos and movies with my then two-year old daughter, Alizeh. I was stunned to see that there seemed to be far more male characters than female characters in these entertainments that were aimed at the youngest of children.
As a result, I launched the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and its programming arm called See Jane. We sponsored the largest body of research ever done on gender images in media. The results are stunning: in American family films there is only one female for every three male characters. In group scenes, only 17 per cent of the characters are female. There was no improvement in those numbers over the last 20 years we studied.

Our research also shows that females are missing from critical occupational sectors in entertainment media.

We recently completed a study on the careers of female characters in popular United States television and film, and found that with regard to STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers, in family films, males hold 84 per cent of all STEM jobs. This calculates into a ratio of 5 male STEM characters to every one female STEM character.

No female leads or co-leads are shown with STEM careers.

Looking across the categories of computer science and engineering, the ratio of males to females in these arenas is 14.25 to one! And in television, characters with STEM jobs are 79 per cent male and 21 per cent female.

I am happy to say that positive role models exist off-screen. Some tech companies, including Hewlett Packard, IBM, Xerox and Yahoo, are headed by women. But there are just 21 female CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies. It is time to change this imbalance.

New and future technologies, especially broadband will be key to providing women with the means to educate themselves and their children, improve their own health and the health of their families and communities, start their own businesses, keep themselves safe, and innovate to build and shape the future they want.
ITU is focusing on increasing the number of girls and women who want an ICT career; increasing the number of girls and women who receive an education in science, technology, engineering or mathematics; and encouraging ICT businesses to attract, recruit, retain and promote women to achieve long-term sustainability.
Last September, I participated in the Broadband Commission for Digital Development and was very pleased that these leaders are committed to empowering women and girls as part of the digital revolution and agreed to set up a working group on gender.

A major outcome from a meeting on 17 March 2013 in Mexico City is that the Broadband Commission agreed on an ambitious new target designed to spur female access to the power of ICT. The target mandates no less than “gender equality in broadband access by the year 2020”.

Last October, as Special Envoy, I attended the Women with the Wave: High-Level Forum on Digital Inclusion of Women and Girls, in Seoul in the Republic of Korea. The Asian broadcasters, filmmakers, Internet stakeholders, academics and others demonstrated their commitment to lead the change in the images of women and girls in ICT. From Korea’s famous K-dramas to Bollywood musicals, they are looking for the characters that will inspire tomorrow’s technology-centred professionals.
We have the opportunity to ensure that women and girls are fully included in the expansion of the digital world, and that their voice and presence are shaping the United Nations development agenda and strategies beyond the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.

Let us all join hands to achieve the new gender target from the Broadband Commission. I urge all Member States and global CEOs to fully implement the principles in Resolution 70 (Rev. Guadalajara 2010) on “gender mainstreaming in ITU and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through information and communication technologies”.

Everyone participating today is a change agent, and the media and technology sectors will come together and take a leadership role to promote more positive portrayal of women and girls in the media — starting, if I may, with some inspiring tech-savvy role models in film and television. Because changing perceptions will be the real game changer in achieving greater empowerment and participation of girls and women in the technology sector.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:29:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Mexican telecommunications company Telmex's recent Aldea Digital event has won the company an entry into the Guinness World Records book as the largest digital inclusion event in the world. Hosted with the goal of gathering as many users of digital technologies as possible in one place, this free-of-charge and open-to-everyone event brought together 154,000 people between March 16 and 26. Visitors were able to use smartphones, tablets and computers, as well as attend 30 courses and workshops ranging from computer basics to application development in the Zocalo of Mexico City, the city's central plaza.

Throughout the event, more than 5,000 computers operating at high-speed connections of 20 Gigabytes per second were loaned out to attendees. A speakers' line-up of high-level telecommunications experts from all over the world drew impressive and diverse crowds spanning all ages and generations - from young kids to their parents and grandparents - from tech-savvy developers to those for whom access to computers and the Internet was a novelty.

The Carlos Slim Foundation, which engages in philanthropic efforts in the fields of education, health and justice, expressed its pleasure with the success of the Telcel 4GLTE-Infinitum Digital Village, and stressed the importance of digital literacy to advance Mexico's social and economic development:

"The Aldea Digital event, now recognized as the largest digital inclusion event in the world, reinforces our commitment to continue to bring digital access to Mexico", said Carlos Slim Domit, Co-Chairman of America Movil.

The Aldea Digital event, which was co-hosted by Telmex, Telcel and the Mexico City government, ties into the overall context of promoting access to broadband technology as a tool to meet the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Carlos Slim Domit added, "With education and access to opportunities being the foundation of society, digital inclusion is increasingly becoming one of the main tools that binds and strengthens the ability to make it possible. As such, increasing access to information and communications technology is the key to advancing the Millennium Development goals".

Among the international leaders and industry experts that participated, the most notable were:
Hamandoun Toure, Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU); Ben Kauffman, Founder of Quirky; Noam Bardin, creator of Waze; Chris Anderson, founder of 3D Robotics; Nigel Jacob of New Urban Mechanics; Elaine Weidman of Ericsson; Ken Wang Shengqing of Huawei; and Gabrielle Gauthey of Alcatel all addressed the latest technological and digital advances and trends.

(Source: CNBC)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:26:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The United Nations E-Government Survey presents a systematic assessment of the use of ICT to transform and reform the public sector by enhancing efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability, access to public services and citizen participation in 193 Countries.
  
We are pleased to inform that the Government of Costa Rica (Digital Government Secretariat), in partnership with the National University of Costa Rica, has kindly provided the translation of the United Nations E-Government Survey to all Spanish- speaking countries.    

