ECTEL launches Graphic Design competition
May 19, 2023
ECTEL launches Graphic Design competition

The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), has launched a Graphic Design competition which is open to girls from ECTEL Member States.

A release from ECTEL states that the competition, which opened on May, 9, and will run until June, 6, will be judged in two age categories, 11-14 and 15 -18. Winners will be announced on June 28, 2023. Each category will be awarded with a first prize of EC$500; 2nd – EC$300 and a US$50.

Amazon Gift cards for the most likes attained on social media will also be awarded.

The launch of the Graphic Design competition follows the hosting of the ‘Girls in ICT Virtual Tech Talk and Training’ organised by the Directorate of ECTEL. The release from ECTEL said scores of students, mostly girls from across its five Member States participated in the event which was held on May, 9 under the theme ‘Digital Skills for Life’.

Since 2011, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been coordinating Girls in ICT Day annually to inspire and encourage girls to pursue a future in ICTs towards bridging the digital gender divide. The ITU and its partners from around the world use the observance to encourage young women and girls to pursue their studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and other fields.

In her opening remarks, ECTEL’s Acting Managing Director Cheryl Hector Fontenelle said, “The theme for the event is important because currently the governments of the ECTEL Member States, are implementing policies designed to digitally transform the economies making it more efficient to perform a number of tasks, therefore, new digital skills will be required by all citizens.”

She went on to say, “For our part, ECTEL will be promoting affordable access to high quality and reliable broadband service, and as young ladies, you must avail yourselves of new skills and take advantage of the opportunities to become accomplished entrepreneurs in this digital sphere.”

Thereafter, the participants were in for a treat as the two guest speakers and two trainers shared their stories about why they chose ICT careers, the struggles they encountered, how they overcame them and the many benefits they have experienced over the years. In her presentation Michele Marius, ICT Pulse Director (Saint Lucia), encouraged the female participants to not be intimidated by the STEM subjects but rather to be confident, have a positive attitude and be prepared to prod through the subjects. She noted that a lot of the inventions and strides made in science have come from women, giving the example that the Chief Technical Officer for the company that created the ChatGPT Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot, is a woman, therefore pointing out that girls have a place the ICT field.

The Assistant Director, EGovernment Unit, Information Technology Services Division (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Simone Joseph-Ollivierre, who was the second speaker encouraged participants to do what they are passionate about and find a creative way to incorporate ICT in their career. She explained how traditional careers can take on a new twist when merged with ICT. For example, she told the students who had an interest in medicine that they don’t have to set up a brick and mortar business, instead they can explore telemedicine. Those who might be interested in real estate can offer virtual tours to prospective buyers, both local and overseas, without being in the physical space. She ended her presentation by allowing participants a moment to say positive ‘I am…’ affirmations about who they would like to be in the future.

Following the talks, participants were given an opportunity to acquire practical digital skills from our trainers, Suean Benoire, Graphic Designer at the OECS Commission (Saint Lucia), and Medisha Augustine-Casimir, Digital Marketer & Brand Strategist, Apachy Solutions (Commonwealth of Dominica).