A total of 15 Ghanaian women engineers have been selected to undertake a one week capacity building course under the “Capacity Development for Women Construction Engineers in Africa” programme.
They were drawn from agencies including the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL), Public Works Department (PWD) and Tema Development Company (TDC) under the Ministry of Works and Housing.
Facilitated by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), under its “Capacity Improvement and Advancement for Tomorrow (CIAT)” initiative, the programme, which is the first of its kind, would equip participants with best practices in the construction engineering field to impact on Ghana’s socio-economic development.
At a ceremony in Accra yesterday to handover 15 laptops to the beneficiaries, KOICA Country Director, Moo Heon Kong indicated that in line with the ‘new normal’, the course would be held online from October 16 to October 23, 2020.
“These programmes are held in Korea but with this new normal resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the approach has slightly changed. We are embracing more virtual learning for the meantime until the situation stabilises,” he explained.
Mr Kong noted that the all-women fellowship programme was a demonstration of KOICA’s support for gender equality and mainstreaming among its partner countries.
He said, through the course, “KOICA will share the experience of Korea’s economic development to transfer practical knowledge and technologies which can be applied to Ghana.”
“Our primary objective is to continue to share important technical skills and knowledge as well as to build capacities for sustainable social-economic development of partner countries like Ghana,” he said.
The Country Director assured of Korea’s continuous support to Ghana in the area of capacity development of its human resource which has proven positive over the years “on the systems and institutions as well as our partnership and friendship.”
Receiving the laptops on behalf of the Ministry, the Chief Director, Mr Ebenezer Sam raised concern over the gender disparity in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field.
Notwithstanding, he said the Ministry was committed to empowering its departments and agencies to set aside resources for the continuous professional development of women engineering practitioners.
“The Ministry of Works and Housing continues to provide learning opportunities for its officers to acquire the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes through systematic training and development to enable them meet challenges of current and future responsibilities,” he said.
Mr Sam expressed gratitude to KOICA for the opportunity and urged participants to take the course seriously and not let Ghana down.
Greater Accra Regional Consultant for AESL, Naa Kwarley Quartey on behalf of beneficiaries thanked KOICA for the training programme, expressing the hope that it would encourage more women into the industry.
“We have a lot of women who study engineering but do not practise it so the men dominate in the field and we hope that as we take up this course, it will help more women to take interest in the practice,” she stated.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH