The Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (GI-KACE) visited three schools in the Greater Accra region on April 25, 2024, with the focus on engaging with students, particularly girls in the area of leadership.

This was under the auspices of the GI-KACE outreach initiative, which is an annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative focused on encouraging and empowering girls to take up careers in the growing field of ICT.

Director for Corporate Affairs at GI-KACE, Kobi Hemaa Osisiadan- Bekoe speaking at the sessions, indicated that GI-KACE used the visitation to the various schools as a step forward in bridging the gender gap and encouraging more girls to get involved in ICT, a sector that continues to grow and impact lives.

According to her, the celebration emphasised the importance of strong female role models in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers who can empower young girls, with a special focus on inspiring and nurturing leadership qualities among the girls.

Kobi Hemaa Osisiadan-Bekoe further stated that a report from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) shows that only 21% of ICT ministers worldwide are women, highlighting a significant gender disparity in leadership roles within the industry sector.

“Out of 165 ICT regulators globally, only 32 are led by women. This same report also states that in Ghana, the situation mirrors the rest of the world, where women hold less than a third of private sector jobs and have a 21% pay gap compared to their male counterparts in ICT. Leadership is not limited to title or position; but taking action, motivating others, and creating a positive impact, ” she added.

Facilitators from GI-KACE engaged students, particularly girls from St. Marys Senior High School, Canadian Independence College, and Danassk Senior High School.

At some of the schools, Madam Lucy Mawutor Dzoagbe, a facilitator at GI-KACE, shared her journey in the ICT industry, emphasizing the importance of leadership in driving change and innovation.

She spoke about the incredible impact that women leaders have had in the field of technology and encouraged the girls to dream big and never let their gender hold them back.

According to Madam Lucy, the GI-KACE outreach program not only empowers the girls but also creates a sense of hope and mindset change.

“Through their leadership and innovation, these girls would go on to shape the future, breaking barriers and transforming societies. The journey had just begun, and the world eagerly awaits the remarkable contributions of these young leaders in the making,” she stated.

Rosamond Naa Amanuah Ankrah, one of the facilitators from GI-KACE, also touched on the qualities of resilience, passion, and perseverance that are essential for effective leadership.

She advised the students to explore their leadership potential and envision a future where gender equality is not just a dream but a reality by discovering their inner strengths and learning valuable lessons about teamwork and collaboration.

Madam Rosamond further urged the leaders of the school to organize coding workshops, and mentorship programs for the students.

She again encouraged the girls to be actively involved in ICT training groups and initiatives.

With a renewed sense of purpose and determination from the sessions, the girls were finally tasked with brainstorming innovative solutions to real-world problems using technology after having a hands-on experience with an introduction to basic programming languages.

GI-KACE, after the outreach, impacted about 200 girls across the three schools, with many expressing their interest in the ICT field.