The Africa Open Data Conference site visits train stopped by at Mobile Web Ghana on Monday, July 17, 2017. The site visits marked the commencement of the 5 day conference. Delegates coming from various parts of the world were given the opportunity to visit some notable technology hubs and I.C.T centers in Accra. The various sites they visited made presentations on themes they had done some work on. Mobile Web Ghana’s presentation was on ‘I.T training for women and girls’.
Some of the delegates arrived way before the start of the session, therefore by 2 pm the event started. The first presentation was by Florence Toffa, the director of Mobile Web Ghana. She introduced the many gathered there to the various projects run by Mobile Web Ghana with a special emphasis on the ones that had to do with training women and girls in I.T and gender advocacy. In her submission, she made mention of the Females in Mobile Entrepreneurship training program the organization undertook about 3 years ago. The program saw a number of girls gain coding skills most of whom are placed in various I.T firms in the country.
Just last year, Mobile Web Ghana in partnership with Ispace rolled out the ‘Unlocking Women And Technology’ training program. This training program trained a total of 30 young ladies and women in computer programming, entrepreneurship, social media marketing etc. The goal was to see the women flourish in their chosen fields of endeavor – specifically in entrepreneurship. Florence Toffa went on to state that “even though we have dreams, it is difficult to execute them. So we partner with other hubs”. This she said in connection with the impact that is being made by the ‘Unlocking Women And Technology’ project because of the combined efforts of Ispace, Mobile Web Ghana and the Ghana Code Club.
Florence also spoke about the Viz4Gender project. The project which is funded by Amplify Change will advocate for the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of women in Ghana by using data visualizations and data stories published online and in mainstream media. She went on to display some of the info graphics done on reported cases of defilement and rape in Ghana in 2015. The figures are alarming and it was clear that violence against women as a problem needed urgent attention.
The next to make a presentation was Ernestina Appiah, the founder of Ghana Code Club. Ghana Code Club is an organization that works in so many schools in the country establishing clubs to train kids between the ages of 4 and 16 in computer programming. According to Ernestina, their work has affected some 8000 kids all over Ghana. The clubs have frequent hackathons to assess the kids on their proficiency in computer programming. Ernestina mentioned that they start teaching the kids to create their own video games in order to whip up their interest in the computer science field. They do this before introducing them to computer programming languages.
At the end of the session, the delegates were given the opportunity to ask questions and also network and establish relationships with a few of the start-ups stationed at Mobile Web Ghana.