First Lady launches “Girls Can Code” project

Accra, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady, has launched the Girls Can Code initiative to empower girls and women, through Information Communication Technology (ICT), to enable them to solve local challenges.

The project seeks to generate the interest of girls in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and develop their enthusiasm in the use and applications of ICT through a practical computing training programme.

It would support young girls to complete their innovative projects and also ensure that they are exposed to developing applications of problems identified in their communities and daily activities.

It is on the theme: Empowering Girls and Women through ICT, which is free and open to the public, but reservations are encouraged.

This is an initiative that would empower girls to be critical thinkers and creators of technologies inspiring them to develop their full potentials.

A critical goal is to achieve equitable access to information and knowledge as well as enhance employment opportunities for girls since ICT training provides new prospects to redress the disadvantages girls and women have experienced within orthodox education systems.

The First Lady, launching the project, said education was seen as a positive enabler to reduce poverty, inequalities and produce an inclusive society.

But one sure way to improve the quality of education in the country was to incorporate ICT into the educational system to provide access to supplementary content for both students and teachers to make it globally competitive and relevant.

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 urged the young ones to seize this opportunity with both hands to expand their horizons and improve their lives in diverse ways.

She entreated the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, implementers of the project, to continuously equip young girls with skills to enhance their ability to tackle issues and improve their work performance with modern technology.

We need to empower young women so that they can pass on the benefit of that empowerment to succeeding generations, she stated.

Mr Vincent Sowah Odotei, the Deputy Minister of Communication, noted that, Government was committed to achieving an all-inclusive society and recognises ICT as a powerful catalyst for the political and social empowerment of women and the promotion of gender equality.

He said the Ministry was also keen to support the scaling up of ICT training for girls, by making it available to a wider section of the population.

Ms Melody Boateng, National Programme Officer, Natural Science UNESCO, said the young girls selected for the programme had a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of the country and urged them to take advantage of it.

Achieving an equitable access and opportunities for girls and women was crucial for the realization of the 2030 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), she added.

She commended the First Lady for her support and the Ambassador, Mrs Johanna Odonkor Svanikier, for her tireless effort in initiating this project.

The project is a special collaborative initiative by GES, UNESCO/IFAP, HACSA and AITI-KACE to develop the interest of girls to take up careers in ICT, by exposing them to the basics of computer coding and to build local capacity to solve local community challenges with ICT.

It will last for 2 years and during the period, 300 girls and 20 teachers from 10 Junior High Schools across Ghana (one from each region) will be trained in computer coding and leadership skills.

Source: Ghana News Agency


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