Information Technology Association of The Gambia
Serrekunda, Gambia, 2013, April 25
GIRLS IN ICT DAY - GAMBIA EVENT'S REPORT
The Information Technology Association of The Gambia (ITAG) on Thursday April 25th, 2013 commemorated the 3rd International Girls in ICT Day at American Corner, Comium Building along Kairaba Avenue, Serrekunda The Gambia.
The event was officially declared opened by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information Communication and Infrastructure (MoICI); Madam Nancy A. Niang.
More than sixty (60) girls and young women from Senior Secondary Schools, University and partner organizations have participated.
Delivering her opening remarks, Madam Nancy Niang, said that International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative backed by ITU member states back in 2010, so as to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies.
According to her, the International Telecommunication Union [ITU], a the body of United Nations for the past 45 years, has coordinated the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoted international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, and worked to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world. The ITU has also established the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems and has addressed the global challenges of our times, such as mitigating climate change and strengthening cyber security.
According to PS Niang, recent World Bank reports (2012) identified ICT as the industry that will lead forward world economies, improve lives of families across the globe and make the planet smaller. She referred to another World Bank study that revealed that a 10% increase in broadband penetration can potentially translate into 1.3% GDP growth. "Therefore women and girls should take centre stage in this process," she emphasized.
For his part, Poncelet Ileleji, the president of ITAG, disclosed that the ITAG was formed in 2004 with a mandate to provide the technological know-how of basic ICT application in the everyday lives of the girl child. To this end, he asserted, annual ICT programmes are now being conducted to educate and inform girls, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information Communication and Infrastructure (MOICI). Ileleji added that certain schools have benefited from their numerous ICT structural development programmes; such as Saint Joseph's Senior Secondary School in partnership with Western Union Foundation.
He concluded by outlining their plans to creating more ICT forums and facilities in the rural areas, but pointed out limited financial resources are confining them to the Greater Banjul Area at least for now.
Vice president of ITAG, Beran Dondeh Gillen, reiterated the importance of girls' participation in ICT, urging them to do away with the notion that it is a 'male only' domain. She said such forum gives participants the opportunity to develop better understanding and passion for a career in ICT, most especially for girls.
Papa Muhammed Njie, the education adviser at the United States Embassy in Banjul, underscored the significance of ICT as the basis of attaining academic successes. "Education is the greatest engine of personal development, because through education the daughter of patient can become a doctor", he noted.
Other speakers and presenters include, Ms. Fatima Badjie; former Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, Mrs. Beran D. Gillen, Deputy Director of ICT; Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mrs. Isatou Secka-Jah; Chief Information Officer; Q-Cell Company Limited, Modou C Nyang, Forum for African Women Educationalists The Gambia Chapter; Ms. Kumbale Goode, Quality Assurance Engineer of InSIST Global, Adama Sanyang, Microtech Institute of Multimedia and Technology; Kalipha M. Faal, Computer Scientist and some students from the University of The Gambia Computer Science Department.
Corporate Affairs Officer
Information Technology Association of The Gambia Basse Chapter