"Bring It On!" Zimbabwean Girls in ICT


Thousands of  young Zimbabwean girls In ICT, coming from Mashonaland central province boldly said they will not  be threatened by the emerging technologies and abandon STEM subjects for their male counterparts as the norm , but are set to make a new world order.
The next next big thing will probably be the emergence of  female local app developers and Chief Technology Officers to take up the space as thousands of students have pledged their commitment and excitement towards ICTs, after a fired up and inspirational session held during Tuesday’s Girls in ICT commemorations at Langham Girls High.
 By Toneo T Rutsito
ICTs and Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics subjects world wide have  traditionally  been a males world before the International Telecommunications Union, (ITU) started to lobby heavily for the representation of the girl child through a global initiative called Girls In ICT.
Today Zimbabwe joined the world to commemorate the calendar day which marks a new movement that celebrates and motivates females to get into ICTs and choose a career path that is driven by the technologies under the girls in ICT 2016.
 Speaking at the recent commemorations, the guest of Honour, Tadiwa Kundishora, who is a NetOne public Relations Officer and a descent of the same Langham high school spoke proudly of how she has managed to find her way up at Zimbabwe’s second mobile Network, a strong  ICT player  in the nation.
“I am greatful to International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for fulfilling their promise to connect the people, connect the world. Through them this Girls in ICT day is celebrated in over 150countries including Zimbabwe. ICTs are gender insensitive,it has removed boundaries, squashed time and created opportunities for countries such as Zimbabwe to participate in the global village.
We appreciate the efforts of ITU and POTRAZ who are extending communication coverage and access to enable rural individuals to communicate with family abroad. I applaud our gvt in taking a stand in recognizing not only u and i the girl child, but allowing equal opportunities in this field at a tender age through STEM.” said Tadiwa.
She urged the young girls still doing high school in not be moved by their background as she was as well exactly at the same position few years back studying from a remote school, but that did not deter her from chasing her dreams to working an ICT company.
Though i may not be an ICT engineer or expert, i have managed to work hard and land myself a post in a technological company that makes me fully understand the dynamics of digital communications. This did not just start from nowhere, i worked hard as young girl and undeterred to make it, I am also a product of this school, nothing will stop you from doing it even better than i have done it” said Tadiwa.
More female engineers took it to the podium to share their success stories including engineers from  the Ministry Of ICTPS, Powertel, Econet , NetOne, Telco , Telecel and TelOne as they shared their life transforming testimonies and the journey they traversed to the world ICT.
Most of the girls who spoke to TechnoMag after the session said they have now changed their perception towards the technologies and ready to start making career choices towards ICTs that will change and impact their lives.
While it may have been nothing but a myth, we proved as well that most girls are naturally not excited about ICTs but after shedding light during the recently ended session, their focus was fired up and turned towards ICTs.
Most female students bemoaned lack of career guidance and exposure which leads to them not taking STEM subjects especially in rural schools and have already started making pleas that government  should prioritise STEM subjects in these constituencies.
We witnessed so much enthusiasms and energy towards ICTs , especially in app development as most young girls promised to become the next big thing in app development and refused to become consumers of ICT products but creators as well.
Girls in ICT is commemorated on the 17th of May every year and Zimbabwe has been commemorating this calendar event across all provinces since 2013, while ITU started the program officially in 2010 world wide.
The national Telecommunication regulator, Potraz drives the agenda inconjuction with the parent ministry of ICT postal and courier services. All telecommunication service providers in Zimbabwe including data and voice players come together for the commemoration of the event.
Nicole Madziwa

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