ITU's Regional Office for the Americas participated in a celebration organized by Facebook; where over 250 female students from public schools participated in hands-on activities and workshops on entrepreneurship, robotics and apps development. The Office also celebrated Girls in ICT Day with Qualcomm, Anatel, Serpro, UNB Project and Centro de Ensino Médio do CED 02/Cruzeiro: 50 girls between 15 and 17 years old participated in robotics workshops and took a guided tour at Serpro's premises.
In the Commonwealth of Independent States, ITU's office in Moscow hosted administrations, universities, international and regional organizations to show their support for Girls in ICT day.
The ITU Asia-Pacific Office hosted Girls in ICT Day events in Jakarta, Indonesia and Cyberjaya, Malaysia. ITU with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (Thailand), NBTC, CCDKM, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) organized a training on “Agritech Using ICTs" for girls and young women on 8 and 9 May 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.
In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, ITU participated in an event organized by Orange Egypt and the British University, Cairo.
In New York, ITU's Liaison Office was at Cornell University with partners including UNICEF, Women in IT and Entrepreneurship New York, UN International Computing Center and the NYC Mayor's Office of International Affairs to run a 'Design Thinking Workshop.' In Europe, ITU and Com-ITU of CEPT co-organized an event on 7 May 2019 in Rome, Italy. The celebration featured an interactive exercise with the representatives of European administrations on gender equality.
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We took the main ITU main celebrations on the road! At the African Union Commission on 25 April, we welcomed a number of high-level speakers including H.E. Mr Sisay Tola, State Minister for Innovation and Technology, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and H.E. Professor Sarah Anyang Agbor, African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science & Technology. Around 200 school-age girls from Addis Ababa and across the African continent participated, and Betty G, one of Africa's fastest-rising young music stars, was with us to advocate for Girls in ICT.
Digital transformation and gender equality were at the centre of our discussions. With us we also had students from Tanzania, who participated in the African Girls Can Code Initiative, and a student from Eswatini. The girls also participated in special training and mentoring sessions.
I would like to recognize and acknowledge all the partners that joined us to make this special Day possible: they include UN Women, African Union, Huawei, EthioTelecom, Facebook, Wikimedia, TechInnovation, Ubuntu, DOT Ethiopia. I also had the pleasure to meet inspiring young women who spoke at the event and are making a big difference in the world, Latifa Yari, Miss Geek Africa 2018, Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke, founder of the Women's Worldwide Web, and entrepreneurs Betlehem Dessie, Melat Abate and Betlehem Tilahun Alemu. The Day concluded with a very upbeat song by Betty G. Girls and colleagues joined her dancing!
A day earlier, on 24 April, we visited two schools in Bishoftu, located about 60km from Addis. The Higher Education Preparatory School and Bishoftu Secondary school are in great need of support. Internet connectivity in both schools is unreliable or non-existent. The visits were truly inspirational and I look forward to collaborating with the schools and interested partners to address existing connectivity challenges through practical solutions and transform the opportunities for youth.