GOVERNMENT AGENCIES and a United Nations (UN) body launched yesterday a program to upgrade the skills of female entrepreneurs in information and communications technology (ICT).


The program, known as the Women Information and Communication Technology  Frontier Initiative Program (WIFI), aims to  encourage female entrepreneurship through ICT capacity development.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), and the United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT) launched the program which involves training the trainers. The WIFI launch is associated with the ASEAN 2017 Women’s Business Conference which is scheduled to start on Friday.

UN APCICT is a regional institute of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

The initiative, a flagship program of UN APCICT, was drawn up in the context of empowering women entrepreneurs, who are seen as generators of economic growth. The program is also intended to help the Philippines achieve the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, which recognizes ICT as a valuable tool for realizing the goal of achieving gender equality.

The training program covers the ICT aspects of business planning and management.

Training for policy makers will cover the creation of enabling environments for female entrepreneurs through ICT.

UN APCICT Director Hyeun-Suk Rhee said: “The initiative aims to strengthen the capacity of women in utilizing ICT for the growth of business.”

DICT Secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima said that policy makers should continue to empower women not only from the perspective of achieving equality but also with the view of producing economic benefits.

“Digital technology will significantly improve productivity and efficiency… a significant growth in women employment can be expected,” Mr. Salalima said in his speech. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo