Women of Uganda Network Launches “ICT4D Youth” Network

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Since 2009 Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) in partnership with Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) have organized regional Gender & ICT Camps for the girl child in Eastern, Northern and Western Uganda. In 2010, the camps were transformed into “Gender and ICT forums” to cater for both female and male youths in the country. The forums have been conducted in the districts of Arua, Nebbi, Koboko, Fortportal, Hoima, Kasese, Jinja, Iganga and Tororo.  As a result of the successful forums, WOUGNET and UCC are currently holding camps in Mbarara, Bushenyi and Ntungamo districts.


The main objectives of the forums are to raise awareness on gender and ICT issues, share the role Uganda Communications Commission, explain consumer rights and obligations as well as understanding the role of ICTs in development which ends with equiping participants with basic ICT skills.

At the forums in Western Uganda, WOUGNET has been privileged to launch her new project “ICT4D youth Project” whose objective is to empower Youth through the use of ICTs for Sustainable Development. Much as our emphasis is on empowering women, we realise that there is a great need to empower the young generation too.

 

Why the Youth Anyway?

According to a recent World Bank report, Uganda has both the world’s youngest population, with more than half of Ugandans under the age of 18, and the highest youth unemployment rate: 83% in 2008.

The youth in Uganda need access to information and opportunities to acquire a range of life skills to actively participate in all spheres of an increasing knowledge-intensive society, today as young citizens and tomorrow as the country’s future leaders.This was emphasised during the October 2010 Eight African Development Forum on Youth and Leadership.

Initial planned Project Activities.

Ø  A Facebook closed group for youth, ICT and development discussions

Ø  A blog/website designed strictly for issues related to Youth and Development

Ø  Dgroups for discussions

Ø  Participating in calls essays writing/blogs on issues that affect youth

Ø  Print and electronic Newsletters of stories compiled by the youth.

Future Activities for the Project

Ø  Opening and heading ICT clubs within  institution

Ø  Inter-school/ institution visits to hold debates on ICT and Gender among the youth.

Ø  Participating in youth calls for Competitions/conferences/workshops etc

Ø  Spear heading or participating in Charity activities within their schools or Community.

Ø  A Youth Computer Society of Uganda.

By Maureen Agena, Information Officer, WOUGNET

 

Conclusion

In a country where more than half of the population is made up of youth, it is very important to tap into such a great resource and make them an asset to the development of the country.

Essay Contest Opportunities for Youth

1. Youth Awards http://www.youthaward.org/news/call-entries-2011

2.NEPAD photo competition http://ardyis.cta.int/en/news/project-news/item/110-photo-competition-nepad-cta/110-photo-competition-nepad-cta

3. NEPAD Essay competion on Women and Youth http://ardyis.cta.int/en/news/project-news/item/109-essay-cta-nepad/109-essay-cta-nepad

4. CTA ARDYIS Youth Essay Competition http://ardyis.cta.int/en/blog-competition