Workshop on “ Women and Girls in ICT” 27-28 March, 2014, Magburaka
Welcome remarks by Mrs. Ebun Yankson (in photo), Manager Consumer-Industrial Affairs-NATCOM at the Workshop on “ Women and Girls in ICT” 27-28 March, 2014, Magburaka
Mr. Chairman, Honourable Paramount Chief, tribal authorities, Chairman and Councilors of the Magburaka District Council, Members of the Fourth Estate, distinguished ladies and gentlemen; I bring you greetings from the Chairman and Commissioners of NATCOM.
I feel honoured to be given the unique opportunity to welcome you on behalf of the Chairman and Commissioners to this year’s workshop on “ICT for Women and Girls” that is being hosted in Maburaka town. This is the fourth of a series of training workshops organized by the National Telecommunications Commission in fulfilment of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Secretary-General’s call for action on the use of Information Communications Technology to empower women and girls to meet their goals and aspirations.
Girls in Tombo, Waterloo and Pujehun were the first set of beneficiaries of this training workshop. It is time for our sisters in Magburaka to be part and parcel of the ITU global call for Governments to adopt policies and strategies that will promote ICT opportunities for women and girls.
You are all aware of the fact that Gender equality is a basic human right enshrined in the United Nations Charter and it is one of the main objectives of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGS). ICTs are tools that can help accelerate progress towards achieving this target, and it is for this reason that the International Telecommunications Union Council proposed that we focus our efforts on women and girls, using the power of ICTs to provide new digital opportunities to end discrimination and empower the female half of the world’s population to achieve their rightful place as equals in the world.
The National Telecommunications Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Communications is of the view that women and girls in every community in Sierra Leone should have full access to ICTs, so as to empower them with information and knowledge, to know their rights, and to seize the digital opportunities available.
We are here to trigger our young girls into taking up ICT studies and careers. This Two-Days’ workshop is not enough to make them professionals in information technology, but will serve as an inspiration for the girls and help build their self-confidence in identifying their career path.
The Commission is appealing to Heads of the various institutions represented here to include information technology in their schools curriculum. Computer laboratories should be established with internet facilities to allow the girls learn how to use basic e-applications. By connecting schools, we connect youth, as well as, others in the community to knowledge and information which will eventually lead to employment and socio-economic development. If a child is informed, his parents will benefit indirectly from that information; and knowledge by extension is transferred, thus building an enlightened community.
On this note, I once again welcome all of you to the official opening of this training workshop and I will always rely on your support for a successful and peaceful stay in Magburaka. I thank you.
Mrs. Ebun Yankson
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