The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, has recognised 15 girls for what has been described as exemplary performance in the just concluded Blogging Challenge that was held by the ministry in partnership with the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) and Huawei Women in Technology.
The Blogging Challenge was the inaugural activity under the Girls in ICT Initiative being implemented by the government and comprises a series of activities targeting girls in colleges and tertiary educational institutions aimed at encouraging them to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The Blogging Challenge targeted female bloggers in universities and colleges aged between 17-25 years who run blogs in Infrastructure, Greening Initiatives, Emerging technologies, Social issues and Youth empowerment.
Faith Mulili from Kenyatta University, Mary Njeri from Multimedia University and Kenyatta University’s Jane Mbae bagged the first, second and third position respectively while Brenda Ngoya of Technical University of Kenya and Maureen Muigai from The University of Nairobi took the fourth and fifth places.
The top female bloggers benefited from a variety of prizes, internship opportunities at Konza Technopolis, mentorship and digital skills training through Ajira Digital and Huawei Academy. Additionally, every girl who took part in the challenge was upskilled through training sessions by the judges and trainers drawn from Huawei Technologies, Shule Africa, SoftwareKE and Ajira Digital.
Speaking during the award ceremony, Ms. Maureen Mbaka, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs said that the ministry is committed to bridging the digital gender divide through formulating progressive policies, forging mutually beneficial partnerships and steering innovative activities such as the Girls in ICT Initiative. “I am delighted to see that this Initiative, which I carry at heart, is now taking shape and having the intended impact on young girls. I have no doubt that the just concluded Blogging Challenge coupled with the numerous activities we have lined up under the Initiative will go a long way in enhancing the representation of girls in STEM.” said Ms. Mbaka.
“I heartily congratulate all the girls who were feted. Today, we not only celebrate girls who have excelled at blogging, but also the fact that each girl who took part in the challenge is now more knowledgeable on how to take up space in the digital and tech field. That is the ultimate win.” she added.
The Ministry of ICT, Konza Technopolis and Huawei Technologies simultaneously embarked on training the girls in attendance on Basic Cloud Computing. The virtual training, which will take place over the next five days, is aimed at upskilling university students, equipping them with industry relevant skills on Cloud Computing and offering the trainees cloud certifications that will make them more marketable in the employment space.
Commenting on the training, Ms. Mbaka stated that Cloud Computing is now a vital technology in all industries therefore offering widespread opportunities for professionals in that field.
“Innovative and advanced ways of storage are increasingly becoming a necessary investment for organizations as they seek to maximize on the computer resources available. I am certain you will find the training useful and relevant since the biggest challenge in the implementation of cloud services both locally and around the continent has been noted to be privacy, security, and the lack of technical capacity. Skilled cloud computing professionals are therefore a unique resource at the moment, and we would like to prepare and position young girls to take up these opportunities” she noted.
The training will be conducted by cloud computing experts from Huawei Technologies.