Government commits to using ICT to transform agro-based economy

Accra, Nov. 13, GNA - Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, says the government is committed to using ICT education to transform the country’s agro-based economy into a knowledge-based one.

She said through the effective use of ICT tools for the expansion of the base of the national economy, there would be the creation of employment opportunities for the youth.

Madam Botchway was speaking at the Launch of Huawei Digital Skills Training for Female Students and Residents in the Ga Central Municipality in Accra.

The objective of the training is to bridge the gender gap in ICT, motivate women and young girls to consider careers in ICT and other STEM-related disciplines.

It is also to deepen China-Ghana (SINO-Ghana) bilateral relations in line with the mandate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and equip women and girls with ICT skills to enable them to thrive in the modern world.

She said central to this ambition was the need to address the gender digital divide, especially of young girls lagging in ICT Education.

The Minister said the government had led efforts to bridge the widening ICT gender gap as well as accomplish Sustainable Development Goals 5 on “Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering all Women and Girls”.

She said the partnership programme with Huawei (‘’Huawei Seeds for the Future-Women in Tech’’) was in the right direction.

"My Ministry will continue to work with Huawei and other multinationals to ensure that Ghana continues to be a preferred business destination," he added.

Mr Tommy Zhou, Managing Director, Huawei Technologies, Ghana said while promoting ICT, they would be contributing their quota towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5, of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls through ICT.

He said the significance of technology could not be underestimated given its impact on societies and economies.

"As the 4th Industrial Revolution beacons, all hands are needed on deck to fully realize the full potentials of digitalization," he said.

The Managing Director said according to the World Economic Forum gender gap report, women represent around 26 per cent of the STEM workforce in developed countries with a far lower number for developing countries with men outnumbering women in most ICT and STEM fields in general.

He said it was in line with this that Huawei decided to partner with the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Ga Central Municipal Assembly (Anyaa Sowutuom) on the initiative.

Mr Zhou said the initiative would add to the plethora of activities being undertaken as part of the Huawei Women in Technology initiative, which sought to actively bridge the gender gap in ICT.

"At Huawei, we believe that technology innovation can be led by women, and technology in its end can empower women," he added.

The Managing Director said in the digital era, the most important measure to bridge the digital gender gap was through education.

He said the launch formed part of efforts to fulfil a commitment they made to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to offer ICT training to 10,000 Ghanaians to enter the industry by 2024.

"As a global ICT Leader, Huawei shall continue to nurture ICT talents in the country to help drive Ghana’s Digitalization Agenda," added.

During the scheduled one week Digital Workshop for the ladies in the Municipality, Huawei has planned a series of capacity building activities for all participating beneficiaries.

The first part of the workshop will be focused on offering basic Coding training to Senior High School ladies.

The second part will offer basic training in FinTech (Financial Technology) to business women and traders in the Municipal to empower them to go digital with their businesses.