An 18-year-old Level 100 Student of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), has been crowned the 2019 Miss Geek Ghana in a keenly contested competition in Accra.
Selasi Domi-Kuwornu beat nine other contestants with her presentation dubbed; "Kasa-Cash System", an innovation which seeks to address electronic pilfering in Mobile Money transactions.
She received ¢10,000, a laptop, internet connection for one year, assistance to develop her Concept into prototype, as well as represent Ghana at the Miss Geek Africa Competition, which will be held in Guinea Conakry.
Miss Geek Africa is an entrepreneurship competition that originated from Rwanda in 2014, which has expanded to 22 countries in Africa.
Girls and women between ages 13 and 25 submit apps that solve problems through technological innovations.
A Former Student of NAFTI, Atta Abdul Karim Najilau Dramundu who placed second, had her presentation on ‘Cineflex’, an application that addresses real concerns of the movie industry as it deals with providing value for talent and intellectual property.
She received ¢7,500, a laptop and will be given assistance to develop the Concept into a prototype.
Molly Esi Sutherland, from the College of Health, Kintampo, placed third with her presentation on ‘Pregta Application (Pregnancy App),’ which seeks to improve maternal health particularly in the rural areas and improve health education in general, by disseminating information through the use of technology.
She received ¢5,000, a laptop, and assistance to develop Concept into a prototype.
The seven other finalists got ¢2,000 and a laptop each.
The Contest, one of the many highlights of the Ninth Annual Innovation Africa Summit 2019, is an initiative being spearheaded by the Ministry of Communications to create platforms to encourage and empower girls to take interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and grow into subject matter experts.
Among the objectives is to inspire two percent of girls/women across Ghana, every year, to solve challenges in the country using technology.
It also encourages 15 per cent of girls/women in Ghana to pursue careers in technology, science, mathematics and engineering within five years.
It also aims at promoting innovation among 20 per cent of Ghanaian Girls in STEM annually; and to contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals; ‘Goal 1 - No Poverty, Goal 2 - Zero Hunger, Goal 5 - Gender Equality, Goal 8 - Decent Work and Economic, and Goal 10 - Reduced Inequalities’.
The Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the Ministry decided to embark on the initiative, after attending the Miss Geek Africa in Rwanda, where one Ghanaian lady was amongst the 10 finalists.
She said it was to ensure there were opportunities where girls and women aged 13 and 25 submitted concepts aimed at solving problems through technological innovations in the Ghanaian society, which could even be developed into world-class solutions.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful described the presentations as mind-blowing adding: “We are running the mobile lab and innovation hub at the Accra Digital Centre, and you have the people with the ideas who can help them to develop these innovations further”.
“For instance, looking at the winner’s application, it is a problem that all mobile money service providers and users face, so they would definitely develop this and as will talk to the industry and see how far they could go with this, not just for Africa but for the world.”
Ms Domi-Kuwornu, on her part, told the GNA that the idea was to tackle issues of electronic pilfering which affects a lot of people particularly the aged as they were not IT inclined and did not have the technical know-how of doing mobile money transactions.
“So, this will surely make an impact, and is voice recognition so anyone can access it easily and use it effectively”, she added.