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Prishtina, 28.04.2017 - Information Technology is the sector that can directly impact the economic growth and the inclusion of women in the labor market. This was concluded in the “Girls in ICT” Conference, organized under the framework of the International Women’s Day in ICT, held today in Prishtina.

Kosovo Assembly Speaker Kadri Veseli stated on this occasion that the information technology sector is one of the best opportunities our country has to ensure quick economic development and added that the institutional budget to support the information technology sector must be increased tenfold.

“Our young people are very passionate about information technology, but passion alone is not enough. Direct national interest is to transform the potential and passion of our young people in IT into an IT industry”, said Assembly Speaker Veseli, and added that in this regard it is necessary to promote the advancement of women in the acquisition of skills in the information technology sector.

From his part, the Minister of Economic Development Blerand Stavileci stated that ICT is the most promising sector not only for Kosovo’s economy but also for digital transformations happening all over the world, and if we look at the differences that exist between demand in the digital labor market and skills offered, more jobs can be created in the European Union.

“Today, all activities have an ‘e’ in front of the name and as you are aware, one of the pillars of the digital market e-Society aims to get more people involved in this field, and above all to ensure more girls and women. This because it was proven by various trigonometric formulas that participation of women in the ICT sector positively affects economic growth and also positively affects their full participation in all social activities”, said Stavileci.

In this line, Stavileci cited the WOW - Women in Work Online platform, which is in the third phase of its development, whereas up to now, around 50% of women trained by the project have found at least one job paid more than in other sectors, and therefore MED will continue to support all initiatives and is working in creating platforms for the digital economy.

Deputy Minister Besa Zogaj – Gashi said that the girls involved in this sector have become a model for all girls in our country and they have already understood that ICT is not just for men, and this has led to tangible results.

“The fourth phase of the WOW project will now start, and over 800 girls have expressed interest to participate. In the first and second phases 150 girls attended and graduated, and over 50 percent of them found jobs, 35 of which signed employment contracts in 35 countries”, she said.

Colleen Hyland – Deputy Head of Mission at the US Embassy said they support the development of this sector and encouraged women to become part of it. “Today, Kosovo joins countries around the world in encouraging and involving women and girls in ICT training and careers. This is an urgent matter in the US as it is here in Kosovo... so,  let us keep working together to ensure that all roads are open for Kosovo girls and that every girl in Kosovo benefits from the universe of opportunities”.

Vllaznim Xhiha – Board Member at RIT Kosovo stated that ICT links many areas under the information sciences and it is very difficult to find an area where there is no influence in our lives. Therefore, the inclusion of women in ICT is a good initiative and we all have to do more in this sector, supporting them in different forms.

This year the ‘Girls in ICT’ Conference was organized by MED in cooperation with IPKO Foundation, US Embassy, Empower USAID and AUK TDI, in order to expand the range of this event with the aim of raising awareness about girls/women in the ICT sector through a multidimensional matrix of perspectives, success stories, and networking opportunities for participating girls and actively employed women in the sector.