The E-Government Survey has been adopted by United Nations Member States and economists as a useful tool to benchmark e-government development.  The Survey is also a tool to guide policies and strategies on how Member States can improve overall public service delivery and bridge the digital divide. 

Main Findings:

Progress in online service delivery continues in most countries around the world. Among the e-government leaders, innovative technology solutions have gained special recognition as the means to revitalize lagging economic and social sectors.  One of the key findings that emerges from the 2012 Survey is that while it is important to continue with service delivery, governments must increasingly rethink their e-government approach by placing greater emphasis on institutional linkages among government structures in a bid to create synergy for inclusive sustainable development.
 
The Spanish edition may be accessed and downloaded directly from the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) at: http://workspace.unpan.org/sites/Internet/Documents/EGovSurvey2012_Spanish.pdf.

(Source: UNPAN)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:19:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 25, 2013
With the number of school girls opting to study technology-related disciplines on the decline in most countries worldwide, ITU is committed to championing the catalytic role a tech career can play in creating exciting, far-reaching opportunities for women and girls.

To help inspire girls to consider a future in technology, ITU established ‘Girls in ICT Day’ back in 2010 and supports the global organization of activities every year on the fourth Thursday in April. In only its third year, global momentum around Girls in ICT Day continues to grow with over 100 countries expected to hold events hosted by governments, private sector and NGOs in 2013.

Events in Brussels
- ITU has joined the European Commission and European Parliament who are hosting a full-day session in Brussels including a Parliamentary Hearing to debate women in ICT careers and nourishing the pipeline. The European Parliament event can be followed live via webstreaming.

 The ITU Secretary-General will also be addressing the Women2020 panel session on Women in STEM for Smart Growth. The Women2020 event can be followed live via webstreaming.

Speeches :
Women2020 Breakfast: Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General

Events at ITU Premises
Back at ITU Headquarters, in ICT Discovery museum, ITU and the Mission of the United States in Geneva have co-organized workshops for local school girls on satellites, coding, mobile apps, + video, together with the chance to meet expert role models.

Speeches:
- Ambassador Betty E. King
- Mr Philippe Metzger, BDT Deputy Director

- The ITU Regional Offices of Cairo and Moscow are also hosting Girls in ICT Day activities.

Girls in ICT Days around the world


(Source: ITU)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 5:34:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
When carrying out school visits, Girls in ICT members speak to teenage girls and encourage them to consider ICT as a career option and also help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career, writes Doreen Umutesi.

About fifteen girls formed a group which they named Girls in ICT Rwanda. Its main objective is to tour schools and encourage more girls to take on courses in Information Communication technology (ICT).

The Girls in ICT Rwanda launched their annual activity calendar on March 22nd, 2013 at a Networking Night with their guest speaker, Ann Mei Chang, the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the US Department of State.

The activities stipulated in their calendar involve encouraging women entrepreneurs in ICT, visiting schools to talk to girls and encouraging them to take on courses in ICT.
When carrying out school visits, Girls in ICT members speak to teenage girls and encourage them to consider ICT as a career option and also help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career.

In an interview with Akaliza Keza Gara a member of Girls in ICT and Founder of Shaking Sun a multimedia company, she said that the government supports initiatives that empower women in ICT.

"One of our main goals is to encourage more girls offering ICT courses to join Girls in ICT Rwanda. When I talk to young girls, a lot of them say that they see it as a man's subject because people we see in the media doing ICT initiatives are often men. Even when they go to school they are surrounded by men so the girls tend to lose interest because they feel they are the odd ones", Akaliza explains.

She also said that there are allegations that women feel intimidated when they are surrounded by men hence women work better when they are surrounded by fellow women.

"Girls are just choosing not to take on ICT so as Girls in ICT Rwanda, part of what we do is to encourage and show them that if we took on the ICT course they can do the same. We encourage them to join us as the rallying troupes' idea. Our target after this year is to find out how many schools we visited and how many girls are offering ICT courses to measure our impact", Akaliza Discloses.

(Source: All Africa News)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 5:08:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Intel Corporation and the 10x10 campaign, partners on the new feature film "Girl Rising", today announced they will work with policymakers in low- and middle-income countries to develop transformative education and technology policies that empower women, achieve gender equity in access to quality education and accelerate economic development.

Together, Intel and 10x10 will develop and host gender equity and education policy workshops, and develop regional policy frameworks based on key gender needs. The workshops will help governments think deeply about issues of gender equity as they develop national policy plans for broader education transformation.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations report, "What Works in Girls' Education", each year of secondary schooling increases a girl's future wages by 10 to 20 percent. At the national level, increasing the share of women with secondary education by just 1 percent increases a country's annual GDP by an average of .3 percent. Yet studies from the United Nations and International Labour Organization show that in 2009, girls accounted for 53 percent of all out-of-school children and 87 million women were unemployed in 2010, up from 76 million in 2007.

"We've seen first-hand the transformational change that can occur when girls have access to an education", said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel's Corporate Affairs Group and president of the Intel Foundation. "By working with 10x10 and policymakers to improve gender equity in education, Intel is taking the vital message of 'Girl Rising' into action. Together, we can empower girls and help them become agents of positive change in their communities".

"By sharing the personal stories of these nine girls, 'Girl Rising' illustrates just how important education is in the movement to empower women and girls", said Holly Gordon, 10x10's executive director. "Our partnership with Intel to provide decision makers in developing countries with scalable policy solutions to expand gender equity in education marks the next step in our commitment to change both minds and policy to positively impact girls' lives".

Through the policy workshops, Intel and 10x10 will help leaders determine how to utilize technology to facilitate gender equity across school policy, curriculum and assessment, teacher development, and research and evaluation. These efforts will build on Intel's existing policy framework, which leverages education policy and information and communications technologies (ICTs) to create mechanisms for empowering girls and achieving gender equity in education at scale.

