Take advantage of the Opportunities in the ICT World-Communications Minister

The Minister for Communications, Mrs  Ursula Owusu- Ekuful, has encouraged girls  in Ghana’s basic schools to be passionate and take advantage  of the  opportunities that the Information, Communications and technology  (ICT) world offers  people, globally.
She argued that, with the desire and determination, young girls in Ghana can hive opportunities   in ICT and even create jobs for themselves, provided they remained focused   in their studies.
 
“There are huge opportunities and even those who are already employed are upgrading themselves. There are opportunities Africa can take advantage of and feed the rest  of the world with the skills because we have a youthful  population under 45 years. Very soon, the world will rely on Africa for employment and with the necessary skills, we can do it.” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful added.
 
She said  this  yesterday at   the opening of  a mentorship workshop  as part of the Second National Girls in ICT Day themed ‘ Expand horizons, change attitudes’  organised  by the Ministry  of Communications together with the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) with suppots from the International Telecommunications  Union(ITU), National Communications Authority  (NCA )and the Western Regional Coordinating Council (RCCC)  in  Takoradi .
 
Saying that people believed that there were no jobs, today, she reported that there were vacancies to be filled in the ICT sector, adding that women could change the statistics with ICT.
 
The Minister  told the participants that the sad aspect of the Ghanaian  narrative was  that girls shied away from  Information and Communications technology (ICT), mathematics and  hard core engineering courses because  they thought  they could not do it,  but believed that this attitude can be changed, and stressed “you can do it if you put it in your mind to it; its just about  the desire.”.
 
She also noted that although, women constituted  about 51 percent of Ghana’s  population, men today formed  about 80 percent in ICT world with only 20 percent of women in the sector, saying  that "you  and I can change the stories of ICT with the strategies and  systematic approach to energise the ICT sector.”
 
“She said : ‘The theme is not just by accident. We need to expand the horizon and change our attitudes and say that now,  we are going to do it and,  we can do it because there are no  barriers to any human endeavour. All of us including the mentors were  like you, I sold charcoal. Today, we can take advantage of the opportunities through education.”
 
She continued:  Don’t think that there is anything beyond your capabilities.  If you decide, and I hope you have decided to work in ICT, it’s  not only exciting, but also the sustainable way to get a future with technology. This is not an Ananse story.”
 
So far,  she repoted that  about 4,000 girls had benefitted from the programme which had travelled  to Greater Accra, Ashanti,  Bono and Ahafo and Western regions, adding that Daniella  Afriyie  Asare from  the Kwame Nkrumah University  of Science and Technology  (KNUST) was a  finalist in the  Miss Geek Contest held in Rwanda.
 
She announced that the Miss Geek contest would be held in Ghana , this year.
 
Miss Geek Africa is an entrepreneurship competition that originated as Miss Geek Rwanda in 2014 but was renamed Miss Geek Africa in 2017 and has expanded to 22 countries in Africa. Girls and women between the ages of 13 and 25 submit apps that solve problems through technological innovations. The top three competitors receive cash prizes and business training, and the winner also receives financial backing.
 
Mrs Owusu –Ekuful said the ministry together  with the Ministry  of  Education would provide ICT labs for schools in Ghana.
 
“The ICT sector is vibrant, exciting and  booming. Don’t lose focus; there are more opportunities. Stand on the shoulders of the mentors, today,  so that you can see afar and achieve more than they have been able to do. Just develop the passion and excel  and  you can do it.” She again assured the girls.
 
The Metropolitan Education Director of Sekondi –Takoradi, Rev Mrs Elizabeth Akuoko, was happy about the programme,  which she also believed would promote the teaching and learning of ICT  and also create more and varied opportunities for girls in the technologically changing world.
 
ICT, she added,  was the key driver of development world wide and also for women empowerment and economic development including every aspect of human life. 
Mrs Akuoko advised the participants to take their studies seriously and excel in their studies.