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

Video

Interview: Qualcomm execs on mentorship for African startups

Qualcomm Technology VP for Engineering, Sudeepto Roy, and Elizabeth Migwalla, VP for Government Affairs, join Connecting Africa for a video interview about Qualcomm's Make in Africa Mentorship Program.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

Story

Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.

Story

Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up