Microsoft and an African-based non-profit social enterprise, Tech4Dev have partnered to train girls and women across Africa in coding and deep technology based skills. The move is aimed at bridging the digital and technology divide and ensure equal access to opportunities, by all genders, across Africa. The program known as the Women Techsters initiative, the training program will target girls and women between 16 and 40, across 54 countries in Africa. It will focus on technical skills such as software development, product design, product management, data science and AI engineering, and cybersecurity, and will be delivered through a series of simultaneous activities.
Kendi Nderitu, Microsoft Country Manager for Kenya said that while alot has been done on the continent to streamline upskilling in STEM areas, more and continuous efforts are required, particularly in industries that are ever-changing. According to her:
“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,”
“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,” She said
The program was launched on the 8th of March during a virtual roundtable today, hosted by Microsoft Philanthropies and Tech4Dev.