Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Digital Inclusion

Vodacom's #CodeLikeAGirl program expands

Article Image
Vodacom says it plans to train 1,500 young girls in coding during this financial year, bringing the number of girls trained through its #CodeLikeAGirl program to 4,000 since 2017.

The company said the program aims to help bridge the digital gender gap in Southern Africa and also inspire more young girls to enter the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

The #CodeLikeAGirl program was launched in 2017 in Tembisa, South Africa – teaching coding skills to 20 girls from schools in the area. Since then, it has expanded to Mozambique, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Lesotho, training thousands of young women locally.

Vodacom says the program doesn’t only help develop coding skills, but also teaches girls valuable life skills, under the guidance of accomplished mentors who are passionate about technology.

STEM pipeline

Vodacom said that STEM careers help drive innovation, social wellbeing, inclusive growth and sustainable development in society. However, globally, STEM graduates are still overwhelmingly male.

A Unesco report, titled: "Cracking the code: Girls’ and women's education in STEM," found that only 35% of STEM students in higher education globally are women. Young women also comprise only 3% of students in engineering or information and communication technology (ICT).

"The gender disparity in STEM is alarming, especially since these are the jobs of the future. By teaching high school girls how to code, we're opening their eyes to sequential thinking around problem-solving and stimulating creativity and design skills," said Njabulo Mashigo, HR director for Vodacom South Africa, at the launch of the 2022 edition on Monday in Johannesburg.

Mashigo said it was important to address the underrepresentation of women and girls in STEM education and careers and said Vodacom had seen the difference #CodeLikeAGirl can make, which is why it is growing the program each year.

Skills development

During the two-week training course, the high school pupils will be exposed to computer languages, robotics and development programs, including HTML, CSS, GitHub and Version control, Bootstrap and JavaScript, Basic Computer and Introduction to Coding.

By the end of the program, each girl will be able to develop their own websites and present their work to the rest of their coding class.

"The world is becoming increasingly reliant on digital technology, which is why coding skills are so prized. With digital transformation, we are seeing a higher demand for jobs with STEM skills, such as coding. Median wages in STEM careers are more than double that of non-STEM occupations. STEM careers are also expected to grow at more than double the rate of other occupations soon.

"Most people aren’t aware that half of all computer programming positions are in industries such as finance, healthcare and manufacturing. Coding has become such a critical skill that it elevates a candidate’s chances not only of landing positions but also of commanding higher salaries," concluded Mashigo.

Related posts:

*Top image is the banner for the 2022 #CodeLikeAGirl program. (Source: Vodacom).

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Google's Equiano subsea cable lands on SA shores

Google’s Equiano subsea cable, which seeks to connect Europe to Africa via the ocean, has made its final stop landing in Melkbosstrand, Western Cape, South Africa.


Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.

More Innovation hub

Africa Tech Perspectives


Women in Tech: Spotlight on inclusivity with Digital Council Africa's Juanita Clark

Digital Council Africa founder and CEO, Juanita Clark, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and what needs to be done to make the tech industry intentionally inclusive.


Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.


Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Partner perspectives

5G is lighting up the future of North Africa
By Chris Meng, VP of Huawei Northern Africa Carrier Business Department

The moving target that is telecoms fraud
By Clémentine Fournier, Regional VP Sales, Africa, BICS

How mobile operators in Africa can address signalling threats and secure the network
By Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud and Security at BICS

All Partner Perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.


Omdia View: May 2022

By Omdia Analysts

SpaceX-owned Starlink's plans to launch a satellite broadband service in Africa was a major highlight in May 2022, says Omdia's analysts.

More Guest Perspectives

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival
November 7-11, 2022
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Flash poll

All polls

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up