“In some developing countries some young girls have been reported to commit suicide after they are abused on the internet.
We are thus working to provide education to girls in Tanzania of how they can avoid such mistreatment,” TCRA’s Acting Manager for Library and Information, Ms Devotha Mkwawa-Mushi, said.
The official made the explanation in response to queries from journalists during the commemoration of International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s Girls in Informational and Communication Technology Day, which is marked every fourth Thursday of April, each year.
The day is aimed at raising awareness as well as empowering and encouraging young women to consider studies and careers in ICT.
At national level, the theme for this year was; “How can ICT be used to tackle challenges faced by the Tanzania girls.” The TCRA official urged young women in the country to shun sharing information, self pictures and videos with people they meet on social media networks.
“The people who will abuse you are the same people you meet on the internet; you should avoid sharing information with people you don’t know.
You should as well never share nude pictures or videos on the internet,” she told a group of girls from different schools in Dar es Salaam.
Officiating at the event earlier, the Director General of the Tanzania Commission of Science and Technology (COSTECH), Dr Hassan Mshinda, noted with concern that many people in Tanzania are using social networks for entertainment rather than education.
“I urge the young people to make best use of the internet to improve their competitiveness in education instead of indulging in entertainment,” the COSTECH boss explained.
The Manager of ICT Innovation Hub at COSTECH, Mr Jumanne Mtambalike, noted on the other hand few girls have been making use of opportunities in the ICT.
“We have what we call Buni (Innovate) hub at COSTECH, but during the past four years girls were just 13 per cent of over 3,000 students admitted for grooming,” he noted.
For her part, a lecturer at University of Bagamoyo who doubles as the Chairperson of Buni Divaz, Ms Rose Funja, attributed the low response of girls in ICT was due to the fact that many people lacked background in mathematics and other science subjects.
Buni Divaz is a group of Tanzanian girls who are part of the Buni Hub community under the Tanzania ICT (TANZICT) at COSTECH.
Formerly known as Buni Ladies Community (BLC), the girl community was revamped and rebranded to Buni Divaz (BD) earlier this year to attract, encourage and recruit more girls and young women from secondary schools and universities to embrace and explore the potential that lies within the ICT and entrepreneurship sector.