Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell on Tuesday encouraged young girls participating in the ICT Hackathon in Grenada to embrace their role in the growth and development of the country.
Affirming the need for gender balance, Dr. Mitchell noted that a lot of work has gone into making women equal partners in the development process. He cited the number of female parliamentarians as an example of the strides Grenada has made in creating that gender balance.
Addressing the female students from secondary schools across the island, Dr. Mitchell noted that as girls and women are empowered, they are moving into areas that were traditionally male-dominated, such as Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
The Prime Minister encouraged the young girls to showcase their full potential at the ICT Hackathon. “You are capable of so much; be confident, be brave and let your talent shine through. Today, as you refine the project ideas developed over the past two months, you will do so against the back of a ticking clock.”
Dr. Mitchell who is also the Lead Head for Technology in the CARICOM quasi-cabinet, added, “It is a similar ticking clock that regional Governments face in taking steps to ensure that ICT is fully integrated into our development plans. We must refine our national and regional agendas to take into account the game-changing potential of ICT.”
The Prime Minister underscored the need to better position ourselves to use ICT and integrate it at all levels of development. He said, “The Government of Grenada stands fully committed to ICT as an enabler of future growth and providing opportunities for young people to contribute to that growth.”
He commended the organisers of the hackathon for their innovation in conceptualising the activity which allows girls to engage in problem-solving while utilising technology as change agents. The annual hackathon held in several Caribbean countries also seeks to empower young girls to pursue studies and careers in ICT. This year, the participants focused on gender-based violence and climate change and resilience.
In parting, he challenged the participants in the hackathon to be the change agents that will lead Grenada on the path to an ICT-enabled future.