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  • Aminu Ibrahim

Young girls in rural Upper West received cyber security training

participants posed in a group

Over 80 young girls in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region have benefited from cyber security training to enable them stay safe in the internet space.

The training organized was by Young Female Influencers (YFI) in partnership with Noni Hub with funding support from CARD Ghana, a Plan International Ghana implementing partner of the SheLeads project in the Upper West Region.

The SheLeads campaign, among other things, aimed at breaking barriers including negative socio-cultural practices, gender-based discrimination and existing negative gender norms that militate against females' meaningful involvement in decision making and leadership at the community, institutional and national levels.

The girls were drawn from seven rural communities in the Wa West District including Bankpama, Tanvaare, Kyeton, Yizie, Beleofili, Berinyaasi and Togdo to receive the training held at Tanvaare on Saturday, November 19, 2022.

Miss Hadizatu Ismail of the YFI, giving the essence of the training, said it was to equip the young girls with the requisite skills to safely navigate the internet space.

She observed that the rate of online scam and fraud was highly alarming in recent times, with high vulnerabilities among young girls, especially those found in rural areas where information and knowledge of online safety were minimal.

Miss Hadizatu, thus, said the training aimed at exposing the girls to tips on online safety and internet literacy so as to allow them to freely explore the Internet of Things (IoT) without falling victims of cyber-crime.

She admonished the young girls to be cautious of the kind of materials they share online urging that they completely refrain from obscenity online.

Miss Ernestina Biney, CARD Ghana, Project Coordinator for SheLeads

Miss Ernestina Biney, the Project Coordinator for SheLeads with the CARD Ghana, said the program was part of its agenda of supporting its implementing networks to undertake activities geared towards the broader objective of the SheLeads campaign.

She encouraged the young girls to be bold and confident to take up leadership positions wherever they find themselves, urging that the girl child was capable and could do as much or better than their boy counterparts when given the chance.

She stressed on confidence and self-believe among the girls as strong pillars in taking leadership roles as she observed lack of self-confidence was a barrier to the girls' playing active leadership roles.

Mr Salihu Mohammed Awal, the Programs Manager for Noni Hub, who facilitated the training, noted that the IoT comes with lots of threats and dangers that require an individual to possess some level of knowledge in order to stay safe from the dangers.

He cited some of the threats as cyber bullying, cyber stocking, child pornography, cyber image bullying, among others which the girls trained to stay alert and safe from.

Winifred Zoyaar, training facilitator

Miss Winifred Zoyaar, a girls’ tech advocate and IT enthusiast with the Noni Hub, took the girls through various techniques of navigating safely through the social media space while making the most out of it.

She led the girls through sessions that enabled them to stay away, cut ties and report dubious characters across various social media platforms.

She also took them through the techniques of setting strong, not-easily-guessed passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) for their devices, mobile phones and computers as well as user accounts.

The Assembly Member of the Beleofili Electoral Area, Mr Yussif Abdullah, urged the girls to take optimum advantage of the training and educate others as well in order to create a greater social impact.

He commended the organizers for the training program as he pointed to the overwhelming importance of girls' education, eating from the words of Dr James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey that "if you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a woman you educate a whole nation".

The girls shared their experiences from the training saying that it was very insightful and impactful.

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