(Source: Intel)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 4:59:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Join the ITU team and special guests for a day of tech-oriented activities

With the number of schoolgirls opting to study technology-related disciplines on the decline in most countries worldwide, ITU is committed to championing the catalytic role a tech career can play in creating exciting, far-reaching opportunities for women and girls.

ICT jobs are consistently ranked among the top 20 careers with the best pay and best long-term prospects, and the technology industry remains one of the world’s most robust sectors, creating strong ongoing demand for young tech professionals.

To help inspire girls to consider a future in technology, ITU established ‘Girls in ICT Day’ back in 2010, and supports the global organization of activities every year on the fourth Thursday in April. Global momentum around Girls in ICT Day continues to grow, with 1,300 events held by governments, the private sector and NGOs in 87 countries in 2012 reaching over 30,000 school-age girls, and around 100 countries are expected to hold events this year.

To celebrate this important day, journalists are invited to join ITU staff on April 25 for a programme of workshops and inspiring discussion with local schoolgirls aged 13-17.

What: ‘Girls in ICT Day’ at ITU

When: 08:30am - 14:30pm, 25 April, 2013
          8:30-9:00 Registration and coffee (please bring photo ID or UN press badge), + welcoming remarks by Philippe Metzger (ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau)
          9:00-10:00 Guided tour of ICT Discovery
          10:00-11:20 Workshops on mobile app development and web coding
          11:30-13:00 Workshops on Flash video game development and video production
          13:00-14:30 Informal lunch with female ICT professionals, including the chance to chat to students and speakers.
Where: ICT Discovery Museum, 2nd floor, Montbrillant building, ITU headquarters, Place des Nations, Geneva

Who: Around 80 girls from schools in the Geneva area (including France voisine), with ITU technical staff and other experts.

Registration to attend this event is essential. Journalists are requested to confirm their attendance to pressinfo@itu.int by close of business Tuesday 23 April. If you do not have a UN media badge, please ensure you bring photo ID with you in order to obtain a Visitor badge.

Follow the event on Twitter at @ ITU #GirlsinICT. The full story of Girls in ICT Day 2013 is being curated at http://storify.com/ITU/girls-in-ict-day-2013 and through ITU’s campaign Facebook page www.facebook.com/TechNeedsGirls.

Photos from event will be available for download from ITU’s Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/photos/itupictures/sets/72157633221090112/

For more information on this event please contact:

Sarah Parkes
Chief, Media Relations & Public Information, ITU
+41 22 730 6135
sarah.parkes@itu.int

Nicolas Jammes
Coordinator, International Girls in ICT Day
+41 22 730 5996
nicolas.jammes@itu.int

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 10:46:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 24, 2013
On April 25th 2013, Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN) will join the world to mark the International Girls in ICT day, an initiative of the ITU to advance a universal environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to pick up careers in the growing information and communication technologies (ICTs) sector.

WITIN is organizing a one-day conference themed- Women and Girls in Technology - Expanding Horizons. This inaugural high-level conference will bring together high school students and women in Nigeria to discuss how to foster women’s contributions and empowerment through ICT as well as to celebrate the feats of young girls in the just concluded Technovation challenge.



Keynote speakers include Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman Diaspora Committee of the Nigeria Federal House of Rep. representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency in Lagos State, Prof. Ita Okon Bassey Ewa, Honourable Minister, Fed. Ministry of Science and Technology and Ann Mei Chang, Senior Advisor for Women and Technology at the US Department of State under the chairmanship of Chief Oma Eyewuoma, Exec. Vice-President, Technical Conoil Producing Ltd, Nigeria.

Ann Mei Chang pointed out that “Women and girls continue to be dramatically underrepresented in the ICT field around the world. Not only is this an issue of opportunity for individual women and girls, but as the ICT sector continues its outsized growth it will increasingly contribute to a talent gap which leaves critical jobs unfilled. Girls often lack role models and may be discouraged from pursuing ICT by parents, teachers, or peers. Girls in ICT Day is an important event to raise visibility of the many successful women who have pursued ICT careers”.

Other speakers include Njideka Jack of MTN Nigeria, Folakemi Olawolu of Phase3 Telecoms, Chinyere Edward Azike of Signal Alliance Limited, Adedoyin Jaiyesimi of YNaija, Martha Omoekpen Alade of Women in Technology in Nigeria and Samuel Eyitayo of the U.S. Consulate General, Lagos.

The CEO of Phase3 Telecom Mr. Stanley Jegede states that “women are often unsung heroes in the advancement of Information Technology especially on the African Continent; it is why Phase3 Telecom as an equal opportunities employer is focused on influencing and driving the needed change in this reality. Ensuring women contribute at least 47% to the Phase3 Telecom workforce”. Thus; he commends ITU’s celebration of women in the advancement of Technology around the globe through the Girls in ICT initiative. He emphasizes the need for the IT industry to actively encourage and champion the indelible contribution of women to the development of new technologies and innovation in our world. Also in this vein, the president of ISPON Dr Chris Uwaje Lauds the feat of the young winners of the Mobile App Challenge who will be celebrated also on the Girls in ICT day.

Highlights of the event also include recognition of the winners of Technology Affects Me- TAM; mini-challenge for girls and young women. Short Presentations will be made by teams who took part in the Technovation Challenge, a program of Iridescent. The team facilitators include Esther Ugbodaga of Channels TV, Toyosi Odukoya of MTN Nigeria, Nnenna Ugwu of EDC Pan African University and Ijeoma Abazie of Microsoft Nigeria. The winners will also be announced and awarded; they hopefully will represent Nigeria and travel to Silicon Valley CA to compete globally on May 2nd. The event will be held at Twitter HQ and will be co-hosted by Twitter and LinkedIn. The Secretary General of ITU, Dr Hamadoun Touré will be rooting for the Nigerian team in Silicon Valley.

