The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) says there is a compelling need to address the gap that exists in access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT), among girls and women in the country.
Macra board chairperson Martha Kwataine made the observation in Zomba last week during celebrations of the International Girls in ICT held at St Mary’s Secondary School under the theme “Expand Horizons, Change Attitudes”.
She said girls need to be encouraged to pursue courses that lead to professions in the ICT sector.
Said Kwataine: “Macra, as a regulator of ICT services in the country and also a member of the International Telecommunications Union, (ITU) has adopted an agreement with other member states to recognise girls’ rights in accessing ICT education.
“We saw that there was a gap which needed to be addressed and we are celebrating girls in ICT day to raise awareness on the importance of ICT in both girls and women. So, as Macra we do a lot of corporate social responsibilities such as donating items related to ICT besides providing ICT training to communities,” she said.
She added that most public schools in the country lack access to ICT services as compared to private ones and priority will be given to those that are in dire need of the services.
In her remarks, St Mary’s Secondary School head teacher Sister Mary Chimalizeni said her school aims at providing a conducive environment for girls to study ICT despite many challenges.
“We need to do all we can to ensure that girls have equal opportunities to learn and master computer skills, and eventually achieve equality in ICT industries,” she said.
Thereafter, Macra donated K2 million (about $4 761) towards ICT services at the school.