The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation has commenced training for 1000 girls selected from various districts in the Ahafo Region in basic ICT and Coding, having already completed training in Bono East and Bono regions.
Two thousand more girls from Savannah and Northern Region will also benefit from the program by the end of this year. This forms part of efforts by the Ministry to encourage young girls to take up careers in the ICT Industry as well as bridge the gender digital divide.
“In each Region, our objective is to train1000 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," the sector Minister, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said.
"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”.
The training in coding will give 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.
As part of strategies to both ensure that Ghana achieves the Sustainable Development Goal, (SDG) 5, and Ghana’s ICT4 AD Policy on bridging the gender digital divide, the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, through its agencies - GIFEC, NCA and the Kofi Annan ICT Centre of Excellence, has expanded the scope of the GIICT event.
After their training, which also introduces them to scratch and basic structures of programming, the girls participate in a competition.
This competition is expected to test the knowledge and ICT skills acquired during the training period. The girls will compete in website design, development of games, coding and simple ICT applications, among others. Prizes such as laptops and modems are awarded to girls who excel in the competition and ICT labs are also established in the schools of the girls who excelled.
Interestingly, over 60 per cent of the girls trained, have no prior knowledge or experience in the use of computers.
The Girls in ICT programme was introduced in 2012 by the International Telecommunications Union to empower and encourage girls and young women to acquire digital skills and consider studies and careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies.
Ghana has adopted this initiative and observed it on a regional basis. It has already been celebrated in Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern, Volta, Western, Western North, North East, Central and Oti Regions.
The program involves the Training of Trainers who in turn train the girls. It also includes the training of 1,000 girls from districts within the selected region and mentorship sessions that provide a platform for women working in the ICT field to share personal life stories and professional experiences with the young girls. The girls are given an “Open Day” experience, where the best 100 girls are brought to Accra for a week to tour Mobile Network Operators (MNO)’s, ICT firms and interact with women in the workspace to see the practical application of what they learnt in a live-work environment. This is to encourage and guide the girls in their future career choices
The Ministry has also trained 300 teachers in Bono East, Bono and Ahafo as part of these celebrations for the sustainability of this program in their various schools.