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  • "Mahama did not seek assistance from the Russian govt for Dec 7 Polls" – Bawah Mogtari

    Spokesperson of former President John Dramani Mahama, Joyce Bawah Mogtari has dismissed reports that the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress has been to Russia to seek assistance from the Russian government for the December Polls. The denial comes on the back of publications by some media outlets that Mr Mahama, under the guise of launching a Russian version of his autobiography entitled ‘My First Coup D’etat’ sought the support of the Russian government in the upcoming December 7 elections. Bawah Mogtari in a statement on Friday, July 12, 2024, described the report as a ‘shadowy and unethical journalism practice’ to defame the flagbearer. Credit: 3news

  • Akufo-Addo appoints Samuel A. Jinapor to oversee Energy Ministry

    President Akufo-Addo, has designated the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, and Member of Parliament for Damongo Constituency, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, to have Cabinet oversight responsibility over the Energy Ministry. This follows the resignation of the Minister for Energy, Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, who has been named running mate to the Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. Several names came up for the running mate position after the election of Dr. Bawumia as the NPP’s flagbearer. However, the flagbearer has settled on the Manhyia South Legislator, who previously served as Minister for Education before moving to the Ministry of Energy. On Tuesday, 9th July, 2024, Dr. Opoku-Prempeh was outdoored as the running mate to the NPP’s Flagbearer at a durbar in Kumasi, Following his unveiling, Dr. Opoku Prempeh is set to resign from his position as Minister for Energy to focus on working with the flagbearer to win the upcoming elections. A Statement issued by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr. Eugene Arhin, on Thursday 11th July, 2024, said the President has accepted the resignation of Dr. Opoku-Prempeh as Energy Minister with effect from 18th July, 2024. The Statement, also, said the President has asked the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinpor, MP, to have Cabinet oversight responsibility over the Ministry of Energy, while the Minister of State designate for the Ministry of Energy, Hon. Herbert Krampah will be responsible for the day to day administration of the Ministry. Mr. Jinapor’s oversight responsibility over the Ministry will be in addition to his substantive role as the Minister responsible for Lands and Natural Resources. This is the third time the President has given Mr. Jinapor additional responsibilities over other Ministries. It will be recalled that following the resignation of the former Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. John Allan Kwadwo Kyeremateng, the President on 13th January, 2023, appointed Mr. Jinapor as the caretaker Minister for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, a position he held for three (3) months until Hon. K.T. Hammond was sworn in as Minister for Trade in April, 2023. Again, following the Ministerial reshuffle in February this year, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister was again designated caretaker Minister for the Ministry of Environment, Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI), pending the approval of Parliament of the then Minister-designate, Hon. Ophelia Mensah Hayford. This shows the confidence the Government has in Mr. Jinapor. For the short period he spent at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr. Jinapor championed some critical policy matters, including a Policy on Consumer Protection. In a Policy Statement delivered to Parliament, he emphasised the need to enact a Consumer Protection Law, and establish Consumer Protection Agency, to protect the rights of consumers, arguing that the common law remedies under contract and tort are inadequate to protect consumers. As Minister with Cabinet oversight responsibility over the Energy Ministry, Mr. Jinapor will be required to deal with some pressing energy matters, including the power situation in the country, the intermittent lights out, and crude oil production, which has been on the decline since 2019, according to the Public Interest and Accountability Committee’s (PIAC’s) 2023 Report. Since the power sector plays a crucial role in every election, Mr. Jinapor’s designation, barely six months to the election, is a crucial one, as analysts look forward to the innovations he will bring to the sector. Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

