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Ghana Science Ladies Won Women in Tech Award at Huawei's ICT Competition

Three undergraduate students from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. They are a prize-winning team at Huawei’s ICT Competition 2021-2022 Global Final.

Q: What was your project?

A: In this year’s ICT Competition, my team developed an AI-based water quality predictor named WaterBits. This project evaluates the safety of water. The idea is based on how the properties of water are affected when there are a high number of pollutants. These properties include the pH scale, conductivity, dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration, biological oxygen demand (BOD), and the mineral concentration. These properties can be used to determine the quality of the water and hence can be used to classify the safety of the water for drinking. We decided to work on this project because in Ghana, the quality of water is worsening mainly due to soaring levels of pollution from “galamsey” (illegal mining), waste, leachate from chemical fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture, and many other factors. These combined with rapid population growth has made Ghana’s water resources ungovernable.

Q: Do you have some special memories with the ICT competition?

A: After winning the competition in our country, we went to South Africa for a regional competition, it was my first time to take a plane in my life. In the competition, we met so many friends from different regions, and we were so happy throughout the whole journey.

Q: As a girl in ICT, have you faced any difficulties in pursuing your goals in STEM?

A: I’ll say that one difficulty is being underestimated by my colleagues and my supervisors. Most of the time, people have the perception that women aren’t able to do it, especially in the tech field.

Q: This is the first time that Huawei set the Women in Tech Award in ICT Competition. How do you feel after winning this special award?

A: My teammates and I are the first ever to win the global Huawei Women in Tech Award. This is a major milestone for us. When it comes to academics, especially my class, the males are like 80% of the class population, and females are 20%. So they tend to feel that they are in control when it comes to class activities and programming activities and all.

I feel, with this award, women in STEM are encouraged.