Ghana: Female Professionals in Electronics – Boosting the number of women in technical professions

Context and Initiative

Girls Vocational Training Institutes in Ghana typically offer education and training in female dominated trades only, such as catering, tailoring or cosmetology. The project instead promotes future female professionals in sales, installation and servicing of electronic appliances by supplying them with a sound technical background and capacity through practical oriented vocational training. Young women gain the knowledge, technical capabilities, communication skills and the necessary selfconfidence to compete in the growing market and thus generate income for themselves and their families. It is not missing capabilities that prevents young women from entering a technical trade such as electronics but attitude which, of course, can be changed by means of education. With the idea and initial seed-funding of € 200.000 the GIZ regional program “‘Employment for Sustainable Development in Africa” (E4D) together with its Ghanaian partner the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) entered into a public-private- partnership with KOICA (Korean International Cooperation Agency) and SAMSUNG Electronics West Africa.  KOICA invested US$ 500.000 and SAMSUNG equipped four selected vocational training centers with stateof- the-art electronics teaching labs worth US$ 500.000. Instructors involved received training on Competency Based Training (CBT) in electronics and generic subjects and the project compiled State-of-the-art teaching material.

Gender – A Quality Feature of Our Work

COTVET released its Four Year Corporate Gender Strategy in 2013 as a product of cooperation between the Council and GIZ / GSDI (Ghana Skills Development Initiative). The strategy bases on data showing that less than 2% of skilled workers in lucrative technical sectors are female and specifically calls for affirmative action in order to integrate more girls and young women through targeted vocational training into those trades. The girls-schools partnering with the project are the first in Ghana to install and operate electronic labs in order to offer specific technical training geared towards the needs of female students and thus enable them to reach the same level of proficiency as their male competitors. The project is accompanied by a comprehensive study that compares the learning environment in all-female groups (3 partner schools) to those in evenly mixed male-female classes (1 school) and tries to find out which model represents the most conducive one for female vocational students to engage in a technical sector.

Gender Impact

Through this Project we expect 100 female graduates in electronics per year. This will boost the female/male ratio among graduates from 2% in 2012 to 25% in 2016, when the first batch of 100 female students will leave the four institutes. Due to a growing urban middle class the demand for electronic appliances is on a constant rise. Besides a career in servicing and repair of electronic appliances, the young women will find employment in ‘after sales service’ or as ‘informed salespersons‘, where professionals capable of giving profound advice to consumers based on sound technical background are in demand. Following a similar concept E4D Ghana has also started an additional project: Female Motorcycle Mechanics and Solar Technicians for Northern Ghana.

Contact

Hartwig Michaelsen
Business Development Unit BDU
E: Hartwig.michaelsen@giz.de

The competition entry can be downloaded here:

Download "03 Ghana: Female Professionals in Electronics – Boosting the number of women in technical professions_Gender Competition 2016" (pdf)

A photo gallery of the projekt can be accessed here:

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