  • Organized Labour convenes urgent meeting over NPRA's approval of SSNIT Hotels

    In a significant development, Organized Labour has called an urgent meeting with its members today to discuss the recent approval by the National Pensions Regulatory Commission (NPRA) for the sale of SSNIT's shares in six hotels. The meeting aims to deliberate on the next steps following the NPRA's green light for the sale. The NPRA had initially directed the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to halt its negotiations with Rock City concerning the sale of four hotels until further evaluation and engagement were conducted. This directive, issued on June 28, was intended to ensure all necessary processes and documentation were completed. However, during a parliamentary session on Thursday, July 11, Employment and Labour Relations Minister Ignatius Baffour-Awuah confirmed that the NPRA has now given the go-ahead for the sale. He stated that the NPRA was satisfied that SSNIT had complied with all due processes. "Yes, it is true that NPRA came up with a directive, but I would appreciate it if my brother, my colleague, really read the directive from NPRA. It said it needed to be furnished with all information relating to the sale of the hotels, which SSNIT has since done," Minister Baffour-Awuah explained. He emphasized that the NPRA's directive was not an outright prohibition of the sale but rather a requirement for SSNIT to provide comprehensive documentation and follow all procedural steps. "So, it wasn’t like a direct something that SSNIT should not go ahead to do anything, but then, SSNIT can only go ahead when NPRA, which is the regulator within the field, had actually certified that they have seen all the documentation and the processes, and they think that we are good to go." The Employment and Labour Relations Minister further outlined the reasons behind the decision to sell SSNIT's 60 percent shares in the hotels. He explained that the move was a strategic decision after multiple restructuring attempts proved inadequate. The sale aims to prevent further depletion of resources and bring in private sector participation. "SSNIT considered only the sale of shares for its hotel investment portfolio as a strategic decision after multiple attempts at restructuring proved insufficient. 70-60% of its shares are deemed the most viable solution to prevent further depletion of resources and to bring in private participation," Minister Baffour-Awuah said. He also addressed concerns about the business viability of the hotels, acknowledging that some of the investments were either generating low returns or incurring losses. "Is it a good business activity? Yes, I want to believe my colleague is listening to me fully, well because I answered by saying that some of the investments are either making low returns or making losses." As Organized Labour meets to discuss these developments, the outcome of their deliberations could significantly impact the future of SSNIT's hotel investments and the broader implications for the pensions and labor sectors in Ghana. Story by: Thinknewsonline

  • Napo apologizes for comments on Ghana’s First President, Kwame Nkrumah

    In a recent turn of events, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the running mate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has issued a public apology for comments he made regarding Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Dr. Opoku Prempeh, who is popularly known as NAPO, clarified that his statements were his personal opinions and were not meant to disrespect Dr. Nkrumah or any other former presidents of Ghana. In a statement released to the media, NAPO expressed his sincere regret for any discomfort his comments may have caused. He emphasized that he holds deep respect for all former heads of state, including his grand uncle and mentor, former President John Agyekum Kufuor. “I wish to emphasize that I never meant to disrespect our former president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, or any of our former heads of state, including my grand uncle and mentor, John Agyekum Kufuor,” Dr. Opoku Prempeh stated. “I note the concerns raised after my statement, and I apologize sincerely and regret any discomfort caused.” The apology comes after a wave of public backlash and concerns raised by various individuals and groups who felt that his comments were inappropriate and disrespectful to the legacy of Dr. Nkrumah. Dr. Opoku Prempeh’s remarks had sparked a significant amount of debate and criticism, leading to his decision to issue a formal apology. As the NPP prepares for the upcoming elections, this incident highlights the sensitivity surrounding the legacies of Ghana’s past leaders and the importance of maintaining respect and decorum in political discourse. Dr. Opoku Prempeh’s apology aims to mend any rifts and restore goodwill among the supporters and the general public. The NPP has yet to release an official statement regarding the incident, but it is expected that they will address the matter in the coming days as the party continues its campaign activities. Dr. Opoku Prempeh's apology underscores the significance of acknowledging past leaders' contributions while fostering a respectful political environment. Story by: Sarah-Joyce Komenan

  • "Measure success by impact on others" - Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo urges beneficiaries of Girls-in-ICT project

    Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo has reminded young female beneficiaries of the Girls-in-ICT project that success is not solely measured by individual achievements but also by the impact they have on others and their contributions to the greater good. She made these remarks while speaking at the climax of the Girls-in-ICT Day celebrations held at the CEDI Conference Center, University of Ghana on Wednesday. In her address, Prof. Amfo emphasized on the transformative power of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. Highlighting its role in driving innovation, creativity, and progress, Prof. Amfo encouraged the young participants to harness their ICT skills to create digital solutions to real-world problems, bridge the information access gap, and drive economic growth and development. “The University of Ghana is proud to host this edition of the Girls-in-ICT Day, celebrating and empowering the next generation of female leaders in ICT,” she stated. “ICT is not just about technology; it's about people, impact, and making a difference.” Prof. Amfo lauded the Girls-in-ICT program for promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, which has a significant positive impact on the national economy. She noted that the initiative enhances digital skills, influences STEM career choices, and develops critical thinking and research skills among participants. “It is refreshing to see that the Girls-in-ICT project has been enhanced to include direct engagements with ICT firms, strengthening the hands-on experience and knowledge acquired through this program,” she remarked. Commending the Ministry of Communication and Digitalization and its partners, Prof. Amfo acknowledged their efforts in championing this initiative, which contributes directly to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4, 5, and 8—ensuring inclusive and equitable education, promoting gender equality, and fostering decent work and economic growth. Reflecting on her goal as Vice-Chancellor to train young people who are critical thinkers, technologically adept, humane, and culturally sensitive, Prof. Amfo expressed her excitement that the program also focused on developing soft skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration abilities. “To our young girls, each one of you represents a shining example of the power of females in shaping our future,” she said. “We celebrate your achievements and recognize the incredible impact you can make.” Prof. Amfo urged the young girls to use their expertise to uplift and empower those around them, especially young girls who dream of a future in ICT. “Be mentors, be role models, and be advocates for diversity and inclusion,” she encouraged. “The world is now your canvas, and technology is your brush. Together, let us paint a picture of a future filled with possibilities, equality, and boundless opportunities. Embrace your talents with confidence, follow your passions with determination, and never lose sight of the incredible impact you can make.” With her inspiring words, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo underscored the importance of using technology for the greater good, urging the girls to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and to keep inspiring and supporting each other as the future of ICT and the world. Story by : Joshua Kwabena Smith

  • "I had no idea about Chef Smith’s cook-a-thon until I was being tagged on social media" - Dr. UN

    The ever-controversial, Dr. UN, famed for his unconventional awards schemes, confessed his complete unawareness of Chef Smith’s widely discussed cook-a-thon until social media brought it to his attention. In an interview with an Accra-based tv station, Dr. UN revealed that he first learned about the event through social media tags. "I didn’t even know anything about Chef Smith or the cook-a-thon saga," Dr. UN admitted. "It was only when someone asked me why people were tagging me in discussions about the issue that I decided to investigate." Expressing surprise and curiosity, Dr. UN shared his thoughts on the event and critiqued Chef Smith's approach to achieving a Guinness World Record (GWR). He argued that Chef Smith should have sought his counsel to organize an independent cook-a-thon. "Chef Smith should have independently organized his own cook-a-thon devoid of the GWR accolade," Dr. UN suggested. "Such an approach could have earned him better recognition." Dr. UN elaborated on the type of guidance he could have offered, stating that he would have awarded Chef Smith a citation and ensured a High Commissioner presented the award to enhance credibility. "After the Guinness attempt, they would leave him, but if it was his own brand, he could continue with it and even make it an annual event," Dr. UN explained. The interview has ignited discussions on the significance of branding and strategic planning in the quest for recognition. Dr. UN emphasized the advantages of building a personal brand over depending solely on external accolades, highlighting the potential for sustained and independent success. This unexpected twist in the cook-a-thon narrative has added a layer of intrigue, with many now contemplating the value of personal branding and the role of strategic advice in achieving long-term recognition. Story by: Sarah-Joyce Komenan

