As part of measures to bridge the gender gap in technology, MTN Ghana has supported the Ministry of Communication and Digitalization (MoCD) to train 1,000 girls in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The beneficiaries who were Junior High School pupils were drawn from Prestea Huni-Valley, Aowin, Suaman, Akontombra, Bodi, Districts and Municipalities in the Western and Western North Regions.
Monitoring the progress of the programme, Mr Kennedy Kofi Ofosuhene, Cooperate Services Adviser for Southern Ghana, said the girls in the ICT programme forms part of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) initiative to encourage and empower young women to consider the studies and career in the growing field of ICT’s.
He said because of the importance of this project, the MoCD instituted an annual ICT training programme for girls across the country.
He added that since the inception of the programme, MTN has supported generously through cash donations, mentorship, and the presentation of devices.
He said, “as part of MTN Ghana’s silver jubilee, we have decided to support the programme with GH￠10 million out of the USD 25 million allocated for the anniversary”.
Mr Ofosuhene announced that the amount would be spent over three years with GH￠33 million to be paid annually.
He also indicated that their objective was to “generate significant awareness of MTN Ghana’s support, build outstanding goodwill for the MTN Ghana brand, position MTN Ghana as a partner in the development of ICT and demonstrate to the target audience that we are good together”.
Mrs Naomi Koduah Tismark, Girls Education Officer of Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality, expressed gratitude to MTN Ghana for sponsoring the programme to stimulate the interest of girls in ICT education and also appealed to the firm to continue to assist so they could train more girls.
Mr Elvis Kan-Uge, a facilitator explained that “teaching the girls had been wonderful because they have a passion to practice what they are studying but the few challenges are that most of these girls are not exposed to the physical computer itself”
He said, “l am appealing to the sponsors to extend the programme to more rural areas because some of the girls have to travel for miles before they get to the centers to part take in the training.”
A Supervisor at the Kofi Annan ICT Center, Madam Rosmond Aryeetey, said teachers involved in the programme were trained at their outfits to impact what they have learnt to the participants.
“We decided to boost the interest of the girls in programming games, stories, and animations so we thought of introducing the scratch programme which is very colorful and exciting for the girls at this level” she added.
Mrs Victoria Dei-Kumah, programmes manager at Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFFEC), added that the training was necessary because, in Africa, ICT had become a male-dominated area hence the training was organized to inspire more girls to pursue courses in ICT at the tertiary level.
Miss Millicent Mensah of Nsusiden Basic Junior High School, Miss Hassan Achamber, Damang Roman Catholic Basic School, and Faustina Ainooson, Huni-Valley Municipal Assembly Basic School thanked MTN Ghana and said they had acquired a passion to excel in ICT.