Sunday, April 21, 2013

2013 Girls in ICT Day Nigeria

Are Girls in Information Communications Technology (ICT)? What can girls do in ICT? Nigeria and its people will be celebrating the annual Girls in ICT Day which comes up this year on April 25, 2013. What are the issues and why is this day so important? Working with an organization involved in ICT education and career development (Jidaw Systems) for several years, I celebrate the achievements of young female Jidaw alumni developing careers in ICT.

Of notable mention are Fadele Ifeoluwa Oluwatobiloba, Winner of the 2010 IT Professionalism Award, Mrs Funmilola Omojola ICT Coordinator, Grace Schools, Lagos, Ruth Anok, University Lecturer in ICT and Ajayi Oluwadolapo Anuoluwa, scorer of 1,000 perfect score in the globally recognized Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification exam. Their enthusiasm and high level of professionalism shone throughout their studies. We pray that they will rewrite and redefine the face of IT in Nigeria. Many more female Jidaw alumni are making serious impact in ICT and those mentioned here serve as points of reference for the purpose of this discourse.

However, Girls in ICT Day has become a necessity because the overall picture of girls and women in ICT is not so bright, The low proportion of women investing in professional ICT learning programmes is challenging. The numbers are poor in both in formal education in tertiary institutions and in education outside the formal scene in the training and certification arena. Girls and women are simply not choosing professions within ICT. A recent survey conducted at our training institution over a 6 month period showed that the percentage of women that enrolled for IT Training and certification courses was less than 6% of total enrolment. ICT entrepreneurs and professionals need to have a solid foundation in ICT education. It is a knowledge industry and key participants must develop the knowledge and skills required to create opportunities and solve problems with ICT. The fact that fewer women are investing in professional ICT education is a major reason responsible for the low number of women entering the ICT profession.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) annually invites stakeholders with interest in Girls/Women in ICT to mark the day to focus on the necessity of having more girls and young women join the ICT sector. The union declared the fourth Thursday of April every year as a day of encouragement to girls and young women to consider careers in ICT and to remind society to support them in their choice.

Encouraging Girls
The weak presence of women in ICT is bound to continue unless steps are taken to educate, support and encourage girls. From childhood, schools and homes should discard the current misleading male stereotyping. Teachers and parents in particular should be in front encouraging the presence of women in ICT. Girls can have satisfying careers in ICT. Gender stereotypes, which are present in homes and in educational institutions, need to be addressed. The culture is there but critical influencers must be better informed. Career guidance and counseling of girls shows the true picture of ICT by accurately highlighting the wide range of opportunities and skills required. There are opportunities for those interested in technical areas as well as non technical stuff requiring people management, initiative, problem solving, communication, team work, presentation, entrepreneurial skills and much more. 

ITU suggests different types of events are suggested, with the actual choice and scale of activity or event left to each stakeholder. No funding is provided, and so stakeholders essentially do what they can afford.  ITU however recognizes such efforts through its publications and online resources.

Jidaw believes that these events and other interventions should facilitate the creation of Gender sensitive work environment in the tech industry, the development of Mentoring opportunities , the creation of Women in ICT Networks as well as the development of Women in ICT policy initiatives.

Visibility on social media and reach out:

Twitter: @ITU and #GirlsinICT


All stories are curated on Storify:

We can make a Difference
In Nigeria, Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN) will be organizing a one-day conference themed: Women and Girls in Technology - Expanding Horizons, while reports also indicate that e-Business Life Communication will celebrate the day in Lagos on April 25, 2013 and goes with the theme: “Tech Needs Girls to Invent the Future”. Top personalities from Tech industry and outside are expected to speak at these events.

Growth is stunted when girls and women are unable to develop their capabilities, talents and live their dreams. By being in the driving seat of the digital age girls can fulfill potential with ICT careers. Communities and societies need their ideas and contributions to be more competitive. Exclusion and discrimination wastes the important contributions of girls and women. It’s not just about NGOs,  big names and high visibility events alone. It's also about what we do in our everyday lives. We can make a difference with our actions and attitudes.
Everyone - people, NGOs, private sector, governments - needs to know that the empowerment of women is in their best interest. Encourage more women to participate in ICT educational programmes and pursue ICT careers. Celebrate and Highlight the achievements of girls and women in ICT

The empowerment of girls in ICT is too important to be left alone to government ministries and GET INVOLVED!!  Let everyday be Girls in ICT day!

Jide Awe

Founder, Jidaw

HAVE YOUR SAY: How will you be marking Girls in ICT Day? What should be the main focus?Please share your comments, thoughts and opinions.
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Innovation and Development Advisory, ICT Advocacy
ICT Development Advisory Support and Consulting

Sunday, April 14, 2013

NIWIIT Abuja Chapter Executive Inaugurated

Nigeria Women in Information Technology (NIWIIT) Abuja Chapter Executive has been  inaugurated. 
The Nigeria Women in Information Technology (NIWIIT), is an interest group of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), NIWIIT was established to promote the progress of women in the profession and industry in Nigeria. 

