The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), in collaboration with Women-in-Engineering (WinE) and the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE), have held a Career Development Programme for female engineering students in Accra.
Participants included students from the University of Ghana, Regional Maritime University, Central University, Academic City College, Accra Technical University and University of Mines and Technology who attended the programme physically.
Those who joined via online included Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST, and Ashesi University. Special invitations were extended to female engineers at CSIR led by Dr. Rose Omari; and also the Chief Operations Officer of AIMS Ghana, Ms. Adelaide Asante. Also invited were Ing. Prof. Elsie Kauffman of Science and Maths Quiz fame, and distinguished members of the Engineering fraternity.
The Executive Director of the GhIE, Ing. David Nyante, admonished the students, saying: “As female engineering students, your career goals are not only about your occupation; they are also about your progress in life, your growth and your development in all other aspects of life”.
He added that programmes like this help students develop the resources they need to move forward along their career path. He urged UNESCO to assist WinE in extending this programme to all GhIE branches in the country.
In her opening address, the President of WinE – Ing. Dr. Enyonam Kpekpena – thanked UNESCO for supporting them to bring this career development programme into fruition. She said this event marks the first in a series of activities planned for this year, to empower females who are involved in the study and practice of engineering to break barriers and climb higher in their academic and professional pursuits as they contribute to solving societal problems.
The President of GhIE, Ing. Rev. Prof. Charles Adams who joined the programme via zoom from Kumasi, advised young female engineers to take mentorship very seriously; since it prepares them to face life and the profession they have chosen very well. He assured female engineering students that the institution is there to support them with quality engineering professionals to continue mentoring them.
Delivering her goodwill message to the participants, President of the Federation of African Engineering Organisations (FAEO), Ing. Carlien Bou-Chedid, said her Federation has recognised the need for a strong, diverse and inclusive engineering workforce in Africa if we are to develop as a continent. She added that Africa needs people who understand our problems and can come up with solutions that are appropriate for us all.
The Representative of UNESCO to Ghana, Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo, expressed delight that his outfit has been able to organise this programme and urged the female engineering students to take advantage of it to bridge the gap in the engineering profession. He said the call for gender equality in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) should not be limited to the elite, but should be extended to all girls and women – especially those living with disabilities.