INTERNATIONAL Girls in ICT Day is an initiative backed by all ITU Member States. It aims to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated on the FOURTH Thursday in April every year, it will be meaning observed today.

According to the International Telecommunications Union, there is an estimated shortfall of over two million skilled ICT professionals worldwide. Despite the obvious benefits, many girls never even consider a career in ICTs. At the same time, many companies are looking to increase the number of women in the sector. The ICT sector is a growing sector for employment in both developed and developing countries. This means that highly qualified women in technical fields around the world have significant opportunities available to them.

One of the main objectives of the Universal Service Fund is bridging the digital divide by ensuring the availability of efficient and affordable telecommunications services, encourage efficient access, provide support for the introduction and expansion of telecommunications services and promote technological innovation in the telecommunication sector. The Fund is fulfilled by yearly contributions of Telecommunications Providers operating throughout St. Lucia as stipulated by the Telecommunications Act.

The National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission/Universal Service Fund Office (NTRC/USFO) is joining in on this global initiative by conducting an activity in the form of an essay competition to raise awareness and spark the interest of girls throughout St. Lucia. The NTRC/USF is targeting age 8 to 18 and urges as many girls and young women to participate and win, while showing the world that St. Lucia supports Girls in ICT.

For more information please contact Ms. Sandra Jones, Universal Service Fund Administrator at 758-458-2035/0585 or at sjones@ectel.int.

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