Huawei ICT Competition Ghana Winners: Through innovation, let the light of women in science and technology shine

author:Huawei ICT Talent Ecosystem

For the three girls Esther, Gladys and Martha from Kwame Nkruma University of Science and Technology in the Republic of Ghana, participating in the Huawei ICT Competition was an unforgettable highlight moment. In the Huawei ICT Competition 2021-2022 Global Finals, their innovation competition work "Water Quality Monitoring Solution Based on Artificial Intelligence" not only won the second prize of the Innovation Competition, but also won the honor of Women in Science and Technology for the first time in the competition.

Huawei ICT Competition Ghana Winners: Through innovation, let the light of women in science and technology shine

Martha, Esther, and Gladys (from left to right) won the second prize in the Innovation Competition and the honor of Women in Technology in the Huawei ICT Competition 2021-2022 Global Finals

Participating in the Huawei ICT Competition brought the freshness and sense of achievement to the three girls is self-evident: "Because of participating in the Huawei ICT Competition, we not only gained a lot of valuable experiences, such as the first time to fly, the first time to go abroad; We've also shown that women can do just as well in tech. They said their success will inspire more Grinian women to enter the tech sector and lead technological innovation, which in turn will promote gender equality and enhance social inclusion.

Project Origin: Experience and Inspiration from Life

Esther, Gladys, and Martha attend the same school, but in different majors. Esther and Martha majored in computer science, while Gladys majored in biomedical engineering. How did students from different majors come together to participate in the Huawei ICT Competition? It turned out that before the competition, their school cooperated with Huawei on the Women In ICT project, which helps women improve their digital skills through all-round resource support to gain more room for career and technology development. Esther, Gladys, and Martha were also involved in the project, sharing a common hobby and pursuit, which eventually brought them together.

After the group is successful, the next step is how to set up the project and output the work. The purpose of science and technology is to benefit mankind, and projects must of course originate from life.

Esther, Gladys, and Martha are located in Ghana, in western Africa, which is close to the equator and has a typical tropical climate. According to the Ghana electronic media "Ghana Economy", the lack of domestic sewage treatment and illegal gold mining are the two major sources of water pollution in Ghana, and one-fifth of Ghana's population lacks clean drinking water; In addition, in recent years, Ghana has seen a number of cases of serious water pollution causing deaths from childhood diseases.

Gladies is well aware of this, she said that in the place where she lives, most people do not have access to tap water, during the rainy season, people have to rely on rainwater or well water to live, but most of these water sources are polluted by chemicals, there are many problems in water quality, such as bacteria, cleanliness, etc., and people can not only identify by color, smell. So they came up with an idea: through the application of AI technology, make a device to detect water quality, to help people quickly detect water quality.

Esther and Martha understand artificial intelligence technology, and Gladys is good at biological sample analysis, which can output key indicators to judge the quality of water quality, which is convenient for the setting of AI parameter models. The joint development of this project by the three of them can be described as complementary.

Project implementation: innovation and growth in practice

The Huawei ICT Competition is an annual ICT competition for university students around the world. The competition aims to provide students with an international competition and exchange platform, improve students' ICT knowledge level, strengthen students' practical ability, and cultivate students' innovation and creativity ability using new technologies and platforms.

The competition is divided into practical competition, innovation competition and industry competition. Among them, the innovation competition requires students to comprehensively use artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, big data, cloud, mobile Internet and other technologies to propose solutions with social benefits and commercial value, and examine the innovation and social benefits of works.

Participating in the Huawei ICT Competition not only has the opportunity to express oneself on the international ICT competition and communication platform, but also to apply ICT technology to daily life and improve water safety for residents. For Esther, Gladys, Martha, it's a good thing to kill two birds with one stone.

In the process of the project, the three girls also faced many difficulties and challenges: the first is to collect water samples, which is a major project, the three people ran all over the city and rural areas, and finally collected 1896 samples for testing and testing; The second is model training, they refer to Ghana's national testing standards for water quality, set 4 parameters according to the PH value, conductivity, dissolved oxygen and biological oxygen demand of the water body, and make an application through Huawei's Kaifa AI framework MindSpore; The third is the production of equipment, which not only examines ICT knowledge, but also examines physics, mathematics, materials science and other knowledge, and examines hands-on practical ability. But under the guidance of their mentors, they eventually overcame many difficulties and completed these tasks.

Huawei ICT Competition Ghana Winners: Through innovation, let the light of women in science and technology shine

Water quality detectors developed by Martha, Esther and Gladys

Next, it is to repeatedly experiment, train, derive, analyze, and summarize in the laboratory. Finally, the detector can not only identify the water quality, but also classify the water quality; The accuracy of the inspection also continued to increase, eventually reaching 93%. At that moment, they felt that everything was worth the effort.

The future can be expected: moving forward and transcending in encouragement

What makes Esther, Gladys, and Martha feel most proud is that through the Huawei ICT Competition, they have won the recognition of their classmates around them, which has strengthened their confidence and courage in future expansion in the ICT field.

Gladys said she grew up in Ghana and learned that women were taught in the traditional way, either in the kitchen or in traditional industries, and even if they studyed, they were mainly biased towards liberal arts majors. In her class, the ratio of boys to girls is 8:2. "Even if we girls know how to program and how to write code, we rarely get corresponding encouragement, always study quietly, and rarely have the opportunity and courage to show ourselves." But winning the honor in the Huawei ICT Competition is a proof to the whole school, the whole country, and the world that women can also be excellent in scientific and technological innovation. ”

In fact, not only in Ghana, but also in Africa, and even globally, women are disparities with men in terms of Internet access, technology engagement, and technology leadership. According to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021, three-quarters of the world's "work of the future" workforce still has a very low proportion of women, including in categories such as cloud computing, data and artificial intelligence, engineering and product development.

Therefore, Huawei actively shares knowledge and tools to improve its digital skills and digital access level by providing skills training, vocational training, and ICT training for women around the world, hoping to not only promote the growth of the ICT industry, but also contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the establishment of an inclusive and diverse society. This year, the honor of "Women in Technology" was added to the Huawei ICT Competition for the first time, precisely to highlight women's efforts in the ICT industry and show their innovative spirit and extraordinary contributions.

Winning the "Women in Technology Honor" also strengthens the motivation of Esther, Gladys, and Martha to move forward. In the future, they will continue to improve this set of water quality monitoring solutions based on artificial intelligence technology, on the one hand, adding detection dimensions to make water quality testing more accurate; On the other hand, research smaller detectors are easy for people to use anytime, anywhere. They will also work with non-governmental organizations to pilot and promote this project and results in rural areas in a planned way, hoping to effectively improve people's lives through ICT technology and make people's lives healthier and more secure. This is also the goal of Huawei's ICT competition: to promote the development of human science and technology and achieve global digital inclusion.

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