(Source: Women in Technology in Nigeria)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 3:32:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
There is a need for more research and development (R&D) investment and new ways to ensure that technology transfer is used to overcome global development challenges, a meeting of international academics in Indonesia concluded last month. What does this mean for disabled people around the world? The meeting is part of the lengthy process of agreeing new UN-coordinated global development goals post-2015.

It identified R&D investment and technology transfer as ways to address the massive inequalities between developed and less-developed countries. Irsan Pawennei — one of the meeting's conveners — highlighted inequality as the main issue to consider in setting the successors to the Millennium Development Goals.

These points are very relevant for people with disabilities. In all societies, disabled people experience substantial social and material poverty, and many inequalities. Technologies are available that could help improve their lives, but too often they are delivered in insufficient quantity or quality. For example, damaged wheelchairs and broken hearing aids can be found around the developing world no longer serving a purpose.

Technology transfer to less-developed countries has generally focused on non-disabled people. Intentional efforts acknowledging the needs and rights of disabled people is an important first step in redressing this. Without this effort inequalities between disabled and non-disabled people will become further entrenched. Irsan said at the meeting technology transfer should rely on the transfer of knowledge rather than products, to ensure the poor benefit in the long term and inequalities aren't further entrenched. This is a key consideration point for disabled people.

Products can quickly become redundant, but knowledge is more sustainable. Copyright-restricted software packages date fast, can be expensive and can make users reliant on a 'brand'. Communications technologies can transform the lives of hearing-impaired people but hardware has rapidly moved on from minicoms to mobile phones and now smartphones.

Information on technology transfer should be delivered in formats and methods that people with different impairments can access, for example by providing audio versions or by using simple language. If accessible formats are not consciously considered, disabled people will be excluded from both benefiting from their content and engaging in the process.

Irsan discusses the potential for information and communications technology (ICT) for creating jobs in urban areas. ICT also offers massive potential benefits for disabled people if it is intentionally applied. In some African countries, mobile phone companies — for example Safaricom in Kenya — are creating jobs for physically impaired people in call centres. Mobile communications offer huge inclusion benefits to people with hearing impairments. Ever improving screen-reader technologies open up many opportunities for visually impaired people.

Decisions made on the post-2015 targets could dominate the development agenda for the next two decades. Making commitments for disability-inclusive technology transfer would be a vital part of reducing global inequalities.

(Source: SciDev. Net)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 3:27:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
With women projected to comprise a majority of the world’s urban dwellers and head increasing numbers of households, gender equality in employment, housing, health and education is vital to ensure the prosperity of the cities of the future, according to a new United Nations study.

“Women are key drivers of economic growth and that wealth in the hands of women leads to much more equitable outcomes in terms of the quality of life of families and communities”, the study, entitled State of Women in Cities Report 2012/13, said. “Addressing the barriers to women’s participation in cities creates a situation where women’s potential is more fully realized and households, communities and governments also reap rewards”.

“It is imperative that women and men should enjoy equal rights and opportunities in cities on moral/ethical, economic and political grounds. This will not only engender women’s well-being but it will increase their individual and collective prosperity, as well as the prosperity of the cities in which they reside”.

Produced by the Nairobi-based UN Human Settlements Programme, known as UN-HABITAT, which is mandated to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all, the report also stressed the need to address unemployment and other disadvantages that hobble urban youth.
The report called for policies to enhance gender equality, equity and prosperity of women in cities, noting that cities of the future will comprise a majority female component, especially among people older than 60 and even more so among those older than 80 years.

While underscoring the unpaid caring and social activities that women undertake, such as childcare, caring for the sick, disabled and elderly, washing, cleaning and other community services that allow the urban economy to function and prosper, even if this labour is seldom recognized or valued, the report stressed the “crucially important” economic contributions they make through their paid work.

“The ‘feminization’ of the global labour force tends to be associated with urbanization, with the related concentration of women in export-manufacturing, the service sector and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)”, it said, adding that women, especially the urban poor, are disadvantaged in terms of equal access to employment, housing, health and education, asset ownership, experiences of urban violence, and ability to exercise their rights.

UN-HABITAT’s State of Urban Youth Report 2012/2013 stressed that while the young are “society’s most important and dynamic human resource” – with 1.3 billion between ages 12 and 24, most of them living in urban areas – nearly 45 per cent of them, some 515 million, live on less than $2 a day.

It called for better aligning educational and training systems with the current and future needs of young people, so that they cannot only discern developmental issues but may even be capable of suggesting innovative solutions to deep problems of development and growth.



(Source: UN News Centre)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 3:18:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Digital Talent (Talento Digital) is the ICT Ministry program that seeks to encourage the formation of Colombian in careers related to information and technology. In its first calls 1,336 people benefited with forgivable loans, covering up to 100% of the tuition.

Through 'Digital Talent' the MinTIC bets on the formation of specialized human talent in the use of information technologies, strengthening government online strategy and development of competitiveness, research and innovation.

For the third call, the Ministry allocated a budget of more than $ 17,638 million colombian pesos (aprox. USD 9.6 million) to fund, through ICETEX, technical careers and technological issues related to software development and applications, IT project management, IT services, control and quality assurance in IT Architectures and IT security, marketing, consultative selling, business management and sales management in IT.

The call is now open and will close on June 17th, 2013. Deadline to submit all required documents for accessing ICETEX credit  forgivable.
"We have benefited in the first two calls to 1,336 Colombians, especially in strata 1 and 2, who did not have to worry about money to advance techniques, technologies, and professional degrees in the areas of information technology", said ICT Minister Diego Molano Vega.

