The MTN Ghana Foundation in partnership with Women in Tech Africa has launched the maiden edition of the MTN Apps camp for girls, dubbed: “MTN Girl Code: Tech camp for ladies going places.”
The initiative is to encourage young women to participate in coding and computer programming, thus increasing the number of females actively involved in the development of programmes and Apps.
Cynthia Lumor, Director, MTN Ghana Foundation, says as an organisation with a vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world to customers, MTN sees Apps development and ICT as tolls to help eradicate poverty, create wealth, and enhance the development of Ghana as has been done in other parts of the world.
She said the project was focused on setting up an Apps Camp to train young females in mobile Apps development, Internet of Things project development and animation video creation.
She said the camp would strengthen the skills of existing and aspiring female developers, engineers and animation designers and also increase the number of females with the requisite skills to compete in future editions of the MTN Apps challenge.
She said “this project is aligned to MTN Ghana Foundation’s ambition to increase the participation of ladies in the MTN Apps Challenge from less than three percent currently to an appreciable percentage in the next three years”.
Mrs Lumor noted that across the globe, ICT was creating jobs for both the old and young, in the formal and informal sector, and providing economic opportunities to rural and urban populations.
She said the code would draw participants from 18 to 30 years, from the tertiary institutions in the Greater Accra, Central, Ashanti and Northern regions.
“It is our hope that by training more women in the sector, the benefits of Apps development and ICT as a whole would be extended to the large society, and that ultimately, it would improve the livelihood of people in communities across Ghana.”
She urged young ladies across the country to develop more interest in the ICT industry and Apps development because technology offers so much potential for families, communities and the country at large.
“At the end of the camp, cash prized would be awarded to the top finalists, and more importantly, the best projects designed and developed from the three programme areas will be selected for entry into the MTN Apps challenge.”
Ethel Cofie, Founder Women in Tech Africa, said her outfit sought to ensure that technology and entrepreneurship became something that was inclusive of both men and women.
She said technology had gradually become the driving force for development in Africa and women must be empowered to actively participate in this agenda.
She urged the female university students who would have the opportunity to participate to ensure to learn new skills, be innovative, and then go out there to break the status quo by increasing the representation of girls in ICT in Ghana.
Farida Nana Efua Bedwei, a Software Engineer and Managing Director of Logiciel, said as women it was important to always turn their limitations into opportunities, thus looking at the problems around and being innovative enough to solve them.
She advised the ladies that “there is the need to go the extra mile, think of ways of solving problems around you, and ensure that whatever you set out to do would solve either a culture or social problem”.