Tech Needs Girls Ghana Mentors And Empowers Girls From The Slum Through Coding

Tech Needs Girls Ghana is a project by Soronko Solutions a social enterprise that uses technology to drive human potential. Tech Needs Girls Ghana aims to mentor and empower young girls to lead and innovate by learning to code. The program also brings together young women who are excelling in the field of technology to mentor and teach the next generation of girls.

The girls get to meet young role models they can look up to and get examples of how these women are using technology to effect change in their lives and in the community. The program was founded by Regina Agyare and Rasheeda Yehuza. These ladies are both software developers and run tech startups in Ghana. There are 15 mentors below the age of 30 who are either computer scientists or computer engineers.

Only 30% of the around 7 million people working in the information and communication (ICT) sector are women. The ICT sector is rapidly growing, creating around 120 000 new jobs every year. Due to differences in demands and skills – and despite soaring unemployment – there may be a lack of 900 000 skilled ICT workers in 2020. – However women are less equipped than men with the necessary skills to participate in this space. Available research shows that the number of women enrolled in technology courses in universities in Ghana is lower than men.

On the 25th of January 2014,Tech needs girls Ghana took their third workshop to the slums in Nima. This workshop was in partnership with Achievers book club started by 14 year old Amina who despite excelling at school was forced into early marriage at the age of 12. Amina decided to fight the system and co-founded the club to help prevent similar situation to be suffered by other young in the community.

The club now has 250 girls from the slums in Nima, Maamobi and Newtown. The workshop was for 60 girls to introduce them to algorithms, problem solving, critical thinking and creating software. The girls were taught basic HTML to allow them to create their own website which they could use to share their stories or bring awareness to an issue.

As a warm up the girls were engaged in science and math games which was fun and educative. We had 10yr old Zuweira solving complex math questions faster than we could reach for a calculator. The girls were challenged to be innovative through taking part in and challenge where they had to present the website they had built and explain the HTML code to a panel of judges.

Group A-The Professionals won the challenge with their great presentations skills, creative website and excellent code. The winning group received special awards and all the girls received certificates for participation in the program. The program will continue with coding classes that will happen every Saturday. The girls will go on to learn how to build other software and mobile applications. We are hoping to get more of the girls going on to study and pursue careers in in ICT. The girls can also start to sell the software they develop to benefit economically and socially and start their own technology entrepreneurial ventures. Most importantly with these new skills the girls will learn to think critically, problem solve, excel in school and have the ability to create technology which will shape the future. We are also hoping to get the community to realize that when you educate girls and give them the right skills to thrive, the whole community thrives too. We believe the next Mark Zukerburg (Founder of Facebook) and the next technological breakthrough will be from a 12 year old girl from the slum in Ghana.

Images from the event can be found here –

Here is a letter of appreciation written by one of our Mentees.

Letter of Appreciation – Written by Tech Needs Girls Mentee

I wouldn’t like to circumlocute, but go straight to the point why I vehemently or vividly want to talk about the event that just went on ( Tech Needs Girls).

First and foremost ,we all know that, boys are so much into IT so I was very excited for the training because the trainees were calm and unbiased.

Secondly ,I would be extremely happy to be an IT technician because my conscience tells me that I can one day compete with boys ,who think they are beyond perfection in terms of IT. Frankly speaking ,I enjoyed every part of the program especially the aspect where we gave our presentation.

I know you guys have spent a lot of money in organizing this program ,but I assure you that,the almighty God will pay you in return. You and I know that girls are daft in IT but this program has really thought as a great lesson

To close down the curtains,I will like to take this opportunity to thank all the organizers for a good work done. May the almighty God bless you, grant you long life and prosperity and may he also increase you in knowledge

Samira Mohammed
Achievers Bookclub

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