Overview of the call:
- Credit 100% forgivable
- Access to credit by ICETEX
- Studies in Technological levels
- Study: Universities, Technical Institutions and Technological Education Institutions for Work and Human Development.

For the forgivable loan is necessary:
- Get relevant diploma or degree
- IT application development for Government Online
- Certificate issued by an entity of public nature
- Transfer of property rights

(Source: MINTIC - Colombia)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 2:43:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The Cabinet of Social Policy trained 280 girls from primary school in Nigua, San Cristobal, as part of a series of seminars and workshops conducted in the Technology Community Center (CTC), which dedicated the month of April to promote technology approach in the youth of this location.

The activities are framed in the Forum "ICT learning in 21st Century", through which girls from eighth-grade of Nigua School were trained.
Moisés Esterling de Jesús Cedano, computer center manager, said that in the educational forum girls are taught in various aspects of the use of information technology and the technology available.

"With this continued efforts from the government, through the Community Technology Centers set up by the Cabinet of Social Policy across the country and which is directed by the vice president, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, we want to reduce the digital divide in the Dominican population", said Esterling de Jesús Cedano.
He added that the workshops of "technological tools" and "Information and Communication Technology" involve groups from different schools, colleges, neighborhood associations, NGOs and other community organizations which receive the necessary knowledge for widely different aspects of technology, communication and best uses. The activities include panels, forums, lectures, practical exercises, presentations and exhibitions of technological tools that are used today, plus other trips to the ITLA and other interesting places.

Alfredina Samboy Beltré, one of the girls in eighth grade of basic education, said that she was interested because she likes the communication and interact through the use of technology.

Also, Archy Yoselín Rijo Nova, 14 years old, from Boca de Nigua school, said that in addition to participating in forums and lectures given on technology, she wants to learn English in the courses taught at the CTCs, which are very important for people who want to travel to other countries. "I'm here in the ICT Education Forum to learn about technology and the use of computers, projector and other technological aspects", said Danilca Brito Germán, 13 years old, who participated in one of the talks.

(Source: Vicepresidencia Dominican Republic)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 2:12:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 18, 2013
In order to promote the interest of girls worldwide to study careers related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the specialized agency in Telecommunications of the UN commemorates every year the International Day of Girls in ICT.

The commemoration held annually on the fourth Thursday in April and this year will be held on 25th of this month by an urgent call to the school principals, teachers and guidance counselors to show to their female students the excellent job prospects that open for them in the ICT sector.



Another objective of the commemoration of this day is that companies are aware of the low participation of women in this area and hire, retain and promote women in charges related to the use of technology.

The UN initiative is born because the worrying global figures which shows the lack of interest of women in developing their careers around the use of technologies. For example, the proportion of women who work as computer science professionals in Europe is extremely small: according to a report by Eurostat, in 2006 only 0.7% of ICT professionals were women and this figure remained unchanged since 2001. In Latin America, the scenario is not different, so if you want to review documents related to this topic, we recommend the articles published in regional site of UNESCO Women, Science and Technology.

Activities to do with your students that day:

- Make field trips to government offices, non-governmental agencies (NGOs), businesses, museums,
science, etc.. These will let girls to have first-hand contact with women leaders who use ICT in their daily work.

- Conduct workshops to raise awareness about the importance of ICT in the daily operation of the world today and show how women can take a leadership role every day.

- Make a presentation in the classroom with pictures and posters  what display the path of women with successful careers in organizations in the ICT sector.

- Develop biographies of famous women, leaders in ICT-related areas. Both girls and boys should conduct research on the Internet that will let them to prepare a list of women and write their biographies. The list should include many local women as well.

- Invite to an ICT industry leader to speak to all students. Ask whose words inspire young women to choose careers in this field study.

- Contact a local college or nearby and invite women teachers in ICT-related subjects to conduct workshops with students, professionals picnics, lectures, etc.

Finally, on the site http://girlsinict.org/ you can check how this day was celebrated last year and get ideas of how celebrate this day with your students.  If you need more information you can contact the team of Girls in ICT in girlsinict@itu.int

(Source: Eduteka and Educacion 360)

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:33:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Wanted: your views, experiences, ideas, suggestions and recommendations on inclusive education.

On behalf of the Education Taskforce of the Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities, UNESCO and UNICEF are organizing an online discussion from 22 April to 12 May to address the following questions:

- What do we understand by the concept of inclusive education?
and
- What are the key recommendations for an effective implementation of Article 24 of the Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities?

Take part in the discussion by joining the Knowledge Community on Inclusive Education at this link

Worldwide, more than one billion people live with some form of disability. Young people with disabilities have particular difficulty gaining access to both education and work and the right to education remains a challenge.

The online discussion will bring together civil society organizations, UN agencies, development agencies, NGOs, and academia who work to advance the rights of children with disabilities. This discussion is part of the “Building Inclusive Societies for Persons with Disabilities” community which has been established for the promotion of the UN Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities.

Further information

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:24:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ICT has become an essential tool for humanitarian aid work, and its role in both education and healthcare throughout sub-Saharan Africa is indispensable: particularly its use in educating large groups of young refugees, from diverse backgrounds and with varying levels of basic education and literacy.

The largest refugee camp in the world is located in Dadaab, in north-eastern Kenya, 100 km from the Somali border; more than 500,000 refugees reside here, many of them displaced by the civil war taking place in southern Somalia. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been working to provide not only food and healthcare for the camp’s residents, but also educational opportunities for its more than 80,000 young people. To achieve this, they have been integrating solar-powered technologies to support ICT delivery in the 39 primary and secondary schools and 4 vocational centres in the camp.



