First Ghana Power Compact’s Internship and Mentoring Programme unveiled
The Ghana Power Compact’s Internship and Mentoring Programme an initiative for young ladies in tertiary institutions offering Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Technical, Vocational, Education and Training (TVET) has been launch in Accra.
Beginning with a cohort of 50 young ladies, the Internship and Mentoring Program seeks to support female students in Technical and Vocational schools to gain practical skills relevant for the job market in the power sector.
Also, the initiative being pioneered by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) Compact II, aimed at attracting more females into the Energy Sector by supporting them to pursue STEM degree and diploma courses and aid them to make career choices.
Over the next two months the beneficiaries would be attached to companies in the STEM industry as intern where they would be introduce to the world of work and given the exposure they need to learn work flow and practical experience.
Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection who launched the project, noted that some societal beliefs and attitudes about girls’ inability to perform well in science and math courses had accounted for low rate of enrolment in STEM programs.
The Minister commended MiDA and MCC for its key role in promoting gender and social inclusion in the Compact and contributing to reducing poverty through economic growth in the country.
Madam Djaba urged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the opportunity and make the best out of it by learning, observing rules and regulations as well as asking probing question to understand the rudimentary.
“Consider yourselves as ambassadors and advocates of this programme because your experiences will form useful learning for all of us. You are change agents and game changers,” she said.
Mr Martin Esson-Benjamin, Chief Executive Officer of MiDA likening the Internship and Mentoring Program to the parable in the Holy Bible where Jesus gave some people talents to work and multiple it advised the cohort to make good use of the opportunity.
Just as a father advising his daughter, the Chief Executive said, “If you work hard, support management, learn your role quickly, make meaningful contributions, obviously somebody will spot you and give you another opportunity and that is how you can gain a meaningful employment one day.
“You are the group going to blaze the trial and ask others to follow; if you don’t do the right thing you discourage us. If you do well it will encourage us to extend it to 300 other ladies able and ready to support the development of the country,” he said.
Mr Ben Edwards, a Senior Official of MCC, remarked that the MCC Compact does not only provide support to project by maintaining roads and building power infrastructure but also invest in people and institutions.
He explained, “Building a new road with proper care may last for just a period but empowering young ladies by helping them to be equipped with technical skills and vocational as well as building business relations with the right industry will benefit them for a life time.”
Madam Carlien Bou-Chedid, Immediate Past President of Ghana Institute of Engineers, stated that the world continue to change and it would be impossible to operate without acquiring a good knowledge of STEM.
“This field is the most important area in the world and entering this field for you will enable you contribute to the development of the country. You are at an advantage because this program is going to help you to meet people in the industry,” she noted.
Madam Bou-Chedid who is an engineer dispelled the long held beliefs that women did not perform well in STEM and advised the students to make good use of the opportunity.
Dr Cherub Antwi-Nsiah, Director Gender and Social Inclusion of MiDA pioneers of the initiative, were planning to extend internship to first six month of the Graduate’s National Service, adding that it was targeting over 300 female Interns by the end of the Compact in 2021.