Soronko Academy, a coding and digital training school with support from Open Society Foundations and Ashoka has successfully completed the eighth edition of the Women in Digital Skills (WIDS) programme.

The six-week course, saw about 50 participants undergo training in digital marketing, blogging, website development, Google suit, social media marketing, Curriculum Vitae (CV) development, and interview skills.

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Speaking to the Academy’s Software Trainer, Cyril Agbewali said the project which is to train females to acquire digital proficiency will help bridge the digital gap between men and women in the country.

“I feel that bridging the digital gap for women is necessary because women are over 50% of Ghana’s population but the women that actually use anything related to the internet or digital appliances are less than 50%.

“And that is alarming because that means we have a lot of women but most of them have little or no knowledge about the digital influence in the world and losing out,” he said.

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He then called for more initiatives to be carried out by organizations in expanding the training to other parts of the country particularly, rural areas.

He observed that: “If that is done, we will reach out to more people in the country to inform and educate them on how to use digital devices and innovations around them.”

“This will put women in the lead of digital transformation in some years to come. But until then, it will only be a privilege few that will stand out,” he added.

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Describing his students, Mr Agbewali said he was impressed with their participation and wiliness to learn during the programme, adding that their contributions will help the organisers to modify the programme for the next cohort.

“It was a wild variety of students and from different backgrounds and that is what we want to have so that we can have different views of how people understand the course and topic and the changes we can make,” he said.

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He also advised them to practice what they have been taught in order to be perfect and impact society.

“Practice and learn new things and do not be afraid to come back to Soronko Academy because we are ready to help you,” he urged participants.

WIDS is an initiative by Soronko Academy to introduce more women to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and empower them to build their dreams so as to influence others in their various societies.

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A training assistant, Oreoluwa Akanni urged participants to build on their confidence and keep on practicing their skills taught them.

“I believe that they can do better in the confidence area and grow better and truly understand they are special people and they can do anything they set their mind to. So do not give up easily you just need to keep practicing.”

In an interview with participants, they were excited and could not wait to explore and apply what they have learned to their various businesses.

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“For me, the main reason for coming here [Soronko] was to learn blogging and website design, so going forward I would explore more in the blogging industry and come out with very insightful content for my readers,” a participant said.

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Another added: “I deal with gifts and packaging so what I have learned will help me establish myself  in terms of how to relate with people and sell my business.”

Established in 2013, Soronko Academy is one of the first West African software development powerhouse and social enterprises teaching technical coding, ICT skills, entrepreneurship, leadership, and networking.