THE MINISTER OF YOUTH AND ICT, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana has called upon young girls to maximize the available ICT infrastructure, to unleash their potential.
He was speaking at a two-day ICT campaign held in Gasarenda, Nyamagabe District with the aim of raising awareness on the benefits of ICT and their use in socio-economic transformation of people’s lives, including those living in rural areas.
The awareness campaign, which ended yesterday, saw hundreds of girls trained in the use of computers and related technologies, including several applications, the internet and social media.
Other residents, who expressed eagerness in gaining computer skills, were also given a chance to feel the ‘computer experience’ by using computers installed in an ICT bus that was dispatched there for the occasion.
Hundreds of residents, mainly the youth, lined outside the bus where basic training on the use of computers was being held since Thursday.
School girls also met at TTC Mbuga where they were taken through various uses of ICT.
Girls in ICT, an organization of girls aimed at spreading the use of ICT among Rwandan girls and bridge the existing gap in the sector, shared their experiences with the students as they explained the importance of embracing ICT.
The two-day campaign also featured a public ICT expo, which drew mainly telecommunication companies and businesses dealing in ICT services and gadgets.
Speaking at the campaign, Nsengimana observed that there is still a significant gap between men and women in ICT, signaling that the number of girls in the sectors is still low.
He noted that as a result, his ministry is focusing more on empowering girls to embrace and exploit available technologies and called up on them to maximize opportunities that the technologies offer in today’s world.
“Knowledge is power and wealth,” Nsengimana said, as he encouraged girls to embrace tech.
He also noted that by encouraging and investing in the promotion of ICT, the country wants to speed up its quest to becoming a knowledge-based economy and positioning it as an ICT hub in the region.
“ICT gives opportunities that were not there in the past and helps create more new jobs that couldn’t be generated if the technologies were not there,” Nsengimana noted, as he commended the private sector for their contribution in the sector..
Lillian Uwineza, a 17-year-old student at TTC Mbuga observed: “With current technologies, I’m able to gain more knowledge apart from what I get in class and that helps me perform better”.
The government has invested heavily in information and communications technology (ICT). Since the inception of the first national ICT strategy and plan in 2000, Rwanda has significantly transformed the way business and society uses technology.