Written by Sarah NEGEDU
Economic empowerment: Women in Africa asked to embrace ICT
Women across Africa have been asked to take advantage of Information and Communication Technology, ICT, in advancing issues affecting women and girl child on the continent.
One of the co-conveners of Africa Women Conference, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Abuja, has said that the conference has identified ICT as a tool for economic growth in view of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
President and founder of the foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, who made this revelation in a chat with journalists in Abuja also revealed that panelists at the conference agreed that certain steps should be taken to address issues affecting women in the continent.
Speaking on this year's theme: "Deploying the use of ICT in repositioning women in media and entertainment industry for growth", Ahmadu maintained that women must take advantage of information dissemination through the media and ICT as it is imperative to advance any cause related or tailored towards women and girl child development.
According to her, "During the deliberations panelists also agreed that training and equipping the Girl Child on ICT at a young age is imperative as the merit of ICT knowledge could boost their careers.
"Africa women must take advantage of various online media platforms in getting information and also making extra monetary gains for those in the media sectors", stressing that for African women to be relevant in the media and entertainment sectors, she must be ICT compliant".
Other issues raised at the conference according to her include "ICT has created room for self-development and capacity building in other online courses and African women should be encouraged in taking advantages of various online course platforms.
The conference, however, noted that though ICT has made online marketing of good and services easy for women, but warned that women should be advised on the negative aspect on ICT such as scammers, online ritualist, fraudsters among other vices, while calling on NGOs and CSOs to encourage and support rural women and the girl child on ICT trainings, provisions of ICT equipment and ICT mentoring.
The conference therefore called on women to be extremely smart and report all forms of abuse by individuals taking advantage of them as a result of providing ICT tools, noting that despite the Covid 19 challenges on all sectors, the ICT remained standing and is the most sought after sector.
Our correspondent gathered that the conference was organized by an Abuja based women group, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, in collaboration with other women group to provide a platform for African women from the formal and non-formal sectors of the economy to deliberate on and adopt action plans that will deliver rapid growth and development in Africa.