The Women in Science Programme (WSP), an initiative to enhance young women’s interest to the area of scientific research in the Sub-Saharan African region was launched in Accra yesterday.
It is an initiative of the L’Oreal foundation and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) with the objective of recognising young women in the profession and to assist them as their career progresses.
Speaking at the launching, the Programme Manager for L’Oreal foundation Africa, Mr Tahirou Gourouza, said since Ghana was a household name in Africa, it was important for young women in the country to be enthused about scientific research to promote the growth of the continent.
He indicated that research by UNESCO showed only 18 percent of Ghanaian women were into scientific research and called for more engagement for women to take part in the profession.
The Programme Manager recommended the need for more policy direction by governments for women across the globe to further encourage and recognise their efforts when they made break-through findings in their research.
He also presented the criteria to which women participants were eligible to participate in the Sub-Saharan African region as one with a nationality within the region, one pursuing research in Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science.
Among others were outstanding academic records and the ability to communicate and promote science to younger African female scientists.
In his remarks, the Country representative of L’Oreal Foundation, Sekou Coulibaly, said the foundation has collaborated with UNESCO over the past 20 years through the WSP to increase women’s participation in scientific research globally.
He noted that through that, the foundation has awarded almost 3,000 young women scientists through 102 international laureates, 45 national and five regional programmes around the world among whom was a female Ghanaian who emerged winner for the first time last year.
On the part of the Principal Programme Officer of Natural Sciences, Mr Apollonius Osei-Akoto Asare said the laudable initiative was imperative for participation for all scientific enthusiasts in achieving academic and professional excellence.
In attendance were students, researchers and scientific enthusiasts to encourage young women to enter into the profession of scientific research and to also take part in the Women in Science program.
BY DAVID TAKYI