The federal ministry of communication technology in Nigeria has received an ITU award for having the best ICT and broadband strategies, policies and frameworks that aim to promote women’s digital empowerment in the developing world.
Nigeria’s ministry was presented with the award during the ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference that is taking place in Busan, Korea.
Nigeria was one of the seven winners at the GEM-TECH Awards 2014, an annual awards ceremony launched in June this year by ITU in collaboration with UN Women to recognize outstanding achievements of organizations and individuals in the area of gender equality through ICT.
Among the winners was Association for Progressive Communications (APC) in South Africa, which was awarded for having the best efforts in the reduction of online threats and building women’s confidence and security in the use of ICTs.
Open to stakeholders working in the field of ICT and gender, GEM-TECH Awards attracted over 360 nominations from over 70 countries around the world and winners were selected from a list of 37 finalists.
The awards were introduced to celebrate the power of technology in transforming women’s lives everywhere and to address the gender digital divide that ITU says is worrying in the developing countries.
Hamadoun Toure, the Secretary General at ITU said that compared to men, women are fewer online by an estimated 200 million as the women are coming online at a slow rate.
“Without remedial action, it is estimated that the internet gender gap could grow to 350 million within three or four years. Equality in access to broadband is not only an issue of right and wrong, it also makes commercial and economic sense,” said Toure.
Also recognized during the award ceremony was six GEM-TECH global achievers for their long term commitment to furthering the issue of ICT and gender, among them, GSMA’s Connected Women programme, Cisco Systems’ consulting engineer, Intel Corporation’s Director of Social Impact and Alcatel-Lucent’s StrongHer initiative.