Girls in ICT Rwanda is a group of women, young and old – professionals and students, who are passionate about STEM and have come together to inspire more girls to join these exciting fields. It was founded in December 2011 when Rwanda decided to join the rest of the world in celebrating the international ITU Girls in ICT day which happens every last week of April.
It was started by a group of women entrepreneurs and professionals in partnership with the Ministry of ICT with the aim of raising awareness among young girls in high school to join ICT as a career in order to increase the percentage of women in the STEM fields.
Goal and Mission
The group’s goal is to improve the current statistics regarding the numbers of women in the ICT sector as well as to alter the stereotype held by many young girls that ICT is a man’s field. With this aim, the group has organized several events to encourage girls to study ICT such as the Ms. Geek Rwanda competition, which targets girls in higher institutions of learning, and Girls in ICT day exclusively meant for High school girls.
Girls in ICT as a group has grown to incorporate women in various sectors that touch ICT and these women have been at the forefront of the events and campaigns that are carried out throughout the country.
Programs and events
Girls in ICT Rwanda has organized and co-partnered on various events and campaigns in order to achieve its goals to reach more girls and interest them to join ICT as a career. Among these programs there are:
Girls in ICT Day
This event is the international ITU Girls in ICT day where Girls in ICT brings together various girls in high schools to come and be part of a day where the best companies and solutions in ICT are displayed to them. The goal is to allow them to open their minds to the various career paths that they can find in STEM fields. They also participate in a discussion on how technology can be accessed by all the girls country wide.
Ms Geek Competition
The MsGeek competition is an annual competition designed to inspire female university/TVET students to think critically and design solutions to issues faced by Rwandans today. In this competition, young women compete based on the innovative ideas as well as their ability to develop a certain technology or develop a business idea. The purpose of MsGeek is to demonstrate that girls and young women can also excel in the technologies and build their confidence in competing in the open market.
This is a one week bootcamp where high schools girls especially from remote high schools where the access to technology and computer is very limited. For that week, the girls have the chance to learn basic programming, internet and other computer skills. They also have access to mentors from various sectors who help them discover the good things about technology. Techkobwa is an initiative of Peace Corps with Girls in ICT in partnership with Klab and other stakeholders.
ICT Awareness campaigns
In partnership with the Ministry of ICT and Youth, Girls in ICT conducts awareness campaigns throughout the countries mostly in high school. These campaigns consists of our members educating these girls about various career paths in STEM fields and sharing their own experiences.