A 15-year-old student, Miss Asantewaa Fauchie, of the Sefwi Kofikrom D/A JHS in the Juaboso District in the Western North Region, has made her school and parents proud for coming tops in the 2021 edition of the Girls-in-ICT Competition held at Sefwi Wiawso the Western North Region.
Miss Fauchie beat about 1000 other girls in the competition to win the ultimate prize. She was presented with a laptop, cash prize of GH¢2000 and a plaque.
Miss Isabella Efua De-Heer of the MGBL JHS, Bibiani Anwhiaso Bekwai who placed second received a laptop, GH¢1,500 and a plaque. For placing third, Miss Rebecca Yemaal of the New Berekum JHS, Juaboso also received a laptop, GH¢1000 and a plaque.
The winners for the competition which was organised by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation were announced at a ceremony held at the Catholic Pastoral Centre.
Ms Fauchie expressed her appreciation to the ministry and government for the life-changing opportunity, saying: “For the past two weeks, my friends and I have been taken through an intensive training in coding which involves Scratch, Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language for creating web pages, among others.
During the inter-district competitions, I interacted with some new friends who indicated that this was their first time seeing computers and touching them.”
She added that they had been motivated to take up studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) had also accepted the challenge to take over the male dominance in the Information and Communications Technology ( ICT) sector in future.
Asantewa Fauchie, winner
The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, explained that the girls in ICT programme was about breaking the myth around women involving themselves in ICT.
She made reference to the achievement of women in leadership present at the event and asked the girls to take advantage of opportunities and make the most of it.
Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful speaking at the event.
"You can do even more than what we have achieved. Many of us never got the opportunity to play or work with the computer as you have done so you have been given something that we have not got. It is your duty to become more illustrious women of Ghana than we are," she added.
Efua De- Heer Isabella, second position
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful indicated that there was nothing that a man could do that women could not do.
"We are indispensable for the development of any country and yet we are severely disadvantaged across all sectors and it is time to take deliberate steps to even the playing field," she stressed.
Rebecca Yemaal , third position
The Senior Manager for MTN Ghana, Network Performance, Ms Louisa Ama Sosu, who spoke on behalf of the Chief Corporate Services Officer, noted that MTN was committed to women empowerment and equality and was delighted to partner with the ministry on the initiative.
Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister for presenting prizes to some of the participants.
The Girls-in-ICT initiative is one of the flagship programmes of the ministry and is in line with the International Girls-in-ICT Day, an initiative backed by all ITU Member States.
Some of the beneficiaries
It aims at encouraging and empowering girls and young women to consider studying and taking up careers in the growing field of ICT to enable both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in the ICT sector.
The ministry and its agencies started this year’s Trainer of Trainers (ToT) in August at the Sefwi-Wiawso Municipality in the Western North Region.
Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful presenting prizes to some of the participants.
In all, 100 teachers who were selected from different schools were trained and they in turn trained 1000 girls from 10 selected districts in the region.
The training included Basic Computer Skills, Fundamentals of Programming, Scratch and HTML.