At an impressive ceremony held in Accra, Penplusbytes signed 2 separate Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the South Labone Girls Vocational Training Centre and STEMBees to support the promotion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) amongst girls and young females at the New Media Hub in Accra.
Mrs Dela Sowah, the Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection who witnessed the ceremony as special guest of honor expressed delight at the project being embarked on by Penplusbytes and its partners, pledging the Ministry’s support for such an initiative. She added that, “This project by Penplusbytes will contribute to redressing the gender divide that has less women in ICT skills development and use, and empower girls to also leverage on ICT and its many benefits”
Also present at the ceremony was Kwami Ahiabenu, II, Director of Penplusbytes who signed on behalf of his organisation; Linda Ansong, President of STEMbees, Madam Georgina Mensah, Director of the South Labone Girls Vocational Training Centre, both signing on behalf of their respective organisations and Alhaji Iss hak Omar, a Director of the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI).
Dorothy Gordon, Director – General, Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE), who also graced the event said women are the more marginalized in accessing ICT compared to men. This can be attributed to the fact that men generally earn higher salaries than women do. She added that, “If women don’t learn to use ICT to enhance their businesses, the gender gap can only grow wider; hence the importance of this project. The ceremony was chaired by Charity Binka, Executive Director of Women, Media and Change (WOMEC) and board Member of Penplusbytes, who indicated that she cannot wait to see the products of these partnership in the near future.
ICT keeps changing the world and there is a universal focus to raise the interest of young females in this area by building familiarity amongst them with the hope that they would consider roles in the ICT industry as future career choices as well as equipping them with the needed ICT skills to change their personal lives and improve society as a whole.
Under these new partnerships, Penplusbytes working with STEMbees and the Girls Vocational Training Centre, will provide skills training, mentoring and practical capacity building in ICT for over 200 girls over the next couple of months.
Kwami Ahiabenu, II, Director of Penplusbytes said, “today is a milestone for Penplusbytes as we start an important journey of empowering and motivating girls and young women with life changing skills and knowledge they need not only in information and communication technologies, but also in the broader area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.” In the near future, through our close collaboration with our key partners on this project, we hope to celebrate the fruits of this project with tangible stories about how new digital technologies can make a difference”
Penplusbytes is a leading organization in Africa, established in 2001 and working in 3 areas: the use of technology to drive governance and accountability, new media and innovations as well as oil, gas and mining.