First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has urged young girls to seize the opportunity to be active participants in the field of coding, saying Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can be used to improve women’s economic outlook and address the gender gap in IT.
The first lady made this statement yesterday at the launch of “Girls Can Code” at the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT initiative aimed at empowering girls and women through ICT at AITC-KACE in Accra.
The first lady said she was very pleased to be at the launch of the “Girls Can Code: Empowering Girls and Women through ICT” project which offers young girls the opportunity to be active participants in the field of coding.
According to Mrs Akufo-Addo, it was important for “us as a nation to recognise that Information and Communication Technology can be used to improve women’s economic outlook and address the gender gap in IT which is good for our girls and the development of the IT field in Ghana.”
She noted that education is seen as a positive enabler to reducing poverty, inequalities and produce an inclusive society thus the need to improve the quality of our education.
One sure way of doing this, she said, was for us to incorporate ICT into our educational system, to provide access to supplementary content for both students and teachers.
“So yes, we need more projects like this to make us globally competitive and relevant. And I am particularly grateful that we are taking steps for inclusion of women in technology and the ICT field,” she added.
She went on to say that as more women understand the value of the Internet and ICTs in terms of sustainable livelihoods, they would improve their quality of life and become more productive members of society.
“As women, we need to understand that, the internet is a resource for empowerment, for restoration, for self-development and for arming oneself in the knowledge economy,” she said.
The first lady urged the young girls from various schools in Accra to use the opportunity to change their world, stressing that “ICT has changed and improved the various sectors in the country”.
She pleaded with them to use it wisely as some negative outcomes have been seen and experienced in the country from its use.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo therefore, entreated the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT who are the implementers of this important project, to continuously equip young girls with skills to enhance their ability to tackle issues and improve their work performance with modern technology.
As Kofi Annan said: “When women thrive, all of society benefits and succeeding generations are given a better start in life”. So we need to empower young women so they can pass on the benefit of that empowerment to succeeding generations.
She thanked UNESCO-IFAP, Ghana- India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, GES, Dream Oval, HACSA and Soronko Academy for conceptualizing, designing and implementing this project.
The “Girls can Code” project is set to train three hundred young girls and twenty teachers from ten Senior High Schools in computer coding and leadership skills.
Story: Mizpah ETORMENYE MENSSVIE-AYIVOR