  • "This guy is a fool" - Blakk Rasta unleashes fury on Napo over Nkrumah remarks

    Media Personality, Abubakar Ahmed, widely known as Blakk Rasta, has lambasted Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the running mate for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2024 elections, following his contentious remarks about Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh made the remarks during a ceremony at Jubilee Park in Kumasi to outdoor him as Running-mate of the party ahead of the election 2024. Blakk Rasta, a staunch defender of Nkrumah's legacy, did not hold back in his condemnation of Prempeh, whom he disparaged as a "fool." He accused the NPP of a longstanding agenda to tarnish Nkrumah’s reputation, citing efforts to depict him negatively in school textbooks and even alleged attempts to desecrate his grave. “This is not the first time this dirty party in power has tried to denigrate Kwame Nkrumah,” he fumed. Tracing the roots of this antagonism to the Busia government, which he claimed halted Nkrumah's free education policy, Blakk Rasta contrasted Nkrumah's visionary leadership with what he views as Akufo-Addo’s failure. “Nana Akufo-Addo is a villain with no achievement in the class of Kwame Nkrumah,” he asserted, criticizing Prempeh’s comparison of the two leaders. Blakk Rasta lambasted Prempeh’s political acumen, suggesting that any politician who undermines Nkrumah’s legacy lacks common sense and risks alienating both domestic and international audiences. He emphasized the enduring influence of Nkrumah, whose name, he argued, is synonymous with Ghana itself. "When people come to Ghana, it is Kwame Nkrumah who leads them here,” he declared. The broadcaster accused the current administration of nepotism and economic mismanagement, arguing that Akufo-Addo’s policies have driven Ghana into dependency on the IMF and World Bank. He contrasted this with Nkrumah’s self-reliance and nation-building efforts, highlighting his investments in education and industrial infrastructure. “Kwame Nkrumah built factories all over the place. One district, one factory is that far,” Blakk Rasta noted, deriding the current administration’s initiatives. Blakk Rasta’s passionate defense underscores the deep reverence many Ghanaians hold for Nkrumah and reflects broader tensions between historical legacies and contemporary political narratives. As the 2024 elections approach, such contentious debates are likely to escalate, spotlighting the enduring impact of Ghana’s founding leaders on its modern political landscape. Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

  • "Allocate portions of your wills to church" - Rt Rev. Edusa-Eyison to Methodist Church

    The Bishop of the Northern Accra Diocese (NAD) of the Methodist Church Ghana, Rt. Reverend Professor, Joseph M.Y. Edusa-Eyison, has called on Christians not to relent in supporting the work of God.  He particularly urged members of the Methodist church to always consider donating some of their property to the church for the sustenance of the word. He also appealed to the elderly members of the church to consider allocating some portions of their property in their wills to the church stressing that such good deeds would be remembered years after “their departure from earth.” Rt Rev. Edusa-Eyison made the call during a sermon at the Immanuel Methodist Society at the Airport East Circuit of the Northern Accra Diocese. It formed part of his last pastoral visit to the Circuit as he prepared to bow out of office in September this year marking the end of his 6-year service as Bishop of the Northern Accra Diocese. The clergyman also used the occasion to lay the Foundation Stone for the construction of an estimated GH¢18.5 million multi-purpose Chapel for the Immanuel Methodist Society.  The Immanuel Methodist Society was carved out of the Calvary Methodist Church at Adabraka, Accra in 1994 and worshipped for some time at the Association International and Englebert Schools in the Airport Residential Area before it moved to its present abode in the Regimanuel Gray Estate, off the Spintex road. Winning souls Rt Rev. Edusa-Eyison urged the congregation to continually carry out evangelism and discipleship activities to win more souls for Christ with special attention to the development of the youth because they were the future of the Church. He expressed his gratitude to the Airport East Circuit for its support and cooperation during his administration and prayed that the circuit as an organisation would display even more dedication to the in-coming Bishop, Very Rev. Andrew Mbeah-Baiden and the in-coming Lay Chairman, Dr Senyo Adjei for the good of the Diocese. The Superintendent Minister of the Airport East Circuit, Very Rev. Dr Jacob W. French, commended the NAD Bishop for his leadership as the Diocese’s first Bishop and for successfully ensuring that it strived towards being a model for all others.  Project The Chairman of the Building Committee of the Immanuel Methodist Society, Kwesi Abbey Sam, said since the building was launched in July 2023, about 55 per cent of work on the first phase had been completed. He said construction of the 1,500-seater complex had been divided into two phases and is expected to be completed in July 2025 adding that the tender cost of the complex was GH¢18.5 million with the first phase estimated at GH¢ 6,739,000.00. In addition, a member of the Building Committee, Godfrey Ewool, said the building had an underground basement with parking for 30 cars, Church Hall, choir vestry, ministry, an infirmary, superintendent minister’s office, sound control/media room, committee rooms, administration office, stewards office, choir and singing band practice rooms among others. Credit: bxtvgh

