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International Girls in ICT Day -- April 22

International Girls in ICT Day -- April 22

International Girls in ICT Day -- April 22

The Commonwealth Institute ran a webinar today addressing how to increase the involvement of girls and women in digital skills acquisition.

The event has been sponsored by Google and its representatives from all over the world.

How has Africa progressed in this arena? Has there been real progress?

Many people think being able to use Facebook and Youtube is all there is.

The jobs of the future will be driven by technology and innovation—65 percent of children entering primary school today will have jobs that do not yet exist. With technology playing such a big role in life, now and in the future, more women and girls are needed to learn new skills.

The future of tech should be equal, equal for men and women. Women do not have to pretend to be men to get the same roles in tech industries.

Many have talked about Africa will leapfrog as a result of new technology but is that really feasible without addressing the basic needs like access to devices and the means of connecting to the world wide web.

Many initiatives have been introduced by many tech giants to encourage inclusivity. This is one of them, run by google: Impact challenge for women and girls.

I recently spoke to a young lad in Africa who said he's into IT. 'What can you do as he claims tobe well versed, I asked', his reply shocked me, 'I can do word processing, use spreadsheets', he replied. I was hoping to hear coding, programming, creating games, understanding of AI, programming etc.

This is not the fault of the young man and no one's fault as he can only make use of the resources available to him, not only in terms of device availability but also of connectivity via the internet for resources that would enable progress in education.

If a man has said this, I wonder what the women in his surroundings have learned. There is a lot to be done to ensure Africa leapfrogs and the gaps between girls and boys, women and men's education are bridged.

Let me hear from you on this issue, how can the gaps be bridged and how can the private industries help? to

United Kingdom