With a view to women reaching the highest pinnacle, First Lady Mrs. Sandra Granger yesterday urged women and girls to develop their capacity in Information Communication Technology, and to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related fields.First Lady Mrs. Sandra Granger flanked on the left by Co-Founder of SheLeadsIt, Nicole Pitter-Patterson, and on the right by Minister of Public Telecommunications, Hon. Catherine Hughes (PTI) and Minister of Business, Hon. Dominic Gaskin along with students and teachers.The First Lady was at the time speaking at the launching of the Girls in ICT Day 2018 Caribbean Tech Lab-Guyana.“ICT can provide women and girls with education job training, promote literacy, improve access to health care, enable the exercise of legal rights and participation in government,” Mrs. Granger noted.Recent statistics from the United Nations show that 90 percent of the jobs in the near future will require these qualifications.Telecommunications Public Minister Cathy Hughes continued her mantra that with the emergence of the local oil and gas industry, the need for an ICT proficient population is even more relevant.“I want you to see the many possibilities that will be open to you when you continue to acquire higher skills and training in ICT,” the Minister urged the female students.Students at Thursday’s tech lab will benefit from teaching on topics such as Design Thinking with Google, and Introduction to Website Development.The Tech Lab is an initiative of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) spearheaded by GeoTech Vision in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, Cerulean Incorporated, Sites Gy, and Roraima Airways.Initiatives under the Girls in ICT day contribute to country targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5: Gender equality and empowerment for women and girls.
The technology is also used by Oltio parent company MTN for its Eazi Recharge pre-paid airtime top-up service, which already has over 110 000 users. Oltio is a joint venture company between pan-African mobile network operator MTN and Standard Bank. Intense competition 16 February 2012 SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material According to GSMA chief marketing officer Michael O’Hara, there were a record 600 entries and an exceptionally high-quality field of contenders for this year’s awards, reflecting the intensity of competition and innovation across the mobile ecosystem. South African mobile services company Oltio has been nominated in the “best mobile money innovation” category at the annual GSMA Global Mobile Awards for its payD platform, which turns a user’s mobile phone into a remote point-of-sale device. Through the payD platform, launched in August, consumers can purchase products and services online and use their debit cards to pay for the purchase while making use of their mobile phones to enter their PINs. Standard Bank banking products director Sugendhree Reddy said that while credit cards had become ubiquitous with online purchases, the convenience and safety of online shopping was restricted to higher income customers with access to online payment facilities. “It is a significant achievement to have made the shortlist, and our warmest congratulations go to all the nominees announced today,” O’Hara said. “We look forward to the unveiling of the winners at the Mobile World Congress next month.” The GSMA Global Mobile Awards are the most sought after in the global communications industry. More than 170 independent analysts, journalists, academics and subject matter experts throughout the world participated in the judging of the 2012 awards. This has left many consumers out of the online transacting and purchasing loop – students, vendors and casual workers, for instance, have the financial means and tools to make online purchases but have been excluded from this fast growing technology as they do not have access to a credit card. He added that the company believed that payD had the ability to fundamentally change how consumers conduct online transactions, with more than 170 merchants who make use of the platform. “They are able to transact by simply entering their PIN securely on their handset.” Increasing access to online payments “Just being nominated is an honour for us,” Oltio head of new business development Dave Parratt said in a statement this week. “It is recognition that our commitment to innovation and in particular, making e-commerce accessible to more South Africans, is paying off.” “As a result of the innovative technology offered by payD, more Standard Bank customers across the country are now able to transact online,” said Reddy. “Those with debit cards are now included by making use of payD.
South Africa can once again be proud of itself as we successfully conclude our fifth democratic elections – the first since the passing of our inspirational and much-loved former president, Nelson Mandela. The elections presented a unique opportunity for all South African citizens to play their part in the democratic process.By using their hard fought-for right to vote, they renewed their commitment to our country’s future development. Brand South Africa is grateful to each citizen for using their vote to make a difference, and for being part of this important and valued democratic process.Over 18-million people, representing 73.42% of those eligible to vote in the country, participated in the election, which was closely watched around the globe. Post-1994 South Africa has always inspired positive change throughout the world, and is of particular interest to those countries looking to achieve their own democratic freedom.IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula said: “As we celebrate two decades of democracy and conclude the 2014 elections, we can affirm democracy is alive and well and thriving in our land.” This positive sentiment was echoed by IEC Deputy Chairperson Terry Tselane, who said the elections had demonstrated the same spirit the country had in 1994, something the nation should be proud of.Both the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) observer missions congratulated South Africa on a free, fair, transparent and credible election.Building a nationNow that the election is over and the results are known, the work of building a strong, united and competitive nation continues.The journey must ensure a country that is able to deliver on the needs and aspirations of its own citizens, is able to position itself in the global marketplace as an investment destination of choice, and remains a democratic example for others to follow.We should all, as active citizens in South Africa, now look to work together with government and the private sector to play our part in contributing to positive change that will mean a better life for all.The Play Your Part campaign was originally created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in the country, lifting the spirit of the nation as a whole by inspiring all South Africans to make a contribution in some way and to bring positive change to our society and to the lives of others.Roadmap for the futureUltimately, if we are to live up to the aspirations and values laid out by those who fought for the freedom we enjoy today, then we all need to become more involved and start making a difference, playing our part in the next phase of South Africa’s growth and development. By doing so, we will become a nation of people who care deeply not just their country, but also care for one another as individuals and for the environment in which we all live.The National Development Plan is South Africa’s widely accepted roadmap to securing the country’s economic future. It requires every citizen and stakeholder, from every sector of society, who has an interest in this exciting new future, to contribute towards building a prosperous nation.As the National Development Plan is now in its implementation phase, the time has never been better to have a shared strategic framework to nurture real growth and development. The National Development Plan provides a dynamic and resilient roadmap, capable of not only unlocking a brighter economic future for all citizens, but also helping to practically eliminate poverty and reduce inequality.The National Development Plan sets out ambitious goals, together with a practical framework, to address South Africa’s most pressing challenges of poverty reduction, job creation, economic growth and transformation. As the implementation process of the NDP gets fully under way, the role of the private sector and civil society in partnering with the government to achieve these goals will become increasingly more critical.By uniting all South Africans under the overarching National Development Plan framework, the combined energies of all the country’s stakeholders and citizens can help to grow a genuinely inclusive economy. We can work together to create a more globally competitive environment, build the necessary human capital and capabilities required for this new and shared economic future, and meaningfully solve the complex problems that we are facing today and in the future.Every citizen from every walk of life can make a difference by playing their part in whatever small way, and contribute to the building of a strong, vibrant and competitive South Africa for the future. Having made our votes count, let us now make our individual efforts count in building a great nation together.Matola is the chief executive of Brand South AfricaFor more information on Play Your Part, see www.playyourpart.co.zaTo read more about South Africa’s National Development Plan, see www.southafrica.info