The difficulty in educating such a large and diverse population using traditional educational tools is in addressing language barriers, illiteracy, and the high drop-out rate found throughout the camp. Making the task more difficult is the absence of necessary infrastructure, materials and qualified teachers. This is where ICT is making a difference: the use of computers and portable devices has allowed young people to obtain quality education in a safe and secure environment, taking part in eLearning programmes that can be adjusted to the needs of the individual student.

The close-knit community in the camp has played an important role in the design, sustainability and success of the project, with meetings attended by teachers, students and parents at every stage of its creation. Additionally, each school was responsible for designing solutions to the challenges of security and computer maintenance, as well as for sourcing additional funding to ensure the project’s sustainability. Erin Hayba, Associate Community Services Officer at UNHCR and a speaker at the upcoming eLearning Africa conference in Namibia, has been involved in the project for several years and explains the situation:

“This particular project that I have worked on to bring computers, Internet and solar power into the schools has sparked a new trend amongst the refugee community and partner NGOs to be innovative. Implementing change and innovation is often extremely difficult, with many hurdles to overcome, including dealing with naysayers. Innovation, in my mind, happens when people come together with varying perspectives, experiences, and knowledge to address a challenge and work toward a solution. Once a solution proves viable and people see positive results, this encourages more innovation to occur”.

The stakeholders involved in the project have been brought together to find innovative uses of ICT in education, particularly within the harsh and volatile environment of humanitarian work. And because the schools and communities are encouraged to participate in the design and implementation, as well as to invest in their own learning, the solutions found are more sustainable and appropriate. It has sparked a wave of innovative thinking within school- and education-focused humanitarian organizations. As a result, a foundation of learners, teachers, and community members who are more knowledgeable about ICT in education has been developed, creating a platform from which eLearning can grow and flourish.

(Source: eLearning Africa)

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:19:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the Vice President of Intel Corporate Affairs Group Shelly Esque signed a five-year Framework agreement on 13 April to build capacity in engineering and science worldwide, and harness information and communication technologies (ICTs) for educational advancement.

“We are longtime partners because there are strong synergies between Intel and UNESCO, combining new ideas and innovation with our policy drive for quality education”, said Mrs Bokova after the signing at UNESCO Headquarters. “This agreement opens new opportunities. There is a crying demand today for knowledge, science, education and new technologies, and we need to help Member States gain the full benefit of this knowledge and innovation for driving their development”. Ms Esque affirmed that UNESCO and Intel share similar goals, highlighting that the Framework agreement would open new doors.

UNESCO and Intel will work on improving and delivering learning tools on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for sustainable development, enhancing STEM capacities of universities, supporting the UNESCO Engineering Initiative through engineering education projects, and using ICTs in education policies and master plans. The agreement foresees a special focus on Africa, one of UNESCO’s global priorities, together with gender.

The agreement also seeks to enhance the participation of girls, disadvantaged students and women in STEM. UNESCO and Intel will cooperate on specific projects targeting girls and women as part of UNESCO’s Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women, which was launched in 2011 and focuses on secondary education and adult literacy, especially in Africa and Asia.

Intel and UNESCO have been cooperating since 2004 when the first Memorandum of Understanding, focusing on developing guidelines to improve the quality of ICT teacher training programmes, was signed.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:10:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
In 2012, many African nations celebrated International Girls In ICT Day. We counted 13 official events in Sub-Saharan Africa (Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria, Liberia, Togo, Swaziland, Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, The Gambia, and Tanzania). In less than two weeks, International Girls in ICT Day will again be held the world over. The initiative, launched by the ITU with the purpose of raising awareness of the importance of involving girls in ICT fields, aims to promote the benefits that ICT careers may offer.
 


Once again, a variety of African tech stakeholders will sponsor dedicated events for girls interested in ICT. So far, at least five African countries will hold a gathering during the week of April 25th:

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Rudi International will organize another program in Goma. Expect a training workshop and a cultural event whose themes revolve around Internet security and the Internet as a tool for development.

Senegal: The Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and Digital Economy intends to make this day a moment of reflection, sharing, and strategic focus on the problem of girls’ digital training. A variety of panels and speeches will take place throughout the day.

Kenya: On April 27th, AkiraChix will be hosting a Girls in ICT day event aiming at exposing young women to career opportunities available in the tech industry.

Nigeria: Event to be held at Digital Peers Intl, Abuja. More events will most likely be held in Lagos.

Rwanda: Carnegie Mellon University – Rwanda may be hosting an event.

Also, a webinar co-presented by Ronda Zelezny-Green will feature Kenyan and Moroccan perspectives on gender and mobile learning.

Check out ITU’s Girls in ICT Day 2013 Storify or follow #GirlsinICT for the latest info!

(Source: Oafrica News)

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:04:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Next Generation Learning platforms based on field-tested technology have the power to transform the teaching and learning experience. Educators are acting upon valuable insights derived from analysis of education data to improve teaching practices and student outcomes.

Schools and universities now have a remarkable opportunity to transform education for a new generation. Integrated digital learning resources and professional learning services make it easy to tailor curriculums and monitor progress to help students shine.

Digital content is at the heart of Next Generation Learning, and educators can choose from a dazzling array of rich media resources and interactive options. How can they find the best digital assets to personalize learning and help ensure success?

In the transition to a digital learning environment, K-20 institutions can adopt an engaging platform that integrates diverse learning tools to help personalize the student’s experience, enable collaboration and accelerate digital content adoption.



View the full article here

Thursday, April 18, 2013 9:52:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 15, 2013
On March 27, three young women from CERN participated via a video link in the UN Economic and Social Council “Youth Forum”, delivering a series of recommendations to improve the situation for women in science. During this all-day event held in New York, young people were invited to contribute ideas on how to improve our world, no less.

