The local branch of Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – Ghana (WiSTEMGh) in C.K. Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences (CKT-UTAS) was officially launched in Navrongo on Saturday 13th February 2021. The goal of the WiSTEMGh CKT-UTAS branch is to mentor the younger generation of women, promoting girls’ interest in science education and career as well as build the leadership capacity of its members. This falls within the vision of WiSTEM Ghana which has the slogan “Together We Inspire Generations”.
The launch was graced with the presence of the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of CKT-UTAS, Prof Eric M. Wilmot, Registrar of CKT-UTAS, Dr. Vincent Ankamah-Lomotey and President of WiSTEM Ghana, and Guest Speaker, Prof Ibok Oduro of KNUST. In attendance were also Deans of Faculties and Heads of Departments of CKT-UTAS, UTAG CKT-UTAS executives and members, representatives from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), St John Bosco’s College of Education, Navrongo Senior High School, and female students of CKT-UTAS.
The President of WiSTEMGh CKT-UTAS branch, Dr. Mary-Magdalene Pedavoah in her welcome address cited the leaky pipeline in STEM education which is very familiar with women in science. In recent times, there have been various global interventions and strategies aimed at solving this challenge. She encouraged women to be at the forefront to pursue the needed change with the support of our male counterparts. She also reiterated the aims of WiSTEMGh CKT-UTAS and hoped that the activities of the association will contribute to attaining the Sustainable Development Goal, SDG 4 (Quality education) and SDG 5 (Gender Equality).
The VC, CKT-UTAS in his message stated that the development of northern Ghana can not happen unless it is linked with science and technology and CKT-UTAS has the potential to bring about the development with its mandate in technology and applied sciences. He embraced the idea of the establishment and subsequent launch of the WiSTEMGh branch in CKT-UTAS. He supported the idea because he believes the scientific race is not just for men but for women as well. He encouraged WiSTEMGh CKT-UTAS to fish out the several “Katherine Johnson” ( from the true story movie The Hidden Figures) among our students and in Upper East Region because they can solve the teething problems in our country. The VC concluded that CKT-UTAS will not reach its peak until the female student population outnumbers that of males and also pledged the support of CKT-UTAS management toward WiSTEM activities.
Prof Ibok Oduro, Guest Speaker for the launch in her presentation spoke about what WiSTEM is, Why WiSTEM, Myths about females and STEM, the birth of WiSTEM, their aims and objectives, and the future of the WiSTEMGh CKT-UTAS branch. In her conclusion, she shared her vision for the association which included 50% increased enrolment of young girls into STEM programs, spearheading the development of young women in the north in STEM education, entrepreneurship, and leadership, pioneering and dominating scientific researches in northern Ghana and occupying higher positions in CTK-UTAS and northern Ghana.
The Registrar of CKT-UTAS, in his solidarity message, said women have great potential and power inherent in them. He also mentioned that fear can make us choose a less competitive area in our field of study but he motivated WiSTEMGh CKT-UTAS branch members and females students not to fear and know they have the potential to achieve more and anything. He believes for the development of any nation, the role of women is indispensable. The woman has a God-given potential to incubate and therefore encouraged them to incubate their dreams, think big, and think science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Solidarity messages were also given by the WiSTEMGh KNUST branch, WiSTEMGh Takoradi Technical University branch, UTAG CKT-UTAS, St John Bosco’s College of Education, and Navrongo Senior High School.