November 24 – School girls in Takoradi got a taste of a future in science and technology when they took part in a robotics training session sponsored by Voltic GH Limited, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.
The 64 girls from St Peters International School, Ahenema School and New Generation School between ages 15 and 19 enjoyed a hands-on lesson in robot building aimed at inspiring them to pursue further studies and a career in the male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
STEM education in Africa is falling behind when compared with the rest of the world, yet it is key to the development of competitive industries, innovation and participation in the knowledge economy.
The African Development Bank has reported that less than 25% of African higher education students pursue STEM-related career fields, with more students pursuing social sciences and humanities, while women are grossly underrepresented in STEM fields.
This could trap them in jobs that are likely to be replaced by technology, pay less or have lower economic impact.
Voltic, in partnership with Girls In Science and Technology (GIST), organised the robotics training session for girls in second cycle institutions to introduce them to the career opportunities in STEM fields.
The main speaker, Beatrice Peprah, spoke about her journey as an Engineer and encouraged the girls to study and work hard in school.
Founder of GIST Ohemaa Andoh, said: “Many young people at the early stage of life are not privy to the fact that STEM can transform society. I believe with more education, information and awareness, and by making opportunities available, we will be able to identify and help develop the amazing talent out there.
“My message to the young ones is that STEM is not difficult. STEM is fun, it is the basis of our very existence. Don’t shy away from STEM subjects in school. Embrace it and apply the knowledge gained in your surroundings. Knock on doors to get opportunities and use the internet for research. There are so many opportunities out there waiting for you. Shine your light wherever you go!”
Voltic’s Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Manager, Worlasi Seddoh Bedu-Mensah said as part of the Coca-Cola system, the company believes that women are integral to Africa’s shared success.
“We seek to empower women both in the workplace and through community programmes throughout our markets on the continent.”