About thirty women in Information Communication Technology (ICT) from Botswana and the Southern African region were trained on Unix Systems Administration in a workshop that was organised by the Botswana Information Technology Society (BITS).
The training took place from October 5th to 9th, 2009. The University of Botswana sponsored this training by offering a laboratory of 30 networked computers for the entire duration of the training.
BITS hosted an evening cocktail on the evening of Monday 5th October to welcome participants.
The Director of the Department of Information Technology, in the Ministry of Communications, Science & Technology, Joyce Mpete, gave a keynote address. Also gracing the welcome cocktail was Mabua Mabua, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the same Ministry.
The workshop was dubbed BITS/AfNOG “Chix” 2009 to symbolise the fact that it is for young women engineers in the ICT industry. Thirty such “Chix” (women) in ICT from Botswana and Southern African region were trained on Unix Systems Administration during that week.
The University of Botswana (UB) sponsored this training by providing a laboratory of 30 networked computers for the entire duration of the training.
Delivering her keynote speech at the welcome cocktail, Mpete gave some statistics of the Women in ICT in her Ministry, pointing out that the current Minister, current and previous permanent secretaries at MCST were all women. She further said Botswana had reached a point where there is no longer a distinction of whether men or women could do the job better, as we are all equal, and in any case, the women always work hand in hand with men as key strategic partners.
Mpete commended BITS for such initiatives as AfNOG Chix 2009, which are aimed at building capacity among ICT professionals.
She expressed her hope that the “Chix” attending the training would build robust professional linkages between all participants in the workshop that remain strong and of continuing usefulness well beyond the workshop.
The training was a collaborative effort between BITS and the African Network Operators Group (AfNOG).
Local sponsors included the University of Botswana, Botswana Internet Service Providers Association (BISPA), the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology and Bemmtel Communications. International sponsors included AfNOG, the Internet Society (ISOC), Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Network Start-up Resource Centre (NSRC) in Oregon, USA.
BITS is a non-profit, voluntary organisation, with a mission to help individuals and organisations to take maximum advantage of current world-wide ICT developments and advancements.
Therefore, the focus of BITS is to undertake activities which contribute to increasing the beneficial uptake of ICT and improve effectiveness of the ICT sector.
AfNOG is a forum for technical coordination and cooperation among African Internet Service Providers and Network Engineers from the regions universities, research institution and industry.