The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation has kick-started the training of 1,000 girls in basic Information Communications Technology (ICT) skills – coding, cyber security and website development in the Northern Region.
The Girls-In-ICT programme was introduced in 2012 by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider studies and careers in the growing field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
The participants would be taken through coding, where the girls will explore the world of technology through the creation of websites, computer games and animation stories, using Scratch.
The girls were selected across the 16 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
In April this year, a similar training was organized for 1000 girls in the Savannah Region.
The other regions to benefit from the training this year are Eastern, Volta and Greater Accra.
The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, under the ministerial stewardship of Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West, since 2017, has adopted the initiative, as a platform to equip girls between the ages of 9 and 15 years with knowledge and skills in basic ICT and Coding.
“The Girls-In-ICT programme is all about breaking the myth around women involving themselves in ICT” she indicated.
The programme is implemented with support from Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) as the technical resource provider, with training by Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence (KACE).
The programme is also supported by MTN Ghana, National Communications Authority (NCA), American Towers Company (ATC), Ministry of Education, GIZ and others.
The programme will also train 100 selected Teachers from across the Region, a Mentorship session whereby women currently working in the ICT Field will share their personal and professional experiences with the Girls-in-ICT, to encourage and guide them in their future careers and endeavours.
Participants would be presented with certificates of participation.
The best 100 girls from the Region would be taken to Accra for a week tour of the Offices of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Companies in the ICTs industry, select MoCD Agencies, and interact especially with women in the industry.
Approximately 8,000 girls from Ashanti, Western, Central, Oti, Western North, North East, Bono, Bono-East and Ahafo regions have been trained and mentored.
Eight hundred teachers have also been trained to train more girls in ICT, beyond the programme.
Forty-three Cyber labs have been set up, with 120 more being set up this year.
Approximately, 1,267 laptops have been given to teachers and top-performing girls.
This year, the Ministry targets 5,000 girls and 500 teachers from five regions to benefit from the girls in ICT programme.
The beneficiary regions are Savannah, Northern, Eastern, Volta and Greater Accra.
In spite of these important achievements over the years, and the immense contributions to the MoCD in support of the Programme from various partners, the enormity of the gender digital divide remains a challenge, hence the need to scale up the programme to cover even more girls across Ghana.
The Ministry has also introduced the Girls-in ICT at the tertiary level to encourage young girls’ interest to pursue careers in ICT and this is being done in partnership with Huawei Technologies, Ghana, Limited.
In September 2021, 50 female students from the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) were taken through a 10-day training programme in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data and Cyber Security.
The Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Huawei Technologies – Ghana, also educated 75,000 female Senior High Students in the Ashanti, Central and Eastern Regions on Cyber Security as part of the Girls-in-ICT Programme in 2021 and 2022.
The theme for this year GIICT programme is Girls In ICT- Digital Skills for Life.