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Huawei, Foreign Affairs Ministry partner to bridge gap

Huawei Technologies-Ghana, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has launched digital skills training for female students and residents of the Ga Central municipality.

This initiative adds to the plethora of activities Huawei Ghana has undertaken as part of its Women in Technology initiative, which seeks to actively bridge the gender gap in ICT.

At the Huawei Digital Skills Training launch, the Managing Director, Huawei Technologies-Ghana, Tommy Zhou, said the initiative promotes ICT education and motivates more girls to consider taking up careers in STEM.

“It is our aim to promote ICT education and motivate more girls to consider taking up careers in STEM while contributing our quota toward achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 – achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls through ICT,” Mr. Zhou said.

The significance of technology cannot be underestimated, given its impact on societies and economies. As the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) beckons, all hands are needed on deck to fully realise the full potentials of digitalization.

According to the World Economic Forum gender gap report, women represent around 26% of the STEM workforce in developed countries with a far lower number in developing countries – as men outnumber women in most ICT and STEM fields generally.

“At Huawei, we believe that technology innovation can be led by women, and technology in its end can empower women. Huawei’s female employees have been playing a unique role and making important contributions to the company. Many of them have distinguished themselves and become outstanding leaders,” Mr. Zhou cited.

“In the digital era, the most important measure to bridge the digital gender gap is through education. Whether it is college education or social training, we need to give women more opportunities to participate in the digital profession. It is against this backdrop that the Huawei Women in Technology initiative was founded,” he stated.

Speaking at the launch, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration said: “Bringing tech to our communities is a huge step as we strategically position our country to use ICT in accelerating our national development. It breaks income and social barriers, expands opportunities for everyone, and provides government with the capacity to help improve lives and livelihoods.

“Government is committed to using ICT education to transform the country’s agro-based economy into a knowledge-based one, through the effective use of ICT tools for expanding the national economy’s base and for creating employment opportunities for the youth,” she added.

Central to this ambition is the need to address the gender digital divide, especially young girls lagging behind in ICT Education.  Government has led efforts to bridge the widening ICT gender gap, as well as accomplish SDG 5 on ‘Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering all Women and Girls’.  This partnership programme with Huawei (Huawei Seeds for the Future-Women in Tech) is therefore in the right direction.

In light of this, during the scheduled one-week Digital Workshop for ladies in the Municipality, Huawei has planned a series of exciting 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. Being the basic skill required for App Development and Computer programming. Coding has almost become a basic skill in the digital age, and is thus an important part of this workshop.

The second part will offer basic training in FinTech (Financial Technology) to businesswomen and traders in the Municipality to empower them to go digital with their businesses. Technology is changing the way we buy and sell with eCommerce, and FinTech is experiencing exponential growth in Ghana and on the continent.

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