Non-profit organisation GirlCode is expanding its reach with the launch of the Digital Academy, the GirlCoder Club, the GirlCode Accelerator Programme and the GirlCode Incubator initiative.
GirlCode’s mission is to empower young girls and women through tech.
The announcements were part of GirlCode’s new 2018 programme and Vision 2030 statement.
The 10-month