A total of 100 girls from three regions have benefitted from the “Girls in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)” programme, an initiative of the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation, in Accra.
Hosted by American Tower Corporation (ATC) Ghana, a partner of the programme, the girls were from the Bono Region, Bono East Region and the Ahafo Region.
The Girls in ICT programme is aimed at enhancing the digital skills of young women and girls in the career field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), particularly ICT. It is also to encourage girls and young women to pursue STEM education and work in STEM careers.
The girls were taken through robotics sessions where they were thought by facilitators who educated them on the design, construction, operation, and use of robots.
They were also taken through some problem-solving and critical thinking sessions where they worked in teams or groups on ICT-related issues.
Speaking at the programme on Tuesday, the ATC Ghana CEO, Ashutosh Singh stressed that preparing the next generation of professionals in the STEM space, especially girls, was very important to them for which reason they had worked closely with the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation and remained a key sponsor and stakeholder of the initiative.
“This initiative also aligns with our Digital Communities sustainability project where we have built 10 fully equipped ICT learning centres across the country to provide ICT education for school children and residents in underserved and unserved communities. Plans are underway to build more Digital Communities this year.”
“In recent years, we have witnessed significant strides in bridging the gender gap in the tech sector, but we must acknowledge that there is still much work to be done. I believe that this disparity is not due to lack of talent or capability but rather, the lack of opportunity and encouragement. That is why programs like girls in ICT are very crucial. We as a company, are here to provide you with support, encouragement, and resources needed to pave your path to the industry,” he stated.
Mr Singh told the girls that their skills, ideas and unique perspectives were invaluable assets to the world of technology.
“The ICT industry is a vast and dynamic landscape, encompassing a wide range of fields such as software development, data science, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and so much more. There is a place for each one of you in this ever-evolving digital realm, and your contributions will help shape the future of society.”
“Remember that it is okay to dream big, to aim high for the stars, and to have ambitions beyond what others might expect of you. Embrace your passion and let it guide you on your journey. Pursue your interests fearlessly, and do not be discouraged by the challenges you may encounter along the way,” he stated.
Commending the ministry for the initiative, he also lauded the teachers and mentors of the girls for their roles and urged them to keep it up.
Ethel Kumassah, an engineer with ATC Ghana urged the girls to let nothing deter them from pursuing their goals, believe in themselves, study STEM and “know that the sky is only but a limit.”
Ahwenepa Osei Yaa, a Junior High School (JHS) Two pupil from the Nkoranza Methodist School in the Bono East Region was excited about the programme particularly because she had gained more insights on robotics, adding that she had resolved to become a Computer Programme.
Another pupil, Emmanuella Segbenu also thanked the Ministry and ATC for the programme and encouraged them to keep hosting same so other girls could benefit from it.