  • "Ministry to monitor and track progress of beneficiaries of Girls-in-ICT project" - Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

    The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has announced that her ministry will actively monitor and track the progress of beneficiaries of the Girls-in-ICT project. Speaking at the climax of a two-day National Girls-in-ICT Day event held at the Cedi Conference Centre, University of Ghana, Madam Ursula Owusu-Ekuful emphasized the importance of sustained support and mentorship for the girls involved in the program. "Today, we had an exciting mentorship session with around 80 mentors who shared their personal experiences and demonstrated the significant impact of IT on their lives" "This interaction moves the program from theoretical instruction to practical examples of women successfully utilizing IT," Owusu-Ekuful said. She highlighted the need for continuous engagement beyond the annual event, proposing a system where mentors can provide ongoing support and guidance to the girls throughout their educational and professional journeys. To achieve this, the minister announced plans to establish a trust fund that will enable continuous monitoring and evaluation of the program's beneficiaries. The trust will be managed independently from the ministry, with its own processes for budgeting, accountability, and progress tracking. "We want to ensure that we can monitor each girl's progress long-term, providing the necessary support to help them succeed," she explained. The trust will seek funding from various sources, including women’s agencies and individual companies, aiming for a sustainable stream of resources. This approach will allow the expansion of the program to reach 9,000 to 10,000 girls annually and deliver training closer to their communities. The ministry also plans to train more teachers to support this expanded initiative, ensuring that the digital skills imparted to the girls are effectively reinforced in their local schools. The sector Minister revealed that to date, 13,981 girls and 1,300 teachers have benefited from the Girls-in-ICT program. Despite this progress, Owusu-Ekuful acknowledged that the current reach is still limited compared to the potential demand. "We need to find ways to provide full access to all interested girls, ensuring they receive the same opportunities and exposure to digital skills," she urged. The minister stressed the importance of early exposure to ICT, targeting primary, upper primary, and junior high school students. By the time they reach senior high school, these students should be more proficient and capable of pursuing advanced digital skills. She also encouraged parents to support their children's interests in STEM fields, noting the vast opportunities available beyond traditional professions like medicine. Background of the Girls-in-ICT Project The Girls-in-ICT initiative, spearheaded by Ghana's Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, aims to address the gender gap in the technology sector by empowering young girls with essential digital skills. Launched in 2010, the program has grown significantly, impacting thousands of girls across the nation. It offers training in areas such as coding, robotics, and data analytics, preparing participants for future careers in the tech industry. The initiative aligns with global efforts to promote gender equality in technology and foster sustainable economic development through education and skills enhancement. With continued government and private sector support, the Girls-in-ICT project is set to play a crucial role in shaping Ghana's digital future. Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

  • "More women needed in ICT to harness their detail-oriented skills" - Sam George

    Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampram Constituency, Sam George has emphasized the critical need for increased female participation in the ICT sector. Speaking at the National Girls-in-ICT Day event organized by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation at the Cedi Conference Centre, University of Ghana, he highlighted the unique advantages women bring to technology roles. In an exclusive interview with Thinknewsonline.com , Sam George said "Women inherently possess a better attention to detail than men, which makes them excellent coders and programmers. It's essential we continue to support and grow the number of girls entering the sciences and IT," He credited the continued governmental support for the growth in female participation in these fields, tracing the origins of the initiative to around 2010. George Sam expressed optimism about the future of female ICT education, noting the promising advancements under the Oslo administration. He also highlighted the vision of the Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama’s ambitious “One Million Coders” initiative, which aims to significantly boost the country's IT workforce, integrating seamlessly with existing programs to foster a robust talent pipeline. "President Mahama’s initiative will amplify the efforts of the Ministry of Communication's Girls-in-ICT program, creating a generation of skilled female programmers" "This integrated approach ensures that we not only develop the necessary skills but also provide opportunities for their application," he added. Sharing a personal anecdote, George Sam revealed that his four-year-old daughter has already begun learning coding, illustrating the importance of early exposure to technology. He encouraged parents to nurture their children's interests in ICT, emphasizing the expanding opportunities in the digital job market. "The future will see more digital job opportunities, from coding to operating and improving AI systems. Parents should let their children explore the digital world. The potential is limitless," he advised. Background of Girls-in-ICT Project The Girls-in-ICT initiative, launched by Ghana's Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, aims to bridge the gender gap in the tech industry by encouraging and equipping young girls with essential ICT skills. Since its inception in 2010, the program has expanded significantly, reaching thousands of girls across the country. It provides training in various digital skills, including coding, robotics, and data analytics, to prepare them for future careers in the tech industry. The initiative aligns with global efforts to promote gender equality in technology and empower women through education and skills development. With continuous support from the government and private sector, the Girls-in-ICT project is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Ghana's digital landscape. Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

  • MTN Ghana commits to Girls-in-ICT project, aims to empower future

    The Chief Corporate Services and Sustainability Officer at MTN Ghana, Adwoa Afriyie Wiafe has shared her thoughts on the company's dedication to the Girls in ICT initiative and their sustained support from 2021 to 2024 . According to her, MTN Ghana has been a steadfast partner to the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation in driving the Girls in ICT program. Addressing Journalists at the National Girls-in-ICT day in Accra, Madan Wiafe emphasized the significance of this partnership, stating, "MTN Ghana is committed to supporting the Ministry in this innovative program because it holds immense potential for the future. We aim to see this initiative transform the landscape of digital education for young girls." Reflecting on the sustainability of this support, she added, "The Ministry’s efforts in this regard are commendable, and as long as we can, MTN will continue to back these initiatives. She understand that the Ministry will keep evolving this program, and we are ready to discuss future strategies to enhance its impact." MTN Ghana's focus on digitalization is evident in its substantial contributions towards bridging the digital divide. Madam Wiafe passionately spoke about the journey towards this objective, stating, "Every girl we train brings us a step closer to bridging the digital divide. Over the years, we've trained approximately 14,000 girls, and today, we are training an additional 1,000. This relentless effort showcases our commitment to digital inclusivity." Addressing the young girls who have yet to participate in the program, Ms. Wiafe advised, "Work hard and take your training seriously. The financial commitment from MTN Ghana between 2021 and 2024 stands at an impressive 15.6 million Ghanaian cedis. This investment has facilitated the training of 9,000 girls and 900 teachers in essential ICT skills such as coding, website design, game development, and animation development. MTN Ghana's Girls in ICT program has made a substantial impact across various regions, including North-East, Western-North, Ahafo, Bono-East, Bono, Savannah, Northern, Eastern, and Greater Accra. Each of these regions has witnessed a transformation in digital education, empowering young girls to envision a future in technology. She disclosed thst MTN Ghana's dedication to the Girls in ICT initiative was not just about numbers; it is about creating opportunities, inspiring future leaders, and making a lasting impact on the digital landscape of Ghana. Madam Wiafe aptly put ""We believe in the power of education and technology to change lives, and we are committed to ensuring that no girl is left behind in this digital revolution." Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

