GI-KACE Collaborates with WIPR to inspire inclusion at FEMITECH 2024

The Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (GI-KACE) in collaboration with the Women in Public Relations Ghana (WIPR) has delved deep into how communication professionals can use communication as a catalyst for driving digital inclusion at the just-ended Females in Tech (FEMITECH) 2024 Conference.

The FEMITECH Conference which is an annual event commemorating International Women’s Day, celebrates female achievements in technology while showcasing opportunities in ICT for women. This Conference is organized by GI-KACE, as a platform for empowering women and driving inclusivity in the technology sector.

On March 7, 2024, at the Females in Tech (FEMITECH) conference a panel discussion, moderated by Joyce A. Sackitey-Ahiadorme, President of Women in PR Ghana was conducted featuring prominent female communication professionals such as Sophia Kudjordji, Ivy Heward-Mills, and Eunice A. Ankomah.

Highlighting on the topic: “How to Use Communication as a Tool for Digital Inclusion”, Sophia Kudjordi, Chief Corporate Communications Officer of Jospong Group of Companies; underscored the need to actively involve community members in the design and development of digital solutions to make innovations become more relevant in addressing actual needs.  Sophia Kudjordi, stated that communication must focus on relevance and values because people need to understand how digital tools can improve their lives.

“True innovation in the digital sphere comes from understanding the needs of the people it’s supposed to serve, we need to actively engage with communities to identify the barriers they face and co-create solutions that are relevant and valuable to them,” she disclosed.

Eunice A. Ankomah, Communications Strategist and A Certified Digital Finance Practitioner, advocated for the incorporation of art into the technological process to enhance user engagement and promote innovation.

“We need to make art the integral part of the process and not just develop solution. By infusing creativity into technological endeavours, we can enhance user engagement and promote innovation,” she added.

She further stated that a patient approach is crucial in empowering individuals to navigate the digital landscape confidently.

“If we want to develop people’s digital skills, we need to be patient enough to teach them what it means and the benefits to them,” she remarked.

Ivy Heward-Mills, Director, International Education and Collaboration University of Professional Studies, Accra affirmed that, communication is the catalyst for change.

According to her, transforming technology from a mere tool into a force for empowerment and by leveraging it effectively, can ensure that no one is left behind in the digital revolution.

She noted that often the power of technology is underestimated.

“It is not just about the latest gadgets or the fastest internet speeds. It is about how we can use technology to empower individuals, communities, and nations. We must work together -governments, educators, tech companies, and civil society organizations- to ensure that the benefits of technology reach everyone.

“By harnessing the power of communication, we can empower individuals and communities, and unlock the true potential of technology to create a more inclusive and prosperous future” she stated

Joyce Sackitey-Ahiadorme, Head Transformation and Communications at Vlisco Ghana Cluster, emphasized the power of storytelling in bridging cultural divides and fostering understanding among diverse communities.

She stated that by nurturing individuals with strong communication skills, society can break down barriers and build connections on a global scale.

According to her, the key to creating impactful stories lies in authenticity, empathy, and the ability to resonate with audiences from different backgrounds.

“We need to amplify voices that have long been silenced, true progress begins with listening to those whose stories have been overlooked,” she said. The FEMITECH conference convened women from academia, industry, and beyond to address challenges associated with gender equality and equity. Notably, three women were honoured for their contributions to promoting technology: Hon Ama Pomaa Boateng, MP for JUABEN Constituency, Ashanti Region; Madam Esther Akua Gyamfi, Executive Secretary of the National Council on Persons with Disabilities (NCPD); and Thabisile Phumo, Executive Vice President for Stakeholder Relations at Sibanye-Stillwater, South Africa