Huawei Technologies has moved to entrench computer education and digital skills training by expanding access to the infrastructure among girls’ high schools and institutions of higher learning in Kenya.
The decision, said Engineer Maureen Mwaniki, Director for Women in Technology at Huawei, was driven by the persistent gap in computer skills training observed across Kenyan schools and institutions of higher learning, despite recent gains achieved in adding nearly 3,000 women to ICT careers.
“To mark this year’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we partnered with more girls’ schools and colleges including Karatina University and St. Faustina Kerugoya Girls High school by installing and IT books and carrying out a 3-day digital skills awareness training through our Huawei ICT Academy,” said Mwaniki.
By doing so, Ms. Mwaniki explained that the firm was introducing and reinforcing the desire for computer and digital skills by girls who continue to be marginalized in this growing area of the economy. This awareness, it is believed, will help steer the girls in their future choices to take up IT related careers.
In order to paint a detailed picture of the current job market and future opportunities for the women and girls, the Huawei team covered subjects ranging from the importance of digital skills, social skills, education, hard work, personal development, people development and the trends in the technology world including Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Internet of Things, Cybersecurity and cloud computing.
The interactions took the shape of plenary addresses and group discussions during breakout sessions where the students got a chance to personally seek more details and clarity on all their areas of interest.
Huawei, said Ms. Mwaniki, remained committed to bridging the digital divide and cultivating local ICT talent through various training programs curated for university/college students, public servants among other key recipients.
Sharing her personal journey Ms. Mwaniki used her rich experiences to encourage the students to pursue careers in the world of science and ICT, remain resilient in their endeavors and leverage on technology to enhance their career opportunities. With all sectors embracing digital, the students were asked to embrace digital skills and awareness from an early age so that they can grab greater opportunities with Technology.
Echoing her remarks, Professor Juliet Macharia, Associate Professor of Communication studies at Karatina University lauded Huawei’s partnership noting that, “we encourage women and girls in universities studying and working in STEM fields to participate in this venture, which will eventually lead to a rise in the percentage of Women and Girls in science.”
Following the theme, Mrs. Karanja Keru, the Principal of St. Faustina Kerugoya Girls High School, said that the exposure to ICT and the new computer equipment was sufficient to stir a desire among the young girls to pursue computer studies and gain moder digital skills.
With technology getting more pervasive, Huawei leverages on the special day to recognize the power of mentorship as a lamp that will light the path to highly rewarding ICT careers for girls and women.