“For the first time in the history of the National GIICT Initiative, this year, our target is to celebrate the GIICT Initiative in five Regions namely: Bono East, Bono, Ahafo, Savannah and Northern Region. In each Region, our objective is to train 1000 young girls and 100 ICT/STEM teachers in basic computing, coding, scratch HTML etc. and at the end of the year, we would have trained 5000 girls and 500 ICT/STEM teachers doubling the number we have trained in the past 10 years!!.
“These girls are selected from schools in all districts in the beneficiary regions so every district will feel the impact of these digital maidens. What a difference this will make!! There is no doubt that digitalisation is the game-changer and with our additional function of “Digitalisation”, we are determined to grow our digital economy at all costs.”
These were the words of the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful during the climax ceremony in the Bono Regional Girls in ICT initiative.
Delivering the keynote address at the event, the Ablekuma West lawmaker said, digital technologies can make manufacturing more productive and less resource-intensive, and supply chains more resilient.
According to her, these changes can also enable the widespread integration of growth and development, see to the success implementation of digital drive devices to enhance the economy at all cost through the provision of modern technology, among other areas.
She further revealed government is keen to ensure that the digital economy is safeguarded for younger ones and to promote more investment in the country.
To this end, there will be more investment through education campaigns with faith based organisations on internet safety in both urban and rural communities in all the sixteen regions.
According to her, the theme for this year’s Girls-in-ICT programme ‘Access and Safety’ is an indication of the attention that government has given to digital safety since the economy is growing digitally.
She therefore assured participants that more digital equipment will be provided for various schools to use as well as ensuring that there is adequate safety for users online.
This is to ensure that the country attracts the best form of investments in the future.
“Digital tools have become pivotal in the new emerging world and we can’t afford to leave the girls behind. This year marks ten years since the beginning of the initiative globally and in Ghana, our target for the first time is to do this in 5 regions; it has never been done before. Our objective is to train STEM teachers in basic ICT, coding and among others.”
One thousand girls are benefiting from the Bono region’s programme which is part of the quest by government to bridge the gender gap in technology with support from the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication, GIFEC.
Selected Schools from all the twelve Districts in the region participated in the mentorship programme with support from the regional education service.
Some teachers from the various districts were also trained as part of the initiative to impact the knowledge to other students that may not get the opportunity to participate.
Chairperson of the Mentorship programme, Dr. Seyram Blossom Setufe, Acting Head, Department of Fisheries and Water Resources, School of Natural Resources boosted the morale of the girls and urged them to become scientists and IT experts in the future.
“I will like you to pay attention, take note and develop interest in the field of engineering. Let your ears be open for the reason we are here and have that character and mindset that you can do it as an IT specialist or engineer” she advised.
There was training in coding which gave the girls the opportunity to explore the world of technology, through the creation of websites, computer games, interactive arts, mobile apps, and animation stories, using various programming languages.
She challenged the girls to stay focus and develop interest in ICT subjects. Dr. Mercy Badu from the Department of Chemistry at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology exposed the girls to some tips that will support their learning process in the field of Science and ICT.
According to her, there are limited ladies in the field and the need to bridge the gap through the Girls in ICT initiative.
Other mentors includes, Juanita Ahia Quarcoo, Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science, Sunyani Technical University, Faiza Umar Bawah, Lecturer Department of Science and Informatics, University of Energy and Natural Resources
Female Engineers from MTN were given the platform to share some experiences with the girls as well.
The Mentorship Day event is part of the Girls in ICT Initiative aimed at given the girls the opportunity to interact with ladies in the field of ICT and Science education.