Communications Minister tours Girls-In-ICT programme training centres in Tamale

The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD), Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has reiterated the government's commitment to bridging the gender gap in Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the country.

To this end, she said, the government through the Ministry and its agencies were undertaking series of deliberate interventions geared towards increasing the interest of girls in ICT.

The interventions, she said, included the Girls-In-ICT programme, ICT laboratories for Senior High Schools, e-Transform and Rural Telephony and Digital Inclusion projects.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said this when she toured some training centres of the Girls-In-ICT programme in Tamale, the Northern Regional capital last Friday.

The tour enabled her to assess the ongoing training for selected girls in basic ICT skills as well as interact with them.

 Accompanied by some officials of ministry and the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), the minister visited the Sagnarigu Community ICT Centre, Jisonayili primary and the Tamale community ICT Center. As part of the tour, she paid a courtesy call on the Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Shaibu.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful expressed satisfaction with the training and said within the few days the girls had acquired some basic skills in ICT.

"I am very impressed with the quality of instructions they have received from the facilitators. Some said they had never seen computers before but now they are able to create websites and games," she noted.

She encouraged the young girls to take advantage of the opportunities the (ICT) world offered people globally.

She said just as their male counterparts, the young girls could leverage on ICT to create jobs for themselves and become competitive in the job market.

On July 17, the Ministry in collaboration with its agencies kick-started the training of 1000 girls in the Northern Region in basic Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills.

The beneficiaries are taking through coding, cyber security, website development among others.

 The girls were selected from the sixteen Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

The MMDAs are, Mion, Karaga, Tolon, Kumbungu, Savelugu, Tamale, Nanton, Sagnarigu, Kpandai, Gushegu, Tatali, Nanumba South, Nanumba North, Yendi, Saboba and Zabzugu.

The training formed part of the Girls-In-ICT programme being implemented by the Ministry in collaboration with its agencies to bridge the gender gap in ICT in the country.

The programme will be climaxed with 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.

The Girls-In-ICT programme was ntroduced 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 Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation in 2017 adopted the initiative, as a platform to equip girls between the ages of 9 and 15 years (Upper Primary to Junior High School), with knowledge and skills in basic ICT and Coding.

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.

Source: Business Ghana