More Congo-Brazzaville women linking up with ICTs
By Issa Sikiti da Silva, in Kinshasa, DR Congo
Keeping Africa’s women and girls in the education system and orientating them to careers in science, and giving them easy access to new technologies are among the challenges of the African Renaissance. Furthermore, the education of women and girls is a matter of justice and equality in the aim of maximising a nation’s development.
This recent statement by Catherine Embondza Lipiti, Congo-Brazzaville minister for the promotion of women, seems to have galvanised Congolese women to seek solace in ICTs.
A couple of ‘backyard’ teachers in the capital Brazzaville told Biztechafrica that there has been a huge increase in the past few weeks in the number of women joining their ranks to study ICTs.
“I have been overwhelmed by the demand from women. It was not like this before. It’s good to see our sisters getting serious about ICTs,” Seraphin Bikoumou said.
“Many African women want to learn about computers and all that jazz, but the authorities are not creating adequate conditions for these women to be part of the digital revolution,” another technology educator, Jeanne Mboumba, said.
Lipiti said during the African Women’s Day on July 31 that her government was making every effort to ensure that all women and girls had easy access to education, training, science and technology.
However, the truth is that there are currently few government-owned schools specialised in ICT in the country, and the picture is much more miserable in the countryside.
“We don’t have more space and up-to-date equipment to help us teach ICTs as efficiently as we can, but we are doing our best to ensure that everyone is accommodated and understands what is being taught here,” Bikoumou said.
As he spoke, old monitors, broken keyboards and printers, as well as a torn blackboard, were being off-loaded from a rundown truck and transported behind his house - a tangible proof that Africa’s ICT teachers faced serious logistics challenges in their daily mission.