Minister of Transport and Communications Brian Mushimba says information and communications technologies are at the centre of all economic and social activities.
Speaking when he officiated at the Girls Information and Communications Technologies [ICTs] Day at Kapiri Girls Technical Secondary School, Mushimba observed that if utilised effectively and responsibly, ICTs had the potential to improve citizens’ welfare and contribute towards national development.
“The government, under the leadership of His Excellency the President Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, places great importance on the development of the ICT sector in recognition of its potential to contribute to the socio-economic development and improve the quality of life for all citizens, including the girl child,” Mushimba said. “As we all aware, ICTs are at the centre of all economic and social activities, compelling everyone to learn how to not only utilise ICTs, but to use them responsibly and effectively to improve their welfare and contribute towards national development.”
He implored Zambians to create a global environment that empowered and encouraged girls and women to take careers in the growing field of Information and Communications Technologies [ICTs].
“The ICT revolution comes with predicted need for skilled professionals and with many companies and organisations actively seeking to hire highly skilled women. It is imperative that we have highly skilled girls and women in the area of ICT. The recent introduction of ICT as a compulsory subject by the Ministry of Education makes it mandatory for all of us to support our children to ensure they acquire the necessary skills. I am therefore delighted to be part of a programme such as the one we are having today which is designed to encourage girls and young women to prepare themselves for a career in ICT,” Mushimba said. “It is important for us to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and women to consider careers in the growing field of ICT. By so doing, we are moving towards reducing the gender related ICT divide, which has been traditionally favouring boys as compared to girls.”
He added that there was need to change society’s mindset with regard to the role that girls and women could play in the ICT sector.
“This years’ theme is: Expand horizons, change attitudes. This feeds into the various initiatives government is doing to ensure that ICTs are brought closer not only to girls, but every Zambian and focuses on ensuring that the mindset of society as a whole is changed with regard to the role that girls and women play in the ICT sector; and that their contribution is just as important as that of their male counterparts,” said Mushimba.