1Billion Africa (1BA) on Thursday, October 8, 2020, launched the STEM FOR AFRICA (S4A) project in Hwidiem in the Asutifi South District of the Ahafo Region of Ghana.
The S4A project, which contributes to Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5, 10 & 17 – Quality Education, Gender Equality, Reduced Inequalities, and Partnerships for Development, respectively, is a bold initiative to raise young scientists and innovators from rural communities in Africa.
The S4A project in Hwidiem is funded under the Engineering X programme founded in partnership between the Royal Academy of Engineering and Lloyd’s Register Foundation, under the Engineering Skills Where They are Most Needed scheme. Our key project partners include; Dext Technology, Synergies Institute – Sankofa Mentorship Hub, Nana Attaa Agyeiwaa II Foundation, D S Dayta Solution, Hwidiem Traditional Council, the Asutifi South District Education, the District and Local Government Assemblies, and Community Leaders.
For the next 2 years, the S4A project will capacitate 1,000 student beneficiaries in 10 schools in Hwidiem to go through a total of 52,000 hours of practical STEM tuition using the innovative Science Set toolkit developed by Dext Technologies Limited. The project targets school children between the ages of 10 -15 years, who are in upper primary and junior high in Hwidiem.
A total of 15 STEM clubs would also be set up to further engage the students in other innovative STEM activities, as well as have further practical sessions with the toolkit, which can be used to perform 30+ experiments.
The experiments include; building mini-robots, circuit systems, security alarm systems, solar panel models, etc. Creativity, innovation, problem-solving and critical thinking skills to solve community problems is at the heart-beat of S4A thus 2 Innovation Challenge competitions will be organised within the project period.
In addition, 50 girls selected from within the 1,000 beneficiaries will receive mentoring from STEM Champions in liaison with Synergies Institute – Sankofa Mentorship Hub.
The joy and interest of the entire community and district were glaring during the launch. The project launch was graced with the presence of the Hwidiem Traditional Council, Queen Mother of Hwidiem, representatives from the Ghana Education Service (GES) Directorate of Asutifi-South, Headmasters and Headmistresses of the schools, the District and Local Assembly representatives, and various civil servants.
In a moving speech by the Queen Mother, Nana Attaa Adwoa Agyeiwaa Kodie II shared her commitment and vision of bringing quality education to Hwidiem, and why she believed the S4A project is helping to facilitate the initiative.
She applauded the project funders and partners, pledged her full support, and urged all stakeholders involved to commit to playing their roles diligently. Particularly, she urged parents to be involved and student beneficiaries to take advantage of this golden opportunity to invest in their future.
“We are piloting this initiative in Hwidiem because first there is the need and second, because of the immense support demonstrated by stakeholders during previous projects by 1BA in the district.”, says Mr Prince Adu-Appiah, CEO and Founder of 1Billion Africa.At the launch, 1Billion Africa and the partners made a call to the government, institutions, companies and individuals with the capacity, to help scale the project to other communities in Ghana.
1Billion Africa, a non-profit civil society organization in Africa inspires and empowers Africa’s Youth to be change-agents in their communities by finding problems and turning them into projects.
1BA has implemented and inspired over 25 projects in 3 countries – Ghana, Namibia and South Africa – impacting over 12,000 people, the majority being youth, women and children. The official hashtags for the project are #STEM4Africa and #S4A.
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