Inq. Digital Nigeria, an African Cloud, and Digital solutions provider have joined the global campaign calling for an increase in the participation of the girl-child in activities concerning Information and Communications Technology (ICT) on the continent.
The call from the tech firm was made in honor of the International Girls in ICT Day, which held in Lagos, with the topic, ‘Connected Girls, Creating Brighter Futures’ Presently, in its 10th year since its creation, the International Girls in ICT Day is set aside to build awareness about the need for an inclusive gender space in ICT with opportunities for females to encourage the active pursuit of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) by girls.
Citing recent statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Managing Director of Inq. Digital Nigeria, Valentine Chime, noted that significant progress had been achieved with increasing the participation of girls in STEM, however, the gender gap in the ICT industry remains unacceptably wide, with representation continuing to be disproportionately higher for males than for females. With concern, he pointed out that the gap was wider in Nigeria when relatively compared to countries like Ghana and South Africa.
Proferring possible solutions to the issue, he explained that investment in early ICT education, affirmative action on the hiring of women in STEM, and a reorientation to change the socio-cultural beliefs and practices that deter women’s participation in STEM, are key approaches that should be seriously considered and explored to reduce the gender gap.
With hope towards the future of girls in ICT, the commemoration of the event was aimed at raising awareness and providing valuable sensitization to also spark the interest of the female gender in technology.