Women in ICT honoured
Four Rwandan women were on Wednesday evening awarded for their exceptional efforts in Information Communication Technology (ICT) at an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Regional Development Forum in Kigali.
The award, which recognises the contribution of women in the ICT industry, is part of the ITU campaign that seeks to attract greater participation of girls in the technology sector through extensive engagement with governments and the private sector.
We are determined to work with partners across all sectors of society to promote the full potential of ICTs for the benefit of women and girls
Every year on April 4 and May 17, the ITU and member states celebrate the International Girls in ICT Day and the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD). This year’s theme is “Women and Girls in ICT”.
Those awarded included Akaliza Keza Gara, the Managing Director of Shaking Sun, a multimedia company; Paula Saphir Helene, the Senior Network Security Engineer at Rwanda Development Board (RDB); Immaculate Bugingo, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Gateway Limited; and Dr Marie-Christine Gasingirwa, the Director General of Science and Technology at the Ministry of Education. They were recognised for using the power of ICT to provide new digital opportunities for the Rwandan community.
Akaliza Gara was recognised for setting up a multimedia company that engages businesses and individuals to realise their ambitions through the use of innovative technology and modern expertise.
Speaking to The New Times after receiving her award, Akaliza observed that the award took her by surprise.
“I am extremely excited and this award has immensely motivated me as a young woman who wants to inspire the Rwandan community realise their dreams using ICT as a tool,” she said.
The gala dinner event also saw a number of women from Ghana and Rwanda share their ICT experiences with participants.
Vida Ackom, from Ghana gave an account of how she was inspired to pursue an ICT career.
“Girls shy away from ICT related work thinking it’s the work of men. This thinking shouldn’t be put into consideration in today’s technology world; women should consider a career in ICT to compete favourably at the global level,” she remarked.
In a televised message, ITU Secretary-General, Hamadoun Touré said: “This year’s theme, ‘Women and Girls in ICT’ aims to ensure that there is equal opportunity for all and that women and girls can play a greater role within the ICT sector.”
“We are determined to work with partners across all sectors of society to promote the full potential of ICTs for the benefit of women and girls”.
He stated that the ability of technology to empower women and girls in communities around the world is still largely untapped.
The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, congratulated the recipients of the award for their contribution towards the growth of ICT in the country.
“We are here to support you. We shall do everything in our capacity to make sure that you realise your goals in the promotion of ICT in our country,” he pledged.
ITU will mark the 147th anniversary on 17 May this year by recognising three eminent personalities, who have contributed to the ongoing digital revolution in ICT.
President of Argentina, Ms Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the Chairman of Huawei, Ms Sun Yafang, and Hollywood celebrity and rights advocate, Geena Davis, will be awarded during the 2012 ITU World Telecommunication and Information Society Award in recognition of their leadership and dedication towards promoting ICT as a means of empowering women and girls.
Contact email: frank.kanyesigye[at]newtimes.co.rw