ECOSOC is still seeking input from young people ahead of its 1 July meeting where governments will meet in Geneva to address the important topics of Science, Technology, Innovation and Culture. They will adopt a Ministerial Declaration for scaling up actions in this field.

At the start of the meeting, the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon asked the young audience if the UN was doing enough for youth. A resounding “No” came back from the audience but he got the opposite answer when he said “Could the UN do more for the world’s youth?”

This ECOSOC meeting provided CERN with its first opportunity to engage directly with a UN organization since it was granted Observer status at the United Nations General Assembly last December.

Three graduate students currently based at CERN were speaking during the “Women in Science” session on behalf of a larger group of young women scientists who had gathered to draft a series of recommendations aiming at improving the situation of women in science.

Kate Pachal, a young Canadian woman currently enrolled in a PhD program at Oxford, discussed what could be done to attract more women into science. Her three points were:

- Fight gender stereotypes at all levels. Improve the representation of women in textbooks, including in the phrasing of problems; Use gender-neutral language when referring to scientists; Increase the visibility of women scientists in the general culture by providing more female contacts for the media.

- Help young people build a strong “physics identity”: Students who do not feel good at maths or science do not pursue a career in it. Encouragements from peers, teachers and family help young girls believe in their own ability. Classroom activities such as having discussions on cutting-edge physics topics, being encouraged to ask questions or teaching peers all contribute to build a strong  “physics identity”. Having discussions on why fewer women are in science also helps young women see the problem does not come from them but has social roots.

- Provide role models and mentors for young women. Do it at all stages. Hold career fairs to reinforce girls’ self-esteem and provide a context where they can discuss with other girls facing similar challenges. Provide places where young women can talk with peers and find support.

Sarah seif el Nasr, an Egyptian-Canadian doctoral student at CERN, delivered three recommendations to hire more women in physics and science in general:

- Implement anonymous job application processes. The applicant’s gender should be hidden during the job application process to avoid gender bias since a study revealed that both men and women discriminate against women. The number of female musicians tripled at five major orchestras once job applicants performed behind a curtain.

- Implement equitable parental leaves. Both men and women should be given parental leaves and men strongly encouraged to take them. Young women of child-bearing age would then be less likely to be disfavored in hiring if both parents had to share the weight more equally. Shared or split positions would also allow both parents to participate equally in child responsibilities.

- Add spousal considerations to hiring processes. Institutions should recognize the existence of the dual-career situation and choose to deal with it since half the women with a PhD in physics have a spouse with similar education level (as opposed to only 20% for men). Institutions should take action before beginning a search to provide assistance for spouses and consider split/shared positions. This would help young women find positions without taxing their relationships.

Finally, Barbara Millan Mejias, a Venezuelan graduate student at University of Zurich, explained what can be done to retain women in science:

- Provide mentors for young women starting their careers. The mentor should be different from their boss or supervisor and have proper institutional support. The mentor could for example make sure the young woman progresses properly, that she is given adequate funding and support, that she gets to attend meetings and give talks at various conferences. The mentor should be able to advise the young women on academic and professional issues.

- Have broad discussions about gender issues at large scientific meetings. Men are often unaware of the situation faced by women in science and lack opportunities to discuss this situation, even though they are most often open to it. Men often unconsciously discriminate against women. Education would improve the situation.

- Hold scientific meetings for women where young women could see how valuable women’s work is, find positive reinforcement, get to talk with peers and get support. This would also provide a place for discussions on issues facing young women as well as opportunities to share experiences and support each other.

- Implement equitable parental leaves. This point is crucial not only at hiring time but also to retain young women in science.

(Source: Quantum Diaries)

Monday, April 15, 2013 1:23:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 11, 2013
As the International Girls in ICT Day draws near, MainOne Cable Company says it is ready to partner with e-Business Life Communication to ensure the successful hosting of the event in Nigeria.

The International Girls in ICT Day celebration is an initiative of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to bring young girls to the knowledge and active participation in fashioning the ICT landscape of their various countries is billed to hold in Lagos on April 25, 2013 and goes with the theme: “Tech Needs Girls to Invent the Future”.

MainOne Cable Company, the major sponsor at the 2012 edition of the event agreed to partner with eBusiness Life due to the company’s alignment to the vision of the campaign aimed at drawing attention of growing girls to the profession of ICT and how they can contribute their quota to the growth and development of the profession both in their local domain and globally.

CEO of MainOne Cable Company, Ms. Funke Opeke had also called on other companies that have the growth of Nigeria’s ICT industry in mind to join in ensuring that the event is a huge success.

Also joining the growing number of partners, Omatek, a pioneer indigenous integrated IT system builder says the campaign will be a veritable platform to engage young girls and help them actualize their future in a field that was once seen as the exclusive preserve of the male gender.

CEO of Omatek, Mrs Florence Seriki had earlier pointed out the need to have more female IT practitioners to enable the industry grow faster on a balanced scale.
The partnership with MainOne and Omatek is a testimonial to the importance of the campaign in Nigeria, as both companies were also part of the previous edition of the event.

Chief Executive Officer, eBusiness Life Communication, Mrs Ufuoma Emuophedaro, while speaking on preparations for the event further disclosed that special awards will be given to women who have been exceptional in the growth of the ICT industry in Nigeria. She also revealed that prominent Nigerian women, both in the public and private sectors of the industry will grace the occasion.

She applauded the contributions of the CEOs of MainOne and Omatek to the growth and development of the country’s ICT industry, describing the two women as “amazons in the industry”.

Expressing her optimism to the success of the event, Mrs. Emuophedaro noted that corporate organizations are interested in the campaign because they know it is the right thing to do. According to her, “This is the right thing to do, and the right time to do it. If other countries have observed the need to grow this industry through encouraging young girls, then, we should not be left behind. We must make sure that our young girls are given the chance to prove themselves in this all-important field”.
She stated that the Girls in ICT Day workshop and subsequent campaign will further open up opportunities for girls in ICT sector.

