Cape Coast — The Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare has urged females in the country to venture in the study of ICT and its application and said that, they must be bold in taking such decisions.
She explained that, people should not view the study of technology and science as the preserve of men, saying, "The domination of these professions, especially ICT by men should change and we must all strive to break the barrier".
Mrs Osei-Opare was speaking at a programme to climax the Girls and ICT programme held for beneficiary pupils from the Central Region.
A total of 980 selected girls from the basic school level within 14 districts benefitted from the training programme.
It was held by the Ministry of Communications in conjunction with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) with support from Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Kofi Annan ICT Centre.
At the end of the training programme, Margaret Joan De Baptista Brown Badzi of the Agona Swedru Girls Model JHS emerged the best among the participating pupils.
Those who excelled during the project were presented with laptops while the best 20 students in addition to the laptops would be provided with one-year internet connectivity.
Mrs Osei-Opare further said that the country cannot afford to have majority of its population in the area of women excluded from ICT and its application.
She noted that females have the capacity to take on challenging task and said that technology education would not be difficult for them if they put their minds to it.
She commended the participating girls for availing themselves to study ICT as part of the project.
She urged them to use the knowledge acquired as a springboard to advance their education and cautioned them against complacency.
She said: "The digital world needs to benefit all of us regardless of status, gender and location".
The government through the Ministry of Communications, she said, had started implementing a number of initiatives such as e-health, school connectivity project, e-justice and mobile money interoperability among others to promote the use of ICT in the country.
She urged ladies to take up jobs in the ICT sector in order to beef up the shortfalls within the sector, saying, "Ladies should not be intimidated from joining the sector".
The Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan, in an address, underscored the important role of ICT for national transformation and called on women to be involved in the ICT revolution.
He indicated that the use of ICT had contributed significantly in enhancing productivity in the world.
He, therefore, called for investment in initiatives that would promote the learning of ICT among girls in the country.
The Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, in her address, explained that the Girls in ICT project was aimed at offering an opportunity to girls to take up technology as a profession.
She expressed the ministry's commitment in expanding the project for more girls to participate in it.
She indicated that, the rationale behind the concept was to enable the young females to make informed career choices and said, the sector holds enormous opportunity for girls.
She underscored the need for the country to adopt the needed strategies to narrow the digital divide between females and their male counterpart.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful further gave an indication of the ministry's commitment to establish five computer laboratories equipped with special technology for five special needs schools in the region.
Additionally, she said, the ministry would also establish computer laboratories for selected schools in the region based on the best 20 pupils who performed creditably during the training programme.
A senior lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Dr Mrs Henrietta Abane, who was the chairperson for the event, mentioned the important role of ICT in the transformation agenda of developing countries.
He explained that, efforts at promoting transformation in developing countries would be a mirage without investment and use of modern ICT.