  • "Support your children's passions when choosing University courses" - Prof. Elsie Effah Kaufmann to parents

    Dean of the School of Engineering Sciences at the University of Ghana, Prof. Elsie Effah Kaufmann has made a compelling appeal to parents to support their children’s passions when choosing University courses. Speaking at the National Girls-in-ICT Day held at the Cedi Conference Centre, University of Ghana, Accra, on Tuesday, Prof. Kaufmann emphasized the critical need for greater representation of women in STEM fields, particularly in physical, mathematical, and computational sciences. "The young ladies who came forward have only been at this for a few weeks and can already create websites and develop technological solutions. This is incredibly exciting and shows the effectiveness of programs like this," Prof. Kaufmann stated. She underscored the importance of such initiatives in addressing the under-representation of women in certain STEM fields, despite their significant presence in medical and biological sciences. Highlighting the broader impact of diversity in problem-solving, Prof. Kaufmann said, "Research shows that diverse teams produce higher quality solutions. We need wide representation to solve problems effectively, and that includes having more women in STEM." Prof. Kaufmann also addressed the challenges many young women face in pursuing their desired careers, often due to parental pressure. "Parents look for secure choices for their children, but the reality is that traditional 'safe' careers are no longer guaranteed. What’s important is to encourage children to follow their passions, as this leads to excellence and fulfillment," she advised. She encouraged parents and educators to shift their focus from traditional career paths to fostering problem-solving skills and passions. "Instead of asking children what they want to be, ask them what problems they want to solve. This approach will better prepare them for the future and enable them to contribute meaningfully to society." In her message to young people, Prof. Kaufmann inspired confidence and perseverance. "There’s nothing you cannot do. Even if examples don’t exist today, you can be the pioneer. Every experience matters, and leadership is built through these experiences. Work hard, stay focused, and don’t let distractions deter you." Prof. Kaufmann concluded with a hopeful vision for the future, "I look forward to a time when events like this are no longer necessary because we have achieved full participation. Until then, we must continue to support and encourage our young women." Prof. Kaufmann's appeal is a call to action for parents, educators, and society at large to recognize and nurture the potential of young women in STEM, paving the way for a more inclusive and innovative future. On her part, Yvette Adounvo Atekpe, the CEO of Dimension Data, shared her inspiring career journey with a captivated audience, highlighting her rise from humble beginnings to becoming a prominent leader in the ICT sector. Her story was a testament to resilience, passion, and the transformative power of perseverance. After graduating from the University of Ghana, Madam Yvette faced the harsh reality of the job market. Despite her qualifications, she found herself accepting a position as a receptionist at CellTel, the second telecom company in Ghana. Reflecting on this period, Madam Yvette recalled, "I thought about it, I'm like, wow, I have just completed university, and I've come to be a receptionist. Anyway, and my mom encouraged me, she said, listen, this is a very, very, very new thing. Try it out." She added that, at that time, mobile telephony was in its infancy in Ghana, with cumbersome, handbag-sized phones and limited signal reception. Yet, Madam Yvette seized the opportunity to learn everything she could about this nascent industry. Madam Yvette's career continued to evolve as she joined Africa Online, where she worked with influential figures. At Africa Online, she navigated the challenges of the dial-up internet era, a stark contrast to today's high-speed connections. From there, she moved to Axelon, a South African-based VSAT company, which was later acquired by Dimension Data. As the Managing Director of Dimension Data, she spearheaded the launch of IS Internet Solutions in Ghana, providing connectivity solutions to major financial institutions, multinationals, and government entities. Recognizing the importance of mentorship and inclusivity, she initiated an internship program to nurture young women in ICT. "It's important to bring up the women in the organization to take a real interest in ICT," she emphasized, noting the success of many who have passed through the program. When Dimension Data was acquired by NCT, the third-largest telecom company in the world, she saw an opportunity. Faced with NCT's decision to divest from West Africa and the Middle East, she boldly decided to bid for the company's assets. Competing against industry giants, Yvette's determination and strategic vision secured her the successful acquisition, making her the owner of an ICT company that she once joined as a receptionist. She attributed her