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Gambia observes Girls in ICT Day

May 3, 2016, 11:45 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

School going girls from various schools within the Greater Banjul Area on 28 April held a daylong workshop on Information Communication Technology (ICT) at the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute in Kanifing.

The event was part of the commemoration of Girls in ICT Day, an initiative supported by the Ministry of Information, Communication Infrastructure (MOICI) and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) in collaboration with telecommunications companies in The Gambia.

Speaking on the occasion, Lucretia George, corporate affairs manager at PURA, said Girls in ICT Day is an initiative backed by International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

The day is to create a global environment to empower and encourage girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of ICT.

The day is celebrated on 4th Thursday in April every year and as part of the celebration, series of events are organised such as workshop, website competition and ICT job fair.

Lamin Camara, permanent secretary of MOICI, spoke at length on the importance of ICT in socio-economic development, saying ICT has come to create jobs, not to take them away.

Mr Camara urged the young girls to be more responsible when using ICT and ICT products and “do away with the dark side of ICT”.

Isatou Secka-Jah, CIO of QCell, said over the past two decades, ICT has completely transformed the way people live and work.

From shopping to banking, farming to selling, making new friends and keeping up with old ones, all rely on one way or the other on ICT.

“Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram which we frequently use are great examples of significant inventions of ICT,” Mrs Secka-Jah said.

She pointed out that ICT promises to be the fastest means of helping developing countries like The Gambia to bridge the gap between the haves and the have nots.

Due to the dependency on ICTs, the demand for qualified personnel in the ICT sector has grown exponentially over the years.

“Choosing a career in ICT presents unlimited job opportunities,” Mrs Secka-Jah said.“You can easily work for your dream company because virtually every business now relies on technology of some form to operate and to succeed.”

Nicolas Jatta, director of ICT at PURA, said the Girls in ICT Day provided an opportunity for MOICI, PURA and the ICT industry to engage in issues affecting the effective participation of girls in the ICT sector.

It also provides an opportunity for deliberation and consultation on ICT sector issues, provides a platform to meet and include women in decision making positions, and accords students the opportunity to see how far The Gambia has come with regards to the ICT infrastructure.