Mrs Owusu-Ekuful gave the caution during the climax of the Ahafo Regional celebration of the Girls-in-ICT Initiative held at Acherensua in the Asutifi South District on the theme “Access and safety”.
The Girls-in-ICT initiative, one of the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation (MoCD) was in line with the International Girls-in-ICT Day, an initiative introduced in 2012 and backed by all International Communications Unions (ITU) in the Member States.
It aimed at encouraging and empowering girls and young women to consider studies and careers in ICT in the growing fields of ICTs, enabling both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in the ICT sector.
Under the initiative, 1,000 girls from selected basic schools in the Region had the opportunity to undergo a one-week intensive training in ICT in basic computing including programming, coding, gaming, scratch typing and a mentorship programme.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said mobile phone subscribers and users in the country had been provided with enough time and opportunity to register their SIM cards saying, “there is no way we are going to extend the deadline again”.
She explained that SIM card registration was essential because the exercise would greatly help the country in its efforts to prevent online and cybercrimes which had become more sophisticated.
Touching on the Girls-in-ICT initiative, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said the Ministry was determined to sustain the initiative to create opportunities for more girls to benefit from ICT education.
She emphasised that ICT education was not reserved for only boys and men, but for girls and women as well, saying girls also needed ICT skills to provide them with the needed exposure in the digital space.
The Sector Minister commended MTN Ghana and other sponsors for supporting the initiative and expressed the hope that the initiative would receive more support from corporate organisations and institutions.
Mr George Yaw Boakye, the Ahafo Regional Minister lauded the initiative and expressed the optimism that it would be sustained to benefit more girls.
Nana Kofi Asare, the Acting Chief Corporate Officer, MTN Ghana gave the assurance that the telecommunication company would continue to with the funding support for the initiative to yield desirable outcomes.
He reiterated the company's commitment to help the nation's Digitalisation drive by providing quality networks and reliable internet connectivity.
Miss Juliet Delila, 12-years, and a form-one student of the Sankore District Assembly ‘A' Junior High School in Asunafo South District was crowned the winner of the Girls-in-ICT initiative in the Ahafo Region.
She received GHC3,000.00, a laptop computer and a plaque while Margaret Anane, a class six pupil of the Hwidiem Roman Catholic Primary School in Asutifi South District placed second and received a laptop computer, GhC2,500.00 and a plaque.
She also took home a laptop computer, GHC2000.00 and a plaque, while the MoCD presented a laptop computer and a certificate to each of the first 100 girls who excelled in the training programme.