The inauguration of the Abuja Chapter follows the election of the executive earlier this year. Dr (Mrs) Adeola Ilechukwu, Second Vice President of NCS and President of NIWIIT and Mrs. Aderonke Bello, Vice President, Nigerian Women in Information Technology were present and played leading roles at the event.. Dr Ilechukwu administered the inauguration pledge on the new executive.

In addition, the newly elected NCS Abuja chapter chairman Prince Majemite attended the ceremony and delivered a good will message. 

The NIWIIT Abuja Chapter executive is wished a peaceful and fruitful tenure.

Here are some event pictures:

NIWIIT Abuja Chapter Exco Taking Inauguration pledge
From right to left we have:
Chapter Coordinator - Mrs Iyabo Adeleke-Adedeji
Secretary - Ms Christiana Enang
Treasurer - Mrs Dayo Quadri
Welfare Officer - Mrs Yemisi Oyinlola
Special Duties Officer - Mrs Tokunbo Adebisi

National NIWIIT Officers, Abuja Chapter Executive and Attendees

National President NIWIIT administering Inauguration pledge. Seated is Mrs. Aderonke Bello, Vice President, NIWIIT.

President, NIWIIT and members of the new Abuja Chapter Executive

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mwalimu Nyerere African Union Scholarship for Female Applicants

Mwalimu Nyerere African Union Scholarship Scheme Female Applicants

(Only for Female Applicants)
Masters Programmes in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Education Science (STEME)

Launched in 2007 with the aim of producing and retaining high level  African human resources for sustainable development of Africa in critical development areas, while  promoting regional integration through intra-African mobility of  students. The Mwalimu Nyerere African Union Scholarship Scheme intends to enable young Africans to study in leading African Universities with a binding agreement that beneficiaries will work in any African country for at least the same duration of scholarship period after graduation.

The Commission of the African Union offers a Special Call  for  Scholarship Applications (Only  for  Female  Applicants) to  study  Masters Programmes  in  Engineering  and  Applied  Sciences,  tenable  in  reputable  African Universities.
Thr programme aims to encourage and facilitate the participation of young African female students at postgraduate level in the field of Masters Programmes in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Education Science (STEME),

To be eligible for the Special Scholarship, a candidate must:
  • Be a Female Citizen of an African Union Member State
  • Be under the age of thirty five (35) years.
  • Be a holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in the field of STEM
  • Have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement as evidenced by academic transcripts.
  • Have proof of   admission to a reputable university in any African Union
  • Member State to undertake a full time Masters programme
  • Be willing to commit to work in an African Union Member State on completion of study for at least three (3) years.


The following fields of study are eligible:
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Education Science

The Masters programme should be of two years duration

Closing Date: 30 April 2013

Details and Method of Application on:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Women's Day 2013

Big Salute to all women today, 8 March 2013 as the world celebrates International Women’s Day (IWD). Our mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, female colleagues are special. But are they empowered? Are they moving forward? There can be no progress without women. As we salute all women and men on another Women's day, our question on the Women in ICT Blog is: what is the future without the empowerment of women with information and communications technologies (ICTs)?

In 2011, Jidaw observed the centenary IWD by organizing a special session on the Advancement and Empowerment of Women through ICTs with the theme, “Empower Women, Create the Future”, during its FREE IT Career Seminar. The essence of the special “Empower Women, Create the Future” session was to celebrate the achievement of women in ICT, to inform and encourage women and men about the impact women have in ICT and to promote the advancement and empowerment of women through ICTs.
Jidaw used the special session to sensitize the public and create awareness on policies, practices and action required to advance and empower women and promote gender equality with ICTs. 
Women have a place in ICT, the world needs the contribution of women in ICT and we need the ideas and contributions of women in ICT to make significant impact in society. The empowerment of women in ICT is in the interest of everyone. 

The issues behind the importance of Women’s Day are about people, development and progress. Can there really be progress with women still in chains, and left behind? Where is the voice of women? Are women able to freely make their own choices and live full lives? Do women have control? Do women own their progress, their education, their future? The challenges of development, the challenges of health, education and poverty all need the active participation and contribution of women. Women are not bystanders,  or onlookers, women are contributors and change drivers. Support of gender equality and empowerment of women is a vote for a better future.

For a better world, girls and women need support, opportunities and access to resources to develop their capabilities, talents and live their dreams. It’s about fulfilling their potentials to improve themselves and their communities. Without women in ICT there can be no progress. Exclusion and discrimination wastes the important contributions of women.

