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eBusiness Life Girls in ICT: Corporates Charge Girls on Future ICT Careers

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Young girls have been charged to prepare themselves for future careers that will be premised on ICT knowledge and expertise.

L-R: Head of Contact Center, Globacom Limited, Kemi Fadipe; Manager, South-West Zonal office, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mrs. Jumoke Alaka, who represented the Director General of the Agency, Dr. Inuwa Abdulahi; Convener, Girls-In-ICT/CEO, e-Business Life Communication Limited, Mrs. Ufuoma Emuophedaro; and Deputy Director, Head Corporate Communication, NCC, Nnenna Ukoha, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida at the just-concluded eBusiness Life Int’l Girls in ICT Day Celebration held in Lagos

Speaking at the International Girls in ICT event organised by eBusiness Life Communications Limited last Thursday, corporate organisations that gathered for the 12th edition of the year long campaign spoke on diverse expectations from the young girls, and how to position them to bridge the gender gap in the ICT career field.

In his keynote address at the event, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Head Corporate Communication, NCC, Nnenna Ukoha, noted that there is a need to provide girls with quality STEM education as a means of bridging the gender divide, while also challenging the gender stereotype; and provide positive role models for young girls to look up to.

Quoting the Global Gender Gap Report (2023), which states that women comprise only 29.2% of STEM workforce in 146 nations evaluated, compared to nearly 50% on non-STEM occupations, Dr. Maida lamented the “underrepresentation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

“As we look around us, we witness the impactful influence of technology in all facets of our existence. Technology, from communications to healthcare, education to entertainment, has emerged as the primary catalyst for advancement and growth. Nonetheless, despite the significant progress we have achieved, there is a noticeable gender gap in the ICT sector.”

Referencing the 2024 theme, Leadership’’, Convener, Girls-In-ICT/CEO, e-Business Life Communication Limited, Mrs. Ufuoma Emuophedaro, noted: “While there is a leadership gender gap in every industry, the largest gaps are found in the STEM fields. Women in ICT often find themselves in junior or support roles rather than in managerial roles, with little opportunity for advancement. They are also less likely to hold an executive position, become ICT entrepreneurs, or be represented among science and technology policymakers.

She noted that ICT holds limitless possibilities, especially for women. “It is a realm where creativity knows no bounds, innovation thrives, and dreams are transformed into reality through lines of code and digital solutions. Yet, despite its vast potential, the representation of women in this field remains disproportionately low.

Today, we challenge that narrative. We stand united to break down barriers, defy stereotypes, and pave the way for a future where every girl, regardless of background or circumstance, feels empowered to pursue her passion for technology.”

Young women and girls need to see themselves as change-makers in the field, and they need to be able to see clear routes to become leaders in the field.”

In a virtual message from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Secretary General, Doreen Bogdan-Martin explained that the 2024 theme, “Leadership”, speaks to more than holding a job title or position of power, but about harnessing the power of ideas and innovation, and the ability to navigate change with confidence even as a student.

She said that as the world continues to experience tremendous unprecedented digital transformation with the rise of Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies, it cannot afford to leave girls and women, which represent 50%, behind.

“It is high time to turn all this around. To all the young girls out there, the tech sector needs you. Your ideas, creativity, and perspectives are essential if gender equality will become a reality. We need you to step into leading roles to challenge the stereotypes, and to contribute to building a better future that benefits everyone.”

Head of Contact Center, Globacom Limited, Kemi Fadipe noted that the event not only pursues individual development, but also crucial for fostering gender equality and societal progress. She charged the students to get more serious with excellence in STEM subjects to excel in male dominated fields. She encouraged them on critical thinking and problem solving, which is essential in addressing complex challenges and driving innovation, among other things that make up good leadership, including truthfulness, resilience, objectivity, inspiring, sense of purpose, strategic thinking, integrity, honesty and ethical behavior.

Deputy Managing Director/COO, VDT Communications, Bimbo Ikumariegbe, while charging the girls to be focused in their choice, as making the wrong choice of online may ruin them and foil their chances of becoming great leaders. “Look to the future and ask yourself ‘can I get there?’”

In her submission, the Business Development Manager at inq Digital, Sandra Nwaigwe, encouraged the young girls to start building up themselves for the future. According to her: “As young people, you need to find your best feet in ICT so that when the time comes you will be able to raise your head so high like the women that have done great things.”

Awards were also given to deserving corporate and individuals that have distinguished themselves in grooming young girls and helping them to upskill.

The reciepients were the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); Digital Strategist & Founder, MissTechy – Nigeria’s Female Tech Blog, Ayeni Oluwatobi Dorcas, also known professionally as Miss Techy; and Head of Network and Solutions at Information Connectivity Solutions Limited (ICSL), Tinuade Oguntuyi.

