To commensurate the world’s annual celebration and honouring women, dubbed: International Women’s Day, leading event’s company Charterhouse, in partnership with Geisha Soap and Joy FM, has successfully hosted the 5th edition of its annual National Women’s Summit & Expo. The summit was held on March 8 at the Grand Arena inside the Accra International Conference Centre.
This year’s summit was centred on the global theme: DigitALL – Innovation & Technology for Gender Equality. Panel discussions were held on two themes, namely: Demystifying Digital – It’s not that complicated, and The Future is Digital – Women inclusion in the digital future of work.
In her opening speech, CEO of Charterhouse and convener of the summit, Theresa Ayoade, made a clarion call on young women to rise to the occasion and get out of their comfort zone to do more. She said: “Women, the future is digital; but guess what? The future is now! We are now living in the digital era; we are in the digital revolution, and we cannot be left behind! Let it not be said of our generation years to come that we failed to move on with the digital revolution and have let digital inclusiveness become a gender issue in the future. We will be digitally inclusive!”
The Keynote Speaker was in the person of Ethel Cofie – Tech Business Leader and founder of Women in Tech Africa. Also Chair of the government and ICT Sector Skills Board, she spoke about being bold and audacious in order to grow. “Women need audacity to ask for more in their careers and to grow more.”
Speaking on training teachers to guide kids on career path, she said: “We need to train our teachers not to frighten girls who take an interest in STEM courses. That is the only way we can propel excellence for women to take up digital innovations”.
The summit had some of the most experienced female leaders, entrepreneurs and tech experts in Ghana who were invited to share their stories and expertise as a way of empowering women and girls.
They included Venus Tawiah – Director of Business and Corporate Communications; Mariam Agyeman-Boahin – Head, Digital Marketing, ‘LETSHEGO’ Group; Thelma Quaye – Chief Digital Infrastructure Skills and Empowerment Officer, Smart Africa Secretariat (Rwanda); Tara Fela-Durotoye – Founder and CEO, House of Tara International (Nigeria); Regina Honu – Founder and CEO, Soronko Academy; and Akosua Annobil – Founder, AB2020 and Tech in Ghana.
Workshop sessions were led by Mest – an Africa-wide technology entrepreneurship training programme, internal seed fund, and network of hubs offering incubation for technology start-ups in Africa as well as B.You by Berla Mundi – a mentorship and career guidance campaign for female students, workers, entrepreneurs, etc.
Nana Yaa Owusu-Ansah, Marketing Director for Beauty, Well-being and Personal Care, Unilever Ghana and Francophone Africa, in her speech, reiterated Geisha’s beliefs in the capabilities of women in shaping their children and keeping their homes.
“The Geisha brand has been unwavering in its belief that mothers are essential to the development of functioning societies. Geisha continues to be a ‘strong soap for long lasting care’. It is this care that we emphasise as the catalyst pushing tomorrow’s tech professionals. Whether as professional women or as homemakers, we have innumerable stories of mothers whose strength and resilience have made the difference in their children’s academic, social and professional outcomes.” She ended by urging all women to not only make their voices heard, but make their impact felt as well.
Panel discussions were moderated by Edem Knight-Tay, Programmes Manager – Joy FM and Emelia Ainooson. The 5th National Women’s Summit & Expo is sponsored by Geisha Soap and produced by Charterhouse, in collaboration with Joy FM.