MTN Ghana has resolved to support the government to implement interventions and digital solutions aimed at bridging the digital divide in the country so as to cushion socioeconomic development.
According to Louisa Sosu, Senior Manager for Network Performance-MTN Ghana, the said commitment among other things informed the telecommunication giant to invest in the ‘Girls in ICT’ programme being implemented by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization.
Girls in ICT initiative a brainchild of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU). It is meant to encourage and empower girls and young women to consider studies and careers in the ICT space.
The beneficiary young girls are selected from upper primary (Basic 4) to JHS 2 in public schools ICT training and mentorship. As part of the programme, 100 ICT teachers are also trained in each region.
The initiative is to create an enabling environment for both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in ICT.
MTN Ghana has committed GH¢10 million to support the project for three years and it also provide personnel for the mentorship aspect of the initiative.
Speaking at Techiman to climax the Bono East Regional edition of the Girls in ICT programme, Ms Sosu said “As a business committed to leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress, it is of great importance for us to significantly commit not just money but time and resources to this critical training of girls which will contribute to the gender diversity in our ICT job market.”
She alluded to the fact that technology has evolved and become more accessible in recent years but it is not everybody ready to leverage the opportunity to acquire ICT skills and therefore urged the beneficiaries to capitalise on the training and mentorship to explore in the ICT space.
The Minister for Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, underscored the importance of ICT to catapult national development, thus describing digitalization as the new game-changer and a catalyst for a full digital economy.
She was however not oblivious of the threat that ICT poses and prayed all stakeholders to rally behind the government to institute all the necessary mitigating steps to safeguard the country’s cyber space to promote sustainable development.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful reiterated the need for concerted efforts to grow and develop the literacy capacity of the young generation to become solution providers and innovators who are capable of using technology to solve socioeconomic problems, thus making the ‘Girls in ICT’ a worthy cause that warrants the support.
In all, 1,000 young girls and 100 ICT teachers were selected from basic schools scattered across the eleven districts in the Bono East Region. After a weeklong bootcamp and mentorship, 100 deserving girls received a laptop each.
The first 20 will have their schools benefiting from the establishment of new cyber laboratories for those without them while schools with existing labs will have theirs refurbished.
A 11-year-old, Priscila Kumi of Prang Roman Catholic Primary School was adjudged the best among the 1,000 participants in the Bono East Region. For her prize, she received a laptop, cheque for GH¢3,000, a plaque and a certificate.