Receiving the corporate Award on behalf of the NITDA DG, Manager, South-West Zonal office, Mrs. Jumoke Alaka, appreciated the organisers and pledged the Agency’s commitment towards encouraging girls in the area of STEM and ICT career.

Activities at the event included STEM Quiz and Vlogging competitions; Students roundtable, which was anchored by foremost journalist, Louisa Olaniyi, random quiz and entertainments.

In the Vlogging competition, moderated by tech enthusiast, Digital Strategist and Founder, ‘MissTechy’ – Nigeria’s top Female Tech Blog, Oluwatobi Ayeni, Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls Secondary School, Yaba to the First Prize, while the Second and Third Prizes went to Chrisland College, Ikeja and The Lagoon School, Lekki.

In the STEM Quiz Competition, the top prize went to The Lagoon School, Lekki, while Baptist Girls Academy, Obanikoro and Government Senior College, Agege settled for the 2nd and 3rd positions.

Partners with eBusiness Life Communication Limited for this year’s event included the NCC, NITDA, Globacom, Digital Encode, VDT Communications, Digital Realty, Huawei Technologies, Inq Digital, and CocaCola.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Court Dismisses Base Stations Lawsuit Against ATC, MTN

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ATC Nigeria, a subsidiary of American Tower Corporation, and MTN Nigeria scored a major victory in court last week over constructing or operating base transceiver stations “within close proximity” to stations owned by IHS Towers Nigeria.

The lawsuit against the two had been filed by non-profit organisation, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre, in November 2023.

Additionally, HEDA also filed a contempt of court case against ATC Nigeria’s CEO, Errol Ambler-Smith, seeking his arrest, which HEDA later withdrew.

ATC Nigeria announced that on Friday, June 21, 2024, the court struck out HEDA’s suit against ATC Nigeria and MTN Nigeria on the grounds that it was speculative and failed to disclose any reasonable cause of action.

American Tower said it has “always been and remains committed to upholding” the highest standards of legal compliance and operational integrity in all its activities.

“We are pleased that the court recognised the speculative nature of HEDA’s lawsuit, and we are hopeful that this outcome will send a message to other similar potential speculative lawsuits. We appreciate the support and understanding of all our stakeholders as we continue to invest in, and provide critical infrastructure for, Nigeria’s telecommunications industry,” ATC Nigeria said in a statement.


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Airtel Boosts Sickle Cell Awareness with CrimsonBow Initiative Collaboration

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In commemoration of this year’s World Sickle Cell Day, Airtel Nigeria partnered with the CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative to host a well-attended sickle cell awareness and clinic over the weekend, at Dansol Primary School, Ikeja, Lagos.

The event which aimed at improving sickle cell education and supporting individuals living with sickle cell disease, featured free counselling for sickle cell patients, free medical testing, drug dispensing, and sensitization sessions to educate the public about the sickle cell disease.

Through the partnership, much-needed support and resources were provided to affected individuals while promoting early detection and proper management of the condition.

Commenting on the involvement of Airtel in the program, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Oshinlaja, emphasized Airtel’s dedication to good health as part of the telecommunication company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals.

“We are proud to partner with CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative in this important endeavour, as it reflects our commitment to corporate social responsibility and improving community health outcomes. The goal of this partnership is to provide crucial support to individuals living with sickle cell disease and to help raise awareness about the condition.

“Through this partnership, we strongly hope to make a positive impact on the lives of those affected,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative, Timi Edwin, expressed gratitude to Airtel. In her remarks, “This partnership with Airtel Nigeria allows us to extend our reach and provide essential services to more individuals living with sickle cell disease. We appreciate Airtel Nigeria for their support in making this event possible.”

Airtel Nigeria has continued to reinforce its position as an organization committed to the well-being of the society through various corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Asides initiative partnerships like this to combat the challenges faced by individuals living with sickle cell disease, they continue to make strides under several CSR initiatives, contributing to the overall effort to enhance the general wellness of Nigerians.

 


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Tinubu appoints Tunji Bello as CEO of FCCPC

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President Bola Tinubu has appointed Olatunji Bello as the new Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice-Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, who disclosed this in a statement on Monday, noted that the appointment is pending confirmation by the Senate.

He said that the President expects that the new Chief Executive Officer of this important agency will ensure the holistic realization of the Commission’s mandate of protecting and promoting the interest and welfare of Nigerian consumers and ensuring the adoption of measures to guarantee the safety and quality of goods and services.

Bello, who is a lawyer, administrator, and renowned journalist, is the former secretary to the Lagos State Government and holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos.

“He studied Law at the same university and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2002,” the statement read.

“Bello began his career in journalism at the Concord Newspapers in 1985 and held the positions of Group Political Editor; Sunday Concord Editor, and Editor, National Concord.

“He is a winner of the US Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship and was appointed the Chairman, Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspapers in 2001.

“He also served as Commissioner for Environment under various administrations in Lagos State.


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