The Minister for Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu- Ekuful, has encouraged girls in Ghana’s basic schools to be passionate and take advantage of the opportunities that the Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) world offers people, globally.
She argued that, with the desire and determination, young girls in Ghana can hive opportunities in ICT and even create jobs for themselves, provided they remained focused in their studies.
“There are huge opportunities and even those who are already employed are upgrading themselves. There are opportunities Africa can take advantage of and feed the rest of the world with the skills because we have a youthful population under 45 years. Very soon, the world will rely on Africa for employment and with the necessary skills, we can do it.” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful added.
She said this yesterday at the opening of a mentorship workshop as part of the Second National Girls in ICT Day themed ‘ Expand horizons, change attitudes’ organised by the Ministry of Communications with supports from International Telecommunications Union(ITU), the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) , the National Communication Authority (NCA )and the Western Regional Coordinating Council (RCCC) in Takoradi .
Saying that people believed that there were no jobs, today, she reported that there were vacancies to be filled in the ICT sector, adding that women could change the statistics with ICT.
The Minister told the participants that the sad aspect of the Ghanaian narrative was that, girls shied away from Information and Communications Technology (ICT), mathematics and hard core engineering courses because they thought they could not do it, but believed that this attitude can be changed.
She also noted that although, women constituted about 51 percent of Ghana’s population, men today formed about 80 percent in ICT world with only 20 percent of women in the sector.
So far, she reported that about 4,000 girls had benefitted from the programme which had travelled to Greater Accra, Ashanti, Bono and Ahafo and Western regions, adding that Daniella Afriyie Asare from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) was a finalist in the Miss Geek Contest held in Rwanda.
She announced that the Miss Geek contest would be held in Ghana, this year.
Mrs Owusu –Ekuful said the Ministry together with GIFEC, would provide ICT labs for schools in the country.
The Metropolitan Education Director of Sekondi –Takoradi, Rev Mrs Elizabeth Akuoko, was happy about the programme, which she also believed would promote the teaching and learning of ICT and also create more and varied opportunities for girls in the technologically changing world.
ICT, she added, was the key driver of development worldwide and also for women empowerment and economic development including every aspect of human life.
Mrs Akuoko advised the participants to take their studies seriously and excel in their studies.