First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo on Wednesday launched the “Girls Can Code Project Ghana” at the Advance Information Technology Institute, Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in Accra.
The project, which will see to the training of some three hundred girls between the ages of 11-14 from ten junior high schools across the country, also seeks to develop the interest of young girls in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Speaking at the launch, the First Lady urged young girls to take advantage of ICT, arguing that it can now be used to improve women’s economic outlook and address the gender gap.
“Indeed, the emerging digital economy, offers developing countries like Ghana an opportunity to take a quantum leap in development, by transforming the economy into a high- value-added, information and knowledge based economy. As more women understand the value of the Internet and ICT in terms of sustainable livelihoods, they will improve their quality of life and become more productive members of society. As women, we need to understand that, the Internet is a resource for empowerment, for restoration, for self-development and for arming oneself in the knowledge economy.”
“I am therefore happy to learn that this project seeks to train more girls. Ultimately, it will develop young girls to be critical thinkers and creators of technologies and inspire them to develop their full potential.”
On her part, the Chief Executive Officer for Soronko Academy, Regina Honu, said it was the impact and the change needed that allowed for the establishment of the first coding and human centered design school in the country.
According to her, although there is a wide market for coders and developers in the country, it is challenging when it comes to girls.
“There are a lot of women in this space, but they need more support. We also have to educate the decision makers that a single quota team is not efficient. What I mean is that, if you just have a group of men developing for different population, that can’t work. You can’t design a solution for deaf people when you don’t have a deaf person in your team to understand the perspective. So you can’t have a single team of men developing a solution which is consumed also by women, so it is important that they add that diversity. It goes a long way to add to the innovation.”
Soronko Academy formally known as Tech Needs Girls, was established to mentor women and girls to lead and be innovate by learning to code.
The launch, which was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Communication, and Gender and Social Protection, also had support from UNESCO-IFAP, GES, DreamOval, HACSA and the Ghana- India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT.