The all-Girls team from Ghana competed against six teams under the Innovation track.
The Girls, Esther Aboagyewaa Abankwa, Martha Esinam Kekele Demanya and Gladys Obuobi, who are final year students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology worked on the AI project topic, “WaterBits” – An Artificial Intelligence-Based Water Quality Predictor, which automatically classifies the quality of water and determines its safety for drinking.
Ms Gladys Obuobi, the team lead, speaking on their project, “WaterBits”, mentioned that statistics from the United Nations report indicated that about 1.5 million people living in rural communities die each year from contaminated water-driven diseases, hence, their Artificial Intelligence solution, which was designed to help address the issue.
Professor Jerry John Kponyo, the Dean for Quality Assurance and Planning Unit at KNUST, commended the girls for making it to the global finals and making their institution proud.
He assured them of KNUST’s unflinching support in the quest to ensure that the team made Ghana proud at the Global finals.
He encouraged the team to believe in themselves and work harder towards winning the ultimate prize.
“Your innovation has the potential to impact a lot of lives in the rural communities and that should be your motivation,” he said.
Prof. Kponyo commended Huawei for giving the ladies the opportunity to explore their potential and prove themselves through the Huawei Seeds for the Future Women in Tech Initiative.
Mrs Jenny Zhou, Director for Public and Government Affairs at Huawei Ghana, also commended the ladies for being the only girls’ team to make it to the global finals.
“Coming this far means you are very capable and can do better if more effort is put into it. Personally, I am glad you are projecting Ghana as the only team with ladies competing at the global finals. I believe you have been well connected through this programme and this will go a long way to shape your career path,” she said.
Prof. Lidia Arthur Brito, the UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa, commended Huawei for building the capacity and skills of young talents in the Sub region by giving them the opportunity to be a part of the digital world.
She said, “technologies can indeed empower people, commodities, countries, and continents but technologies can also discriminate and leave people out of this development. By raising the capacity and skills of young talents in a different sphere, I say this is immensely appreciated.”
The Regional Director noted that participation of women in ICT was very low, however, she was glad more women were being trained by Huawei in various technologies like AI.
She congratulated the various academic institutions for supporting Huawei to make the ICT Competition inclusive to all.
From the 48 competing teams, Nigerian and Kenyan teams won first prize in the regional final.
The South African team, which reached the top ten of the 2021 Huawei Global Tech4Good Competition for designing an intrusion detection system that uses wireless and cloud technologies to curb rhino poaching, was honoured with a Top Performance Prize.
Over the past five years, 80 000 university students from Africa registered for the competition, and more than 20 teams entered the global finals.
The Huawei ICT competition has grown into the biggest competition of its kind in Africa and across the globe.
It offers a global stage for students to showcase their ICT knowledge and skills.