Twelve girls have been given awards for their sterling performance in the 2018 International Girls in ICT training programme.
They were presented with laptops, modems, pen drives, power banks and a certificate of participation.
The first three girls who came up tops also won fully furnished computer laboratories for their schools.
Nora Akoto Tamakloe, a student from the Santa Maria Junior High School in the Atwima Kwawoma District of the Ashanti was adjudged the overall best student for 2018.
The 2018 training programme was climaxed at a ceremony at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi on the theme “expand horizons, change attitudes”.
The International Girls in ICT programme commenced in 2012 and has seen several young girls benefit from the initiative from seven regions of the country.
The Sawiahene, Nana Kwaku Amankwah Sarkodie who represented the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the event entreated government to give enough support to the programme by providing ICT infrastructure throughout the country.
He said, education is always complemented by technology thus, the need to improve upon the status of technology in the country.
He admonished all to be time conscious since it was a very important ingredient in the development of the country.
The Minister for Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful underscored the need for the sustenance of the programme purposely to benefit more girls in the country and to end the gender stereotypes associated with ICT.
According to the Minister, over 3000 girls have benefitted from the training since its inception.
She was elated due to the tremendous enhancement of the programme with the introduction of coding and programming to enable the girls become more innovative.
The minister announced that the Ministry of Communications was in collaboration with the Ministry of Education to review the basic school curriculum to include coding as a subject.
She was of the view that it will provide children in basic schools great interest and will afford them the opportunity to be exposed to ICT at their early ages.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful expressed the commitment of the ministry to train more girls in ICT by making the programme a bi- annual event due to the tremendous interest and impact it has had.
“We will train at least 1000 girls each year and will work to scale it up” she added.
On her part, the Chief of Staff, Frema Osei Opare expressed the commitment of government to expand the horizons and change attitudes towards ICT for a brighter future.
She said “I am indeed inspired because I know I am looking into the eyes of young girls who will challenge the status quo and become involved in the global digital drive.”
She encouraged the girls to put all that they have learnt into practice and become champions of ICT in the global context.
The Deputy Secretary General of ITU, Mr. Malcom Johnson said he was overwhelmed with the passionate nature of how Ghanaians have embraced the celebration of “Girls in ICT”.
He encouraged the girls to take ICT seriously since there are various opportunities and many jobs available in the future that do not even exist today.
He said, digital skills were very critical to the growing demand in the ICT sector.
He added that the ITU was very much committed to gender equality and would therefore do everything possible to promote the girl- child to become fully abreast with the use of ICT.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei Mensah said addressing the digital gender divide was very critical since the use of devices has the capacity to transform lives.
He called on all stakeholders to help bridge the digital gender gap by creating awareness of the enormous benefits of technology.