success to the foresight of her headmistress at Holy Child, who encouraged her to pursue science. She encouraged the young women in her audience to embrace the opportunities before them, saying, "My dears, today when you are all here, it's because the country has seen something you have not seen as yet. And believe you me, I am sure that in the next few years, we are going to have so many success stories from you young ladies here today." Her journey, marked by continuous learning and unyielding resolve, serves as a powerful inspiration. Yvette concluded her speech with an open invitation to young women seeking mentorship and internships, expressing her commitment to fostering the next generation of female leaders in ICT. "Watch this space," she declared, "because this journey for you is just the beginning." Yvette Adounvo Atekpe's story is not just a personal triumph but a beacon of hope and possibility for all aspiring young women in STEM and ICT. Juliana Jones Ametorwogo, a staff at telecommunications giant, Telecel, has become a passionate advocate for encouraging young girls to pursue careers in ICT and STEM fields. Her journey from a curious student in Lapaz, a community in the Greater Accra Region to a professional in the telecommunications industry was both inspiring and instructive, highlighting the importance of diversity and creativity in technology. Addressing a group of young girls interested in ICT, Juliana expressed her excitement about their enthusiasm. "Seeing all you girls here right now, I mean, deciding on your own that ICT is the way, ICT is the future, is so encouraging. You are all convinced that this is the path you want to take, and that's fantastic." Juliana emphasized the critical need for diversity in technology to create more innovative solutions. "Technology is all about creating solutions," she said. "Are you going to allow only men and boys to design solutions for us? No, we need more diversity in the industry. We want solutions tailored to our needs as women. Who knows our problems better than ourselves?" She illustrated her point by mentioning how some websites and games fail to appeal to women because they lack the creative touches that female designers can bring. "We love color, we love beautiful things. If you, the girls, design those websites, you can imagine how appealing they would be." Juliana also highlighted the importance of addressing unmet needs in society through technology. Reflecting on her own journey, Juliana recounted her early fascination with science and technology. Growing up in Lapaz, she discovered her love for mathematics and science in primary school, often teaching her classmates when they struggled with the subjects. "It came so easy to me," she said. "From that point, I knew science was the way." Her path led her to Ola Senior High School, where she intentionally chose to study science, eventually becoming the assistant school prefect. Her interest in telecommunications was sparked by her interactions with Ghana Telecom field engineers who visited her school. "Watching them work was fascinating. I knew then that I wanted to be a telecom engineer." Despite societal expectations to pursue medicine, Juliana followed her passion and enrolled in Telecom Engineering at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). She excelled in her studies, particularly in physics and mathematics, and graduated with flying colors. Juliana's career journey continued to flourish as she joined Telecel, where she now uses her platform to inspire and mentor young women. "I want to tell you a few reasons why we need more girls in ICT," she said. "Diversity brings more creative solutions, and women are perfectly positioned to design solutions tailored to our own needs." Juliana's story was a powerful example of how determination, passion, and a commitment to education can lead to success and positive change. Her message to the young girls was for them to embrace ICT and STEM, because the future of technology needs their unique perspectives and creativity. Other mentorship took turns to share their life stories and encouraged the young girls to embrace ICT for a better future. Some students who spoke to Thinknewsonline.com revealed that the programme has exposed them to coding and how to create games. They thanked the Communications and Digitalisation Minister for the initiative and assured that they will make good use of ICT. The National Girls-in-ICT Day event saw several speakers echoing similar sentiments, stressing the need for continued support for young women in technology and engineering fields. The National Girls-in-ICT Day is an initiative aimed at empowering and encouraging girls and young women to consider careers in information and communication technology (ICT). The event celebrated the achievements of young women in ICT and encouraged further participation in these critical areas. The event seeks to address gender imbalances in STEM fields by providing young women with opportunities to explore and develop their skills in technology and engineering. Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

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