An 11-year-old class five pupil, Princess Kumi has emerged the ultimate winner of the 2022 Girls in Information Communication and Technology (ICT) training programme in the Bono East Region.
The Girls in ICT programme formed part of the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) initiative to encourage and empower girls and young women to consider studies and careers in the growing field of ICT.
For her prize, Ms Kumi, a pupil of the Prang Roman Catholic (R/C) Primary and Junior High School (JHS) in the Pru West District received a laptop computer, a cheque for GH¢3,000.00, a plaque and a certificate.
She had earlier joined about 1,000 pupils and students selected from 84 schools in the region and participated in a one-week intensive ICT training programme to commemorate this year’s ITU day on the theme “Access and Safety”.
The Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation (MoCD), through its partner agencies including the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), National Communications Authority and the Kofi Annan ICT Centre of Excellence organised the training programme.
MTN Ghana, a telecommunication company has set aside GH¢10 million to support the Girls in ICT training programme across the country for the period of three years, which would introduce the pupils and students to basic ICT skills and coding.
Ms Ramatu Siiba, aged 15 and Leticia Agyemang, 14 years of the Atebubu JMJ Convent and Krobo RC JHSs were adjudged the second and third best participants respectively and therefore received a laptop computer, plaque, certificate and GH¢2,500.00 each.
A total of 100 deserving pupils and students also received a laptop computer each, while certificates were presented to all the participants who underwent the training programme held at the Martin Adjei-Korsah ICT and Library Centre in Techiman, the Bono East Regional capital.
Speaking at a colourful ceremony in Techiman to climax the programme, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful, the sector Minister, said by the end of 2023, more than 3.5 million Ghanaians without mobile connectivity would be connected.
She said the Ministry was developing community ICT centres and cell sites across the country, saying the establishment of 2,000 sites nationwide were steadily progressing.
The Minister explained the Ministry through GIFEC was implementing the Rural Telephony and Digital Inclusion Project, which forecast the construction of more than 2,000 sites for improved internet connectivity.
Mrs Ekuful said more than 700 sites had already been built with many local communities connected to the internet since 2020, saying all the sites would be completed by the close of 2023.
She called on teachers to guide and encourage students and pupils to use the internet to aid their studies and advised the beneficiaries to utilise the knowledge acquired productively.
Mrs Louisa Soso, the Senior Manager for Networks Performance of MTN Ghana, explained as a business committed to leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress, it was of great importance for the company to significantly commit not just money but time and other resources for the Girls in ICT programme to contribute to the gender diversity in the ICT job market.
“It is worth noting that although technology is all around us, not everybody has the access and opportunity to acquire ICT skills”, she said and therefore reiterated the need for the participants to put in practice the skills and life-long lessons acquired throughout the training.
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