Communications Minister highlights challenges, successes during tour of Girls in ICT training centres

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The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, embarked on a comprehensive tour of several training centres for the National Girls in ICT Program. The two-day visit highlighted both the challenges faced by the initiative and its significant impact on the lives of young girls across Ghana.

On July 2, Minister Owusu-Ekuful addressed a critical delay in this year’s program, originally scheduled for April but postponed to July due to funding issues. She emphasized the National Girls in ICT initiative’s reliance on fundraising, as it is not included in the Ministry’s budget allocation. Despite these financial hurdles, she underscored the profound positive effects the program has had on its participants.

During her first tour, Honorable Owusu-Ekuful visited three schools: Our Lady of Assumption (OLA) in Tantra Hill, Kotobabi 2 and 3 Basic School, and St. Joseph Anglican Basic (Bubuashie). At Our Lady of Assumption, there were 36 students from 26 different schools participating, including students from Our Lady of Assumption itself, New Achimota School, Ofankor M/A Basic 3, Asofan M/A Basic School, among others. Kotobabi 2 and 3 Basic School had 34 students from 24 schools, and St. Joseph Anglican Basic (Bubuashie) hosted 24 students from 11 schools.

“Many early beneficiaries have gone on to pursue higher education in advanced fields such as geotechnical engineering, thanks to the exposure and opportunities provided by this initiative,” she noted.

In an exciting announcement, Hon. Owusu-Ekuful revealed the establishment of the Girls in ICT Trust, which will feature its own board of trustees. This board will secure funding from committed agencies, aiming to expand the program’s reach.

“We are looking to increase our annual training capacity from 3,000 to at least 10,000 girls,” she stated. “Additionally, we aim to sustain and grow the mentorship aspect, providing the girls with visible role models and guidance throughout their lives to help them build successful careers in ICT.”

She reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to expanding the program across multiple regions, maintaining a target of training 3,000 girls in three regions this year. The Minister highlighted the societal norms that often discourage girls from pursuing technology-related fields, emphasizing the importance of initiatives like this to show girls that they can excel in technology just as much as their male counterparts.

On July 3, the tour continued in the Greater Accra Region. Hon. Owusu-Ekuful visited several key training centres, engaging with participants and assessing their progress. At the Dansoman CIC Regional Office, hosted by Gbegbeyise Basic School, 20 students from five schools were present. Dansoman 6 Basic 2 had 19 students from nine schools, Wesley Grammar hosted 35 students from 15 schools, Weija Model Basic School had 12 students from 11 schools, and New Gbawe Clusters welcomed 22 students from 17 schools.

She announced the commencement of the regional competition and a mentorship program scheduled for the following week. She expressed her excitement about the participants’ progress, noting their impressive skills and the confidence they had developed even after just two days of training.

“I believe this year’s Greater Accra Girls in ICT program will be one of the most fiercely contested,” she remarked. “The girls at all the centres I’ve visited have demonstrated impressive skills, confidence, and eagerness to showcase their abilities. It will be interesting to see how the competition unfolds.”

The Minister praised the participants’ problem-solving skills, which are essential aspects of the training, and expressed her delight at the strong foundation in ICT these young girls are receiving.

“We will monitor their progress and see how far they can go with this excellent foundation they are getting,” she concluded.


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