The Gender and Social Inclusion Department of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) has officially launched its internship and mentorship programme for female students in the fields of Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM).
50 female students drawn from five institutions – namely Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Accra Technical University (ATU), Koforidua Technical University (KTU), Akwatia Technical Institute (KTI) and Kumasi Technical University – have been selected as the first cohort.
The initiative will run through the duration of MiDA’s Power Compact agreement and benefit an estimated 300 females in STEM disciplines – forming part of sustained efforts to promote female participation in the country’s energy sector.
The beneficiaries will be taken through two months of paid internship and capacity building in the offices of MiDA’s project implementing partners such as the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the Energy Commission (EC) and the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).
MiDA’s Internship and Mentoring Programme seeks to prepare female students of Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) in various tertiary, vocational/technical and training institutions to become employable to the power sector.
Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister, Otiko Afisa-Djaba who launched the programme in Accra, applauded the initiative as first of its kind in attracting females into the energy sector while commending and assuring MiDA of her ministry’s collaboration toward its successful implementation.
She said in her remarks: “We can’t afford to leave women behind as we push for self-sufficiency as a country – a Ghana beyond aid. This is a programme that will train and empower females with practical skills to help them get employment in the power sector.
“In strong collaboration with MiDA, we can draw more attention to gender concerns in the energy sector and enhance female participation in STEM disciplines as well as equip them with leadership skills.”
In urging the first batch of beneficiaries to take full advantage of the programme, she said: “You represent the change and hope that we crave – the new face of Ghanaian women inspired to go into the fields of science, technology and mathematics. Take this opportunity like oxygen; you might not get another like this”.
The Chief Executive Officer of MiDA, Martin Eson-Benjamin, said the internship programme will train beneficiaries to gain additional knowledge to support their education and open doors to future benefits.
“Through this programme, a lot of ladies will be able and ready to support the nation’s development: to the beneficiaries, you will be working yourselves toward gainful employment in the power sector,” he said.
Mr. Eson-Benjamin urged the first cohort to be good ambassadors of the programme and blaze the trail for others to follow.
A representative from the Millennium Challenge Compact, Ben Edwards, said the outfit remains committed to its quest of reducing poverty and enhancing economic growth through the building and expansion of critical infrastructure, especially in the power sector.
Commenting on the internship programme, he noted: “Women will have a better opportunity of becoming leaders for all Ghanaians to benefit”.