The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in partnership with Cisco launched the Digital Transformation Centres (DTC) Initiatives in September 2019. The initiatives seek to create global networks of Digital Transformation Centres (DTC), whose main purpose and objective is to develop digital skills mainly at basic and intermediate levels for citizens of Countries that were selected for the programme. The Digital Transformation Centres (DTC) Initiatives in Zambia are being coordinated and implemented by SMART Zambia Institute (SZI).
The Girls in ICT Digital Skills Training Programme is part of the DTC Initiatives in Zambia launched by the ITU, Cisco and its Cooperating Partners. The Programme is co-ordinated by SMART Zambia Institute with the support of local collaborating partners such as the Ministry of Education, National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) and Airtel, Zambia.
The aim of the Training Programme is to deliver digital skills training to girls in schools located in underserved communities and in STEM schools. Most importantly to inspire the girls and make them understand the opportunities and benefits of undertaking STEM studies for their future careers.
The first pilot implementation of the programme was successfully undertaken in Lusaka at the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA). The Training Programme was held from 27th September to 6th October,2021. Seventeen (17) Learners were drawn from a STEM School namely, David Kaunda National STEM School, and for Schools in underprivileged communities Seventeen (17) Learners from Kamulanga Secondary School in Chawama Township and Seventeen (17) Learners Chinika Secondary School in Kanyama Township.
The second Pilot Implementation of the Girls in ICT Digital Skills Training Programme was undertaken in Livingstone, representing Southern Province, from 10th to 19th November 2021. The Training Programme was held at Hillcrest STEM Secondary School. A total of fifty (50) girls, twenty-five (25) girls drawn from Hillcrest STEM Secondary School and another twenty-five (25) girls from St. Marys Maramba Secondary School participated in the Training Programme.
The last and final implementation of the Girls in ICT Digital Skills Training Programme for the year 2021 will be held in Ndola representing the Copperbelt Province, at the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) campus. It is envisaged that twenty-five (25) girls from a STEM school and twenty-five (25) from a school located in an underprivileged community will participate in the Training Programme. The Training Programme is planned to take place in the first week of December 2021.
SMART Zambia Institute (SZI) in 2022 plans to increase the numbers of the Girls trained and to roll out the Training Programme to all the Provinces. This way there will be a reduction in the Digital Divide and increased empowerment for Girls’ participation in the socio-economic activities of the country.
Through the various ICT and Digital Evolution initiatives and programmes, SMART Zambia Institute (SZI) is focused at ensuring increased Digital literacy among citizens leading to improved access to electronic service provision and thereby creating efficiencies to optimise public service delivery.