The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD) Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (MP), has announced that plans were far advanced to set up a trust fund for the girls in Information and Communication Technology programme (Girls-In-ICT).
Speaking today at the Girls-In-ICT Climax Day at Koforidua Cultural Centre in the Eastern Region, she said the move was to institutionalise and ensure the sustainability of the initiative.
“We need the public and the private sector working together to make this happen. The Girls in ICT project must survive beyond Ursula Owusu-Ekuful”, she noted.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful pointed out that the Ministry have invited the Ministry of Education, MTN, Vodafone among other agencies to be anchor members of the girls in ICT trusts fund.
“The future is digital and the future is women and our girls are an integral part of the future so Girls-In-ICT programme must continue”, she said.
According to her, the Ministry would further implement the Girls-In-ICT in three more regions. Adding, it is the more reason why government needs to strengthen the coverage of more students across the country.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, therefore admonished parents to give the children the opportunity to learn and encourage them to pursue their careers.
She indicated that the programme started since 2012 and since her assumption of office at the Ministry in 2017, there has always been a flare of flavor added to the programme every year.
She underscored the need for all to start instilling into the young girls that they are not inferior hence the need to give them the digital space to acquire a more balanced industry.
At the climax, the top three beneficiaries in the competition were awarded a plaque each, laptop each and a cash prize ranging from Ghc3,000, Ghc2,500 and Ghc2,000 for positions of first, second and third respectively.
About 100 laptops were also given to beneficiaries who emerged victorious in the competition organized to access their level of understanding.
Teachers also won laptops for their immense support in the training and grooming of the students in the programme.
Chairperson of the occasion, Omanhene of New Juaben, Nana Kwaku Boateng lll expressed gratitude for the moves by the Ministry to train and boost the morale of Girls in learning ICT.
Girls in ICT programme, he said was aimed at inspiring young ladies in the ICT and unlocking their interest in ICT in the early age and provide them with necessary resources to improve their well-being and career in education.
The special guest of honour at the climax ceremony, Rev. Dr Joyce Aryee, encouraged the beneficiaries of the programme and commended the minister for establishing such legacy that would continue to empower more girls and young women for generations to come.
She urged the beneficiaries to be determined and poised in their dreams in building their future hence the need for them to continue to learn and revise their skills acquired
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) said he was committed to providing a cutting edge support in bridging the digital. He stressed that the role of the agency is to build capacity of the Girls in the study of ICT.
He said about 97 ICT labs have been set up in support of Girls in ICT programme and the winning schools in Eastern Region, Savannah and Northern Regions will be provided with cyber labs and a number of laptops have already been disbursed.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Gifty Twum Ampofo, reiterated the commitment of the Ministry in supporting the programme and commended the Communications ministry for their efforts to champion the course of digitalisation across the schools in the country.
She indicated that almost all schools have acquired access to Internet connectivity due to the rural telephony agenda being spearheaded by the Communication Ministry across the country.