The Ministry of Communication yesterday launched its maiden Information Communication and Technology (ICT) driven competition to motivate young girls to consider careers in ICT to promote innovation in the country.
Dubbed “Ms Geek Ghana”, the competition was aimed at inspiring more girls into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to enable them to meaningfully contribute to solving the challenges confronting the country.
It targeted young girls between the ages of 13 to 25 across the country capable of using technology to solve challenges the country was faced with.
The Minister of Communication, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said, the competition would serve as a platform to encourage and empower girls and women to consider careers in ICT to enable technological companies to reap the benefits of female participation in the sector.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful indicated that, young women, especially those in the vulnerable societies if encouraged to develop solutions which address existing initiatives, the initiatives would work efficiently.
“If we give the right opportunities, we will be able to unearth a lot of hidden talents and be working to achieve gender equality to empower young women in fulfilment of Sustainable Development Goal five,” she added.
In addition, she indicated that, due to the existence of capitation grant, the country had been able to achieve parity in terms of boys and girls at the primary educational level.
“The statistics of girls in technology are not encouraging and we are determined to put in place initiatives that will end all forms of stereotyping of young women pursuing STEM,” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful emphasised.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful stated that, the event would be held twice every year and the top three finalists would win cash prizes and get business support.
She explained that, applicants were expected to develop a simple solution using ICT and submit to www.msgeek.org.gh adding that, entries could be submitted personally with the deadline slated for November 10, this year.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful added that, shortlisted applicants would participate in a master class in December to present their solution before a panel.
“The winner will represent Ghana at the next Ms Geek Africa which will be held in Guinea this year with the finalists becoming Ms Geek ambassadors to spread the achievements of young girls in STEM programmes,” she said.
Mr George Andah, the Deputy Minister of Communication stated that, the ministry was pursuing a very aggressive digital agenda in the country to improve the lives of citizens.
According to him, the government through ICT had undertaken technological developments including the national digital committee addressing system, mobile money interoperability system and the national Identification card issuance system.
BY ABEDUWAA LUCY APPIAH