Dr Collins Yeboah-Afari, Director General, Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence (GI-KACE) in ICT, has called for a deliberate effort by relevant agencies to train more women in Information and Communication Technology to take up positions in the tech sector.
Also, he called for the creation of a more favourable working environment devoid of gender discrimination to enable women thrive within the sector.
Dr Yeboah-Afari made the call at the closing ceremony of a seven-day skills training for some 100 young women in data analytics in Accra.
The objective of the training was to equip the young women with the knowledge in data analytics to enhance their employability in the tech sector.
‘It was organised by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation and Glovo with support from the GI-KACE and the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications under the Women in Tech Bootcamp programme.
The Women in Tech Bootcamp, the first edition in Ghana, is a significant step towards providing young women with the skills and knowledge needed to increase employability in the tech sector.
The beneficiaries, mostly graduates from the universities and polytechnics, were between the ages of 22 and 35 years.
Dr Yeboah-Afari noted that, despite progress made in bridging the country’s gender gap in recent years, women remained underrepresented in the ICT sector.
Data available indicate that only 17 per cent of tech-related jobs were currently held by females.
Dr Yeboah-Afari said that, therefore, called for a more conscious approach by authorities to train more women in ICT to bridge the wide gap.
“We also need to continue raising awareness of the importance of women in ICT and the benefits of having a gender-diverse workforce,” he said, adding that, by so doing, “we will create a more inclusive and equitable ICT sector where women have the same opportunities as men to succeed.”
Dr Yeboah-Afari urged the beneficiaries to uphold integrity and professionalism to enable them to succeed, saying “the internet is a critical and available resource in abundance for your success.”
He also assured of the Centre’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse tech industry where women could thrive and excel.
Madam Ama Pomaa Boateng, Deputy Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, said the Ministry was determined to inspire girls and young women to consider pursuing programmes in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) by introducing them to career opportunities in the sector.
She said the women in data analytics training was one of the many trainings it was undertaking to empower young women and girls to bridge the tech sector employment gap between males and females.
“With this sponsored training by Glovo, support from MoCD and GI-KACE, this programme has provided a unique opportunity for our women to acquire essential digital skills, particularly in the field of Data Analytics,” she said.
She called for more corporate support to upscale the project to benefit more women, disclosing that, out of the over 3,000 applications the Ministry received, only 100 received the training due to financial constraints.
The Deputy Minister also pledged the Ministry’s continued support for the beneficiaries of the maiden women in data analytics training to enable them to thrive in the field.
Madam Rasheeda Seghosime, Glovo’s Regional Head of People in Africa, said as a prominent tech hub in Southern Europe and with a presence in various African markets, the Company was committed to fostering diversity and inclusion.
“Our diverse team of female tech employees serves as essential role models for aspiring women in tech. Our vibrant and innovative office spaces worldwide provide a window into the dynamic world of tech, inspiring women to see themselves thriving in this industry,” she said.
Dr Kenneth Ashigbey, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, encouraged the trainees to be problem solvers and change makers to impact society positively.
“Don’t be quick in looking for jobs. What can you create? That should be your mindset. Start small, but be quick in upscaling,” he urged.