Edna Edem Sowu, a 12-year-old JHS two student from Trinity Presbyterian Model School in Koforidua, emerged as the winner of the Girls in ICT competition in the Eastern Region. Gifty Akpo from Reverend Fr Weggers R/C JHS in Nsawam-Adoagyiri municipality secured the second position, while Deborah Mateko Ofoe from Asesewa Methodist JHS in Upper-Manya Krobo District came in third.
As part of their prizes, Edna received a cash prize of GHC5,000, a laptop, accessories, and an ICT laboratory for her school provided by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation. Gifty and Deborah were awarded cash prizes of GHC3,000 and GHC2,000, respectively, along with laptops and accessories.
The competition involved approximately 1,000 selected girls from the 33 administrative districts in the Eastern Region, and the top 100 performers received laptops. District girl child education coordinators in the region also received laptops.
During the closing ceremony, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, expressed her pride in the progress made by girls in the ICT initiative. She emphasized that the Girls in ICT program has helped dispel the notion that STEM education is exclusively for boys and highlighted the importance of sustaining the program. The ministry is considering establishing a trust fund for the Girls in ICT program to ensure its continuity and generate continued interest among girls in the sciences.
Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee, founder and director of Salt and Light Ministries, commended the ministry for advocating for girls and changing gender narratives around STEM education. She urged the girls to seize the opportunity presented to them, as it has the potential to shape their future and benefit society at large. She also emphasized the need for a strategy to sustain the program and bridge the gender gap.
Madam Adwoa Wiafe, Chief Corporate Services and Sustainability Officer of MTN, expressed her appreciation for how the initiative has engaged and sparked the interest of young girls in ICT and STEM education. She highlighted the relevance of digital skills in today’s rapidly evolving world and the limitless opportunities they provide for creativity, innovation, and career growth.
Overall, the Girls in ICT celebration aimed to empower young girls with digital skills that can contribute to Africa’s progress and provide solutions to various challenges.