As part of efforts to bridge the gap between gender and technology, MTN has partnered with the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation to host 80 young girls in ICT as part of a mentorship programme.
The mentoring session forms part of a Girls in ICT programme which is being executed by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation.
MTN Ghana is supporting the Girls in ICT programme with GH¢10million to cover the cost of the project over a three-year period starting from 2021. Payment of the funds are being spread over a 3-year period with an amount of GH¢3.33million to be paid annually.
Under the theme: ‘Accessing ICT Safely’, 80 girls who were finalists in Girls in ICT bootcamp training from the Central, Oti, Western North and North East Regions travelled to Accra to engage with Women in Technology from MTN and other Technology companies and to experience the working life of female achievers in the industry. During the mentorship session at the MTN Head office (MTN House), the students were given the opportunity to have one on one sessions with the CEO and mentors.
Ama Pomaa Boateng represented the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation at the event. Speaking to the press, she explained why her outfit had partnered with MTN for this project and why it was necessary to teach young girls how to access the internet safely. She said, “I am very proud of all the young girls here today. Technology is a male-dominated field so it is very encouraging to see all these girls interested in this field.
“Although there are a lot of benefits of the Internet, there are also many dangers. It is necessary to educate these girls against issues such as cyberbullying, scamming and fraud to make sure they do not fall victim to them. MTN has done a lot to support training of girls in ICT. We are grateful to them and know we can count on them to do more.”
Georgina Asare Fiagbenu, Senior Manager for Corporate Communications at MTN, welcomed the young girls and their teachers to the MTN House. She congratulated them for being selected out of 1000 as the top 80. She encouraged them to take advantage of all the benefits of the Internet and engage with the mentors.
She said: “It is very exciting to finally have you here with us at the MTN House. This programme was stalled by COVID-19 for the past two years, but finally we have the chance to meet you all in person. This programme has been designed to teach you how to access ICT safely and take advantage of the opportunities the Internet offers. This is so that you can use it effectively for your studies. I am sure that in a few years’ time, we will see you as top leaders in technology.”
Robert Kuzoe, Senior Manager – Sustainability and Social Impact, MTN Ghana Foundation, was also in attendance. He spoke to the media about MTN’s desire to see more girls enter the ICT space.
“MTN is gradually moving from a Telecommunication Company (Telco) to a Technology Company (TechCo). As we embark on this gradual change, we hope to see a lot more women take up space in the technology sphere. We are hopeful that with our continuous support, the young ladies will have a better opportunity of pursuing careers in technology and STEM as a whole,” he said.
MTN’s support toward the initiative falls in line with MTN’s vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world, and its core belief that everyone deserves the benefits of modern connected life.
In view of that, MTN Ghana has supported the programme over the years in kind and cash. In 2021 as part of MTN Ghana’s 25th Anniversary, the business decided to invest significantly in the programme to benefit more girls.