(Source: Daily Independent News)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:59:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
International Girls’ in ICT Day, an initiative that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs), will take place on April 25th.

As part of this global initiative a number of different event and activities will be taking place that give girls the chance to gain a better understanding of the opportunities that the ICT sector holds for their future.

In the lead up to this year’s International Girls’ in ICT Day Intel Ireland will be sharing each week, through their newsroom, profiles of females who are working in ICT related roles at their campus in Leixlip, Ireland.

In addition, Intel is giving people the chance to participate in their ‘Girls in ICT’ competition, which is running each week from now until April 25th on their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

To be in with a chance to win an Intel powered RAZRi smartphone, simply follow the Intel Ireland Twitter feed (@Intel_IRL) and answer the question they post on Monday April 8th and Monday April 22nd, be sure to use the #IRLGirlsinICT hashtag in each answer so that they can track your entry. Or you can enter via Facebook on Monday April 15th by liking the Intel Ireland page and answering (through comment) the question posted as a status update.

For full terms and conditions click here:

(Source: Intel)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:54:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The Girls in ICT Essay competition is on again!

Last year the theme was on Girls can do ICT. This year the theme is on creating opportunities and changing attitudes that will encourage more Girls into ICT. Research consistently shows that girls tend to choose carriers where they feel they can make a difference such as healthcare, education and medicine but not ICT. Therefore the challenge for the ICT industry globally is how to change this trend to get more girls choosing careers in ICT. Some work has been done in PNG to empower and educate more girls and women but the challenge remains to create those opportunities that will attract more girls into ICT. Therefore the issue we need to address is:

“How can we expand ICT horizons (opportunities) for Girls and what attitudes do we need to change to provide these opportunities”

Competition Eligibility:
- Competition is open to FEMALE Grade 10, 11 & 12 students only.
- Dependents of NICTA staff are not eligible to enter.
- Competition opens on the 26th of March 2013 and closes on the 15th of April 2013 (3 weeks). Any entries received after the closing date will not be considered.

Winners will be announced on the NICTA website on the 25th of April, 2013 to observe the Girls in ICT Day.

Further Information

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:46:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Building on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, this Global Report addresses strong recommendations to all stakeholders – from decision-makers to educators, civil society and industry – on how concretely to advance the rights of people living with disabilities. These recommendations draw on extensive research and consultations. Studies launched in five regions have allowed UNESCO to understand more clearly the conditions and challenges faced by persons with disabilities around the world.

To empower persons with disabilities is to empower societies as a whole – but this calls for the right policies and legislation to make information and knowledge more accessible through information and communication technologies (ICT). It calls also for applying accessibility standards to the development of content, product and services. The successful application of such technologies can make classrooms more inclusive, physical environments more accessible, teaching and learning content and techniques more in tune with learners’ needs.

This UNESCO publication not only makes a major contribution to the understanding of disability, but also highlights technological advancement and shares good practices that have already changed the lives of people with disabilities. It also makes concrete recommendations for action at the local, national and international levels, targeting policy and decision makers, educators, IT&T industry, civil society and certainly persons with disabilities.

Download the Full version



Further details

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:35:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The report, produced by consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India, says that mobile phone interventions to ensure patients comply with treatment, medical stock is available and healthcare workers stick to treatment guidelines could save some of the three million lives lost each year across Africa to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and pregnancy-related conditions.

"Many of the deadly conditions are relatively simple to treat, prevent or contain. SMS reminders to check stock levels at health centres have shown promising results in reducing stock-outs of key combination therapy medication for malaria, TB and HIV", it says.
"Delivering mobile-assisted awareness to pregnant mothers and traditional birth attendants could reduce prenatal and maternal mortality by up to 30 per cent, while programmes that track mobile-usage patterns have been very successful in predicting disease outbreaks and in reporting malaria reporting adherence", according to the report.

Africa's low adoption of mHealth solutions is mainly due to a lack of health literacy among patients, says Shashank Tripathi, leader of the strategy and research practice at PwC India and one of the study authors.

Patricia Mechael, executive director of the US-based mHealth Alliance, says mHealth can help to strengthen overall health systems. For instance, she says, equipping field health workers with mHealth skills and phone applications can enable them to instantly communicate with authorities so they can take rapid action.
The potential number of lives that mHealth initiatives could save in Africa over five years to 2017 differs greatly, from 1,500 in Botswana up to 143,000 in Somalia, the report estimates.

Besides differences in mobile phone ownership and use, these variations are also due to differing mortality rates for individual countries, says Tripathi.
The report was launched at the annual Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this year (25-28 February).

Access to Full Report

(Source: SciDev. Net)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:27:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Government of Costa Rica announced the first week of April an initiative to install Internet in all public schools in the country in order to reduce the digital divide and improve educational tools.

Currently 4800 public schools have Internet and this year will reach 100% coverage with the installation of the service in the 151 missing schools, according to a statement from the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), State supplier of electricity and telecommunications services.
Connections, most broadband, are part of a joint project between ICE, the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MICIT), signed last Wednesday.

"We engaged to bridge the digital divide in education" said in the statement the Education Minister Leonardo Garnier, who also highlighted "the importance of this company for the future of education in Costa Rica".

In Costa Rica, a country of 4.5 million people, about 940,000 students began the school last February  in public schools nursery, primary and secondary education.
Costa Rica's investment in education is 7% of gross domestic product and the level of literacy is 97.6%, according to official data. 96% of children attend school, although 2% do not finish primary school, while in the case of high school, 86% of young people are going to school, but the dropout rate is 11%.



(Source: El Carabobeno Newspaper)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:23:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |