MiDA to mentor 800 women to pursue energy sector careers

The Gender and Social Inclusion Unit of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) has targeted to train and mentor 800 women in practical skills and help them to pursue professional career in the energy sector.

They comprise 600 interns from second cycle institutions and 200 National Service Persons, especially those who had undergone the internship programme.

The beneficiaries would be placed in energy sector organisations, both private and public, so that they would gain practical experience and leadership skills to build their capacity in the power sector.

Dr Cherub Antwi-Nsiah, the Director of the Gender and Social Inclusion Unit, MiDA, told the Ghana News Agency in Accra on the sidelines of a Sustainability Workshop of the Ghana Power Compact Internship and Mentorship.

The workshop, organised by the Gender and Social Inclusion Unit, MiDA, is to address gender related challenges in the energy sector and solicit ideas from implementing partners to sustain the programme after the Power Compact comes to an end in 2021.

Dr Antwi-Nisiah said the interns would be assigned supervisors who would take them through orientation, theory and practical lessons at the workplace to become familiar with the equipment and machinery applicable in the energy sector.

“They would have group mentoring and every six months they would be taken through day-to-day routine works at the workplace and allow them to ask questions on issues bothering them,” she said.

Dr Antwi-Nsiah said the ultimate goal of the mentorship programme was to train the interns to the standard of human resource every energy-related organisation would like to employ.

She said officials of MiDA, mentoring institutions and the supervisors would also monitor the progress of the interns through mid-term assessment in order to satisfy academic requirements under the Internship and Mentoring programme.

“We will also conduct evaluation to find out what impact or change the internship programme has had on the interns and plan the way forward,” Dr Antwi-Nsiah explained.

Dr Afisah Zakariah, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, who read an address on behalf of Mrs Cynthia Morrison, the sector Minister, said to ensure gender equality and women empowerment, particularly in the changing world of work, women must equip themselves with the requisite skills to fit well into their work environment.

Therefore, she said, it required women to study and equip themselves with relevant skills in engineering, science, mathematics and innovation, which would enable them to have the technical know-how to work in the energy sector for enhanced income.

She said when women were adequately educated it it improved their economic wellbeing and had rippling positive impact on the society.

In her welcome remarks, Mrs Pamela Djamson-Tettey, the Director of Communications and Outreach, MiDA, who deputised for the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Martin Eson-Benjamin, said the workshop sought to solicit ideas to ensure the sustainability of the programme to last beyond the power Compact duration.

She said the Internship and Mentoring programme focused on nurturing and training women to bring positive improvement in the society, adding; ”When women find themselves in leadership position it brings balance in decision-making”.

Mrs Djamson-Tettey said MiDA would work with key stakeholders to ensure transformational breakthrough and help women to realise their potentials.

So far 50 girls from the second cycle and tertiary institutions have benefited from the pilot scheme of the programme.

The event brought together representatives of the mentoring institutions, including the Electricity Company of Ghana, Volta River Authority, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the George Grant University of Science and Technology, Tarkwa, (formerly UMaT).

The rest are Accra Technical University, Koforidua Technical University, Environmental Protection Agency, National Petroleum Corporation, Ghana Standards Authority, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Energy Commission.

The Ghana Power Compact II seeks to improve electricity supply across the country and minimise waste. It is expected to end on September 6, 2021.

The Compact is funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation under the auspices of the United States Government and implemented by the Government of Ghana, through the Millennium Development Authority.

An amount of $498 million grant has been released to Ghana for the implementation of six major projects under the Compact.