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ICT IS NOT A MALE PRESERVE, SAYS COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER

Technology

The Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, says information and communications technology is neither complex nor the preserve of men and has encouraged girls to venture into the sector.

The Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, says information and communications technology is neither complex nor the preserve of men and has encouraged girls to venture into the sector.

She maintains there is nothing beyond the capability and ability of girls if they are determined and put their mind to it.

“I therefore challenge girls to go into ICT to enable them to secure technology-related careers and make good money for themselves,” she said.

The Minister gave these words of encouragement in opening remarks at the launch of this year's Girls in ICT Day in Takoradi on Sunday under the theme “Expand Horizons, Change Attitudes”.

Mentoring

The two-day celebration started with sharing of experiences by local and international female ICT mentors, including Patricia Obo-Nai, chief executive officer of Vodafone Ghana, and Ernestina Appiah, CEO of Ghana Code Club, as well as Mitwa Kaemba Ng'ambi of Zambia Airtel Tigo. Over 500 girls from basic schools across the country took part in activities to mark the occasion.

According to the Communications Minister, the event, the second of its kind since she assumed office, is a strategic move to motivate girls take to ICT. She said the world of work, including conventional jobs, is changing today thanks to technology, with the demand for ICT skills far outweighing supply.

The good news, she said, was that there are many vacancies in ICT, so girls who take to the subject will have no difficulty securing jobs for themselves.

Caution

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful however advised them to stop taking nude pictures with ICT devices, because these pictures can easily hinder their chance of securing a job or aspiring to leadership positions.

She noted that although pictures can be deleted from phones today, retrieving them for future reference is easy because of advances in technology.

The Minister spoke of plans by her ministry to establish ICT laboratories and clubs in all basic schools in the country to continue updating students' knowledge and skills, not leaving out kindergarten pupils.

She also spoke of moves by the ministry in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service and other communication partners to organise an ICT competition this year in which girls will be required to develop applications based on their own surroundings in agriculture, sanitation and health care.

The Deputy Education Minister Gifty Twum Ampofo advised the girls always to have mentors, to focus their minds on their goals and channel their energies towards realising their ambitions.