Players in the education and technology sector have underscored the need for collaboration among stakeholders, stressing that this vital in equipping women and girls in the country with digital migration.
UN Women Country Representative Letty Chiwala made the remarks during a launch of a MK2 billion project by the Malawi Government in conjunction with UN Women.
Speaking during the launch, Chiwala said UN Women is committed to collaborating with stakeholders in empowering Malawian women and girls through ICT and coding.
According to Chiwala, the project has come at a right time and will help to reduce digital gender divide.
“This project is starting at the right time when consented efforts are being made to reduce the digital gender divide necessary for inclusion, gender equality and economic growth of this country,” she said.
She added that the project will among others spur mindset change and girls’ participation in ICT and STEM through innovation hubs that will be established in the country’s secondary schools.
“Girls and boys that participate in this project will not only develop their knowledge and skills in ICT, but also develop their soft skills, broaden their knowledge on financial literacy and entrepreneurship, climate change adaptation, Gender, and other relevant topics, ” she added.
In her remarks, Dr. Rachel Chimbwete Phiri, Principal Secretary for Basic Education at the Ministry of Education, described technology as a driver to innovation, economic growth and global advancement.
Chimbwete said the project will among others ensure that everyone benefits from it, emphasizing that the digital gender divide is of a disadvantage to the country.
“This gap robs our country of the unique abilities, viewpoints, and inventions that our girls bring to the table in addition to restricting the opportunities open to them. It is high time that we remove these barriers and unleash the full potential of Malawi’s female population,” said Chimbwete.
Chimbwete added that the ministry’s vision is that by the year 2026, most Malawian girls and young women should be economically empowered through digital and technology adoption.
The four year project, which is being funded by the Irish Government, will be implemented in eight districts namely Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzimba, Zomba, Dedza, Balaka, Dowa and Thyolo, and will benefit about 7, 500 young women and girls.