The Rotary Club of Accra-Airport, in collaboration with Rotary Limburgerhof/Vorderpfalz in Germany, has launched a Business Solution Centre at Soronko Academy in Accra.
The Centre will run innovative services centred around web and mobile app development, social media management, graphic design, printing, photocopying, scanning and passport pictures.
It was established with support from Rotary International and would be run by the girls that are trained as part of the Soronko Rotary Girls Coding Project.
The coding project targets girls in Ghana from underprivileged backgrounds aged 17 to 25 years who have completed senior high school.
They were selected from public schools and community organisations in underprivileged communities in Accra based on financial need, interest, and potential.
Rotarian William Ofori, the Assistant Governor, Rotary International (RI) District 9102, Ghana, said training girls to code was a mission to close the gender gap in technology and to change the “image of what a programmer looks like and does.”
He said the recent impact of COVID-19 and the sudden realisation of accelerating any function in the digital and virtual space re-emphasised the need to start training a future workforce.
He said beyond teaching those young ladies to code, the Business Centre introduced them to the world of entrepreneurship as well as helping to ensure internally generated funding to make the project sustainable.
He said given that coding was among the fastest growing fields today, women who coded could be part of a bigger job market and receive a higher premium for their work than in other fields.
Madam Regina Honu, the Chief Executive Officer, Soronko Academy, said the Academy was the leading technology and digital skills development centre in Africa.
She said through its wide geographic reach and suite of public and private partnerships, Soronko Academy cultivated the next generation of female innovators who leveraged their critical thinking skills and entrepreneurial spirit to create solutions that addressed their community’s most pressing problems.
Madam Honu said the project would train 300 girls in three years who would then join over 10,000 women and girls who had already been trained by the Soronko Academy.
She said the girls would undergo training for six weeks in the areas of coding, digital skills and essential soft skills, and then connected to job opportunities so they could financially sustain their trade.
Madam Honu said the Business Solution Centre was setup to sustain the project and help the girls transition to the world of work.
She said profits from the Centre would be used to extend the free training to other young women from underprivileged backgrounds.