Huawei Technologies Ghana has launched the Digital Skills Training for Female Students and Residents of Ga Central Municipality in Accra. It aims to promote ICT education and motivate more girls to consider taking up careers in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration speaking at the launch said bringing tech to the communities was a huge step as they strategically position the country to use ICT to accelerate national development.
The objective of the training was to bridge the gender gap in ICT; motivate women and young girls to consider careers in ICT and other STEM related disciplines. It is also to deepen China-Ghana (SINO-Ghana) bilateral relations in line with the mandate of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; and equip women and girls with ICT skills to enable them thrive in the modern world.
She said it breaks income and social barriers, expands opportunities for everyone and provides government with the capacity to help improve lives and livelihoods. The Minister said this opportunity to introduce students and other beneficiaries to ICT was a laudable initiative.
She said government has accordingly championed ICT Education, at all levels of the educational institutions. “This is part of the Government`s firm resolve and commitment to achieve SDG 4, which calls for `Ensuring Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Promoting Lifelong Learning Opportunities for All’,” she said.
The Minister said the efficient teaching and deployment of ICT at all levels of the educational system was key to achieving SDG 4. She said government was committed to using ICT Education to transform the country’s agro-based economy into a knowledge-based one. She added this would be done through the effective use of ICT tools for the expansion of the base of the national economy and for the creation of employment opportunities for the youth. “Central to this ambition is the need to address the gender digital divide, especially of young girls lagging behind in ICT Education,” he said.
Madam Botchway said government has led on efforts to bridge the widening ICT gender gap, as well as accomplish SDG 5 on “Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering all Women and Girls.”She said this partnership programme with Huawei (‘’Huawei Seeds for the Future-Women in Tech’’) was therefore in the right direction.
He said the Ministry would continue to work with Huawei and other multinationals to ensure that, Ghana continues to be a preferred business destination and in so doing, “we will strive to ensure that our people positively benefit from such partnerships.”
Mr Tommy Zhou, Managing Director, Huawei Technologies, Ghana said while promoting ICT, they would be contributing their quota towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5, of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls through ICT.
He said the significance of technology could not be underestimated given its impact on societies and economies. “As the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) beacons, all hands are needed on deck to fully realize the full potentials of digitalization,” he said.
The Managing Director said according to the World Economic Forum gender gap report, women represent around 26 per cent of the STEM workforce in developed countries with a far lower number for developing countries with men outnumbering women in most ICT and STEM fields in general.
He said it was line with this that Huawei decided to partner with the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Ga Central Municipal Assembly (Anyaa Sowutuom) on this initiative.
Mr Zhou said this would add to the plethora of activities they have undertaken as part of the Huawei Women in Technology initiative which sought to actively bridge the gender gap in ICT. “At Huawei, we believe that technology innovation can be led by women, and technology in its end can empower women,” he added.
The Managing Director said in the digital era, the most important measure to bridge the digital gender gap is through education. He said the launch forms part of their efforts to fulfill a commitment they made to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to offer ICT training to 10,000 Ghanaians to enter the industry by 2024.”As a global ICT Leader, Huawei shall continue to nurture ICT talents in the country to help drive Ghana’s Digitalization Agenda,” added.
During the scheduled one-week Digital Workshop for the ladies in the Municipality, Huawei has planned a series of capacity-building activities for all participating beneficiaries. The first part of the workshop will be focused on offering basic Coding training to Senior High School ladies. Second part will offer basic training in FinTech (Financial Technology) to businesswomen and traders in the Municipal to empower them to go digital with their businesses.