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Rwanda: Ministry for Youth and ICT Launches Girls in ICT
Source: Rwanda Focus
Source Date: Friday, October 04, 2013
Focus: Information Access (and sharing)
Country: Rwanda
Created: Oct 07, 2013

Girls currently working in ICT explained to younger girls from various secondary schools in Nyamagabe the importance of embracing ICT, sharing their expertise to incite them to love technology.

Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, the Minister of Youth and ICT, stated that the number of girls in ICT sectors is still low, which is what pushed the ministry to focus more on empowering girls to embrace technology.

He called upon girls to welcome ICT to maximize the opportunities it offers.

"Knowledge is power and wealth", he proclaimed, reiterating that opportunities in ICT must reach all sectors of Rwandans regardless of socio-economic status, level of education, and location.

Welcoming a shift to a "knowledge based economy" Nsengimana urged the girls to look forward.

He called upon all residents to embrace technology for their benefit and for their own development. He commended private sectors for being good partners with the government to increase the level of technology in the country. "As we foster ICT, we develop our economy and self-reliance," he noted.

Minister pointed out that ICT offers many chances that were not there in the past. "ICT gives opportunities that were not in the past and creates new jobs. We want to make people aware of these opportunities," Nsengimana stated.

He mentioned that the launch of the ICT awareness campaign is not an occasion to master ICT, but to open people's mind to embrace technology.

"Just the chance to touch a computer opens people's curiosity and thirst to use it," he pointed out.

Yet, many girls in schools revealed that they are ICT illiterate. Vincentia Nyirankundimana is a student in Uwinkomo Secondary School in Tare sector, Nyamagabe district. She said the event was the first time she saw a computer. "This is the first time I've touched a computer. Our school has no computer, they tell us of computer science but we never see it," she expressed.

Consolata Nakure, EDPRS monitoring and evaluation facilitator in the Ministry of Youth and ICT, said that the ministry intends to raise awareness for more girls but that the low starting point remains a great constraint.

"Baseline in ICT is a serious problem in making girls interested in ICT," she noted, adding that they work closely with investors to supply computers and other techonologies.

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