1000 young girls to benefit from ICT bi-annually – Dep. Min.

Vincent Sowah Odotei, Deputy Minister for Communication, with the Organizers of the Africa Summit on Women and Girls in ICT

About 1000 young girls across the country are expected to gain knowledge in Information Communication Technology (ICT) through training programmes that will also practically equip them for the technological revolution, the Deputy Minister for Communication, Vincent Sowah Odotei has said.

Speaking at the Press briefing ahead of the Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology in Accra on Monday, the Deputy Minister said government will ensure that particular focus and attention is given to girls in its Enhanced Community Information Centres (ECICs) across the various districts in the country.

This move by government is expected to bridge the technology and ICT gap between men and women.

Digital Gender imbalance

Bridging the digital gender gap is a critical step towards the vision of a thriving Africa, yet research has shown that women in some communities are ​up to 50 percent less likely than men to be online​. In Africa, where nearly 75 percent of the population remains offline, this problem is particularly severe.

Odotei said it is a policy of this government to build a digital economy, adding “we need to ensure that we mainstream ICT and technology as a main driver of socio-economic development.”

Government policies

“As a govt we have made it our policy, apart from granting and providing infrastructure and apart from granting universal access, we would make sure that this divide between both urban and rural boys and girls is bridged,” he added.

This year the ministry has expanded the ICT for Girls’ program to a month, where over 600 girls and women in ICT were taken through the basics of coding.

Further to this, the ministry also embarked on an initiative to assign and introduce 62 school girls to female mentors who are working in various fields of Information Communication Technology (ICT).

Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology

Over 250 African leading technology innovators gathered in Accra on Monday for the second ​Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology.

The three-day event featured lightning talks from young African female technologists, as well as high-level discussions with many of Africa’s most prominent ICT policymakers and technology leaders.

The Summit focuses on exploring a range of relevant topical areas, with attention on developing policy to advance access to affordable broadband, women’s rights online, digital education and skills plus digital entrepreneurship.

By Joshua W. Amlanu