Women in ICT Blog urges you to make everyday Women’s Day!

Friday, February 15, 2013

2012 NCS Fellows Women in ICT

Women in ICT were some of the New Fellows of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) admitted into the College of Fellows during the 2012 National Information Technology Merit Awards (NITMA). As Jidaw observes the Fellow grade, one of the most respected titles in the IT community is the highest grade of the NCS professional cadre. Women in ICT honoured with being at the top of the IT profession are: Dr (Mrs) Titilola Akinlade and Mrs. Aderonke Bello.
Women in ICT Blog celebrates the achievement of these achievement of Great women in ICT.

Mrs. Aderonke Bello
  • Managing Director of Innovative Technology Literacy Services Limited; an ICT in education consulting firm
  • Holds Bsc and Msc first and second degrees in Computer Science from University of Lagos. Holds a masters degree in curriculum and instructional technology from Abilene Christian University, Texas, USA
  • Over 25 years of experience in both IT and Education sectors. Has been Deputy National Coordinator, SchoolNet Nigeria. 
  • Coordinated various teams that have set up over 250 computer laboratories in secondary schools across the nation. International trainer that trained educators in Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya
  • Served in national assignments leading to the development of the National ICT in Education policy for Nigeria. Presently Vice President, Nigerian Women in Information Technology.
Mrs Aderonke Bello receiving her Fellowship Award

Dr (Mrs) Titilola Olusola Akinlade
  • Project Manager for SAP projects in the West Africa region for Mobil Producing Nigeria,  an ExxonMobil affiliate, the international oil and gas company
  • Holds First Class Bsc degree in Computer Science from the University of Lagos, Msc degree from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and PhD degree from the University of Lagos
  • 34 year career spanning the public, academic and private sectors with experience in programming, system analysis, technical support. IT implementation
  • Provided and provides wide range of IT management and leadership functions for ExxonMobil in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Cameroon, Houston, USA
  • Formal mentor since 2009 as part of an ExxonMobil –sponsored “Women Mentoring Women” programme, receiving Best Mentor Award in 2010.

Dr (Mrs) Titilola Akinlade and Mrs. Aderonke Bello have broken barriers despite hostility and challenges in the environment. They serve as an inspiration to young people in industry, especially young girls and women. We applaud, recognize and celebrate them. We challenge other women – “IF they can do it, so can you!”

Don’t rest on your oars! We urge you to see this elevation as a call to do even more. Your Best is still ahead.

What do think about the achievement of these Amazons? How should we the new Fellows? Share your comments and opinions.

Jide Awe
Innovation and Development Advisor, ICT

ICT Development Advisory Support and Consulting Nigeria
"Technology matters, but it is always about people".

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Nigerian Women in IT Abuja to Hold Elections

Nigerian Women in Information Technology (NIWIIT) Abuja chapter will be holding the Election of Executives on Friday, February 15, 2013. All interested women should send their profile with a photograph to NiWIIT Abuja by Friday, Feb.  8, 2013 (details below).

NIWIIT is the interest group of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) established by women in the Nigerian Computing and Information Technology profession and industry to promote the progress of women in the profession and industry in Nigeria.

NiWIIT will "provide and support purposeful leadership that will guarantee the overall welfare of women in the profession and industry hereto from".

NIWIIT Abuja Chapter will be conducting Election of Executives into the following positions:

·         State coordinator

·         Secretary

·         Public relations officer

·         Financial secretary

·         Treasurer

·         Welfare officer

·         Special duties officer

The election will hold on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 4pm. Venue: Courtyard, Apo Sparklight Mall, opposite Living Faith Church, Durumi District, Abuja.

All interested women should send their profile with a photograph (not more than 100Kb in size) to latest Friday, Feb.  8, 2013. Visit NiWIIT Abuja Blog.

Nigerian Women in IT

NiWIIT was established during the 2012 NCS Conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.

The laudable aims and objectives of NiWIIT include: fostering unity among Nigerian women in the IT industry through networking, maintaining and defending the integrity and right of women in the IT industry.
NIWIIT further aims to
  • promote professionalism, capacity building and good relationship among members through mentoring, maintaining the highest standard of ethics, 
  • conduct, virtue, etiquette and discipline among women in the IT industry, 
  • create a platform by which women in IT can collaborate with other women in other professions in Nigeria and elsewhere, 
  • create awareness programs for IT related services and products among women in the rural and sub-urban areas in Nigeria, special target groups and students in secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
 And most importantly it is focused on encouraging more female participation in the IT profession.

Women in ICT Blog looks forward to the success of the NiWIIT Abuja Chapter Election!
Women in ICT Blog wishes NiWIIT great progress in all its undertakings! 
Kudos to the Great IT Women!

Nigeria Computer Society

Nigeria Computer Society
- promoting change and development for all