Microsoft has partnered up with non-profit social enterprise, Tech4Dev on an initiative to train girls and women across Africa in coding and deep tech skills.
With the aim to bridge the digital and technology divide and ensure equal access to opportunities across the continent, the Women Techsters initiative, aimed at girls and women between 16 – 40, across 54 countries in Africa, was launched during a virtual roundtable today, hosted by Microsoft Philanthropies and Tech4Dev.
The initiative will see women learn technical skills such as software development, product design, product management, data science and AI engineering, and cybersecurity.
The training consists of open days, boot camps, and masterclasses which will serve as a virtual program for girls and women across the continent to learn about leveraging technology for their career and business growth.
“When we empower girls and women in the ICT industry through greater access to skills and training, we not only unlock innovation but also economic opportunities.” Ghada Khalifa, Regional Director- Microsoft Philanthropies MEA said.
The initiative will make use of standardized learning curriculums across five learning tracks, will run for three months, followed by a six-month internship and enrolment into a mentorship program.
“The overall objective of Women Techsters is to grow and support a community of tech empowered girls and women across the continent, who will have equal access to decent job opportunities as well as build and scale their ideas into tech-enabled businesses and deep tech start-ups, ultimately aiding overall economic growth,” Kendi Nderitu, Microsoft Country Manager for Kenya said
“Partnering with Microsoft made complete sense when it came to seeking a partner and organization that has continuously reaffirmed its commitment to digitally transforming communities through upskilling and fostering a knowledge economy. Our shared belief that training and empowering young women across Africa will help achieve a male-female ratio balance in the technology space while providing them with useful skills to build more efficient businesses, or rewarding careers using technology.” Diwura Oladepo, Executive Director at Tech4Dev said while speaking on the partnership.
“Initially, we are launching the initiative in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Egypt and are excited to see how we can live up to our mission of enabling participating girls and women, to do more. We know, that when women are empowered to fully contribute, society benefits overall,” said Kendi.