Cameroon: Gov’t & Plan International Promote Girls’ Digital Skills, Caution Youths on Dangers of ICTs

Female champions of the 2023 Girls in ICT Day were under the spotlight on May 17 during the celebration of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

As Cameroon joined the international community to celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, WTISD on May 17, the occasion was once more seized to highlight the international Girls in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Day.

The Girls in ICT Day taking place each 27th of April aims at promoting girls and young women’s access to information and communications technologies and encouraging them to pursue studies and careers in the growing field of ICT.

On Wednesday, May 17, 2023, the conference hall of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications played host to the celebration that gathered several officials, and students of some high schools and colleges in Yaounde, Cameroon.

The ceremony chaired by the Secretary-General in the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Mohamadou Saoudi, was Placed under the theme: “Empowering the least developed countries through information and communication technologies.”

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Mr. Mohamadou Saoudi said the day is out to create dynamics that will encourage member countries of the  International Telecommunication Union, ITU to develop technological innovations and sensitize the population on the advantages offered by ICTs notably in the domain of digital transformation.

“Apart from sensitizing the population, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is out to create awareness on the advantages granted to ICTs’ users and by the way expose the various dangers that could arise from its poor utilization.” He said.

For this year’s celebration, ITU calls on the public and private sectors to make pledges for universal connectivity and digital transformation in their countries.

ITU’s Representative for Central Africa and Madagascar, Jean-Jacques Massima Landji outlined the fact that his organization works closely with key partners to inspire and encourage girls to pursue a future in ICTs towards bridging the digital gender divide. The aim is to encourage young women and girls to pursue their studies and careers in science, engineering, technology, mathematics, and other fields and help them achieve their dreams. 

18 years old Noella Djouku Ngeutchuissi, an upper sixth science student at the government bilingual high school of Etoug-Ebe, Yaounde has been shortlisted for the second time in this project piloted by Plan International Cameroon and the government.

This year, Noella developed a software program known as “Riviera”.

According to the young female genius, it is an electronic platform that will act as an interface to the public in a bid to grant necessary information on kidnappings of people notably children during festive periods like in December.

Noella says to realize this project she had to do a survey in popular places like the central town and the University of Yaounde I where she questioned people on if they found it necessary to have such an app.

The ICT champion said: “The objective of this platform is to provide an interface which will permit each and everyone to pass on information about the disappearance of his or her kid or to trace the location of the kid if he or she is not yet at home by 8 pm for instance. The app Riviera gives you tutorials on how to use a kid’s phone. Also, Riviera allows journalists or freelancers who wish to write stories on kidnappings in such a way that the information will be reliable and written in a professional manner.”

Just like in the previous editions in which the young girls were celebrated, calls were made to boost such initiatives and invest more in female youths’ projects.

The ceremony ended up with the visit of stands by the Secretary Generals and other officials.

Elise Kenimbeni

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