KAMPALA: State Minster for Information and National Guidance Hon Idah Nantaba has today said that government has resources to invest and support Information and Communication Technological –ICTs innovations.
Speaking at the event organized at Nabisunsa girl’s school by Uganda Communications Commission – UCC in conjunction with Women in Technology Uganda to sensitize girls to consider careers in the growing field of ICTs, minister Nantaba said that government is ready to support all innovations.
“The government has built an innovation hub [in Nakawa] where young innovators can help realize their dreams with government support. It is open to every innovation regardless of the gender of the creator” said the minster.
She added, “As we are entering a cashless economy, a paperless way of doing things, money is available for all ICTs and especially to young women and men”.
Minister Nantaba said that government is committed breaking the stereotypes and creating meaningful access to ICTs for girls and women must start early.
She however, decried the gender gap in the sector saying women have not taken any initiative to exploit their talents and considering careers in ICTs compared to their men counterparts in the sector.
“Only 17 percent of ICT jobs are globally taken up by women. This must end now,” she decried adding that girls should be the game changer of this stereotype.
Mr. Fred Otunu, the UCC director cooperate affairs who also represented Eng Godfrey Mutabazi, the Commission executive director said that this year’s event aimed at supporting the creation of a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women, as well as boys and young men, to consider careers in the growing field of (ICTs).
“This year’s aim is to expanding horizons and changing attitudes. We are creating an effective way to increase awareness and advocacy for girls and young women in the ICT sector at all levels of the profession,” Mr Otunu said.
“At UCC, although we are yet at 50 – 50, we have at least taken a step to reduce the gap, women at the commission are occupying bigger positions not only at the top level but all other departments,” Otunu added.
According to him, the ICT sector presents tremendous opportunities for women and the sector is slated to become a very big chunk of the job market, with an estimated 90 percent of jobs soon requiring ICT skills.
Nabisunsa students invent an app to Market African produces
For each school participated in the event required to present an innovation made by students doing ICT, Rahma Nantongo, the Nabisunsa girls school head girl together with her six leavers presented a platform that can help market goods online.
The applications named AfriPro aimed at creating an online market for African produce especially cultural and artifacts.
“We have designed this application [AfriPro] to help the local people get to market for their produce,” Nantongo told Minister Nantaba at the event.
“The function has made me challenge myself and my skills. I had to work with a team, to produce this application,” she said adding that it can help people who cannot access the internet through USSD code to be provided by network service providers to have their goods uploaded on the application.
Secondary schools that participated in the event include Kololo high school, Gayaza High School, Kyambogo College School and St Andrew Kaggwa Gombe High School.
About International Girls in ICT Day
The International Girls in ICT Day, a day recognized around the world, is to support the creation of a global environment that allows and cheers girls and women to consider careers in the ICT sector.
The trends are not promising, according to a recent ITU report: the percentage of women in computing jobs has been declining since 1991, when women held 36 per cent of these jobs.
As of 2015, they held only 25 per cent of all computing jobs, and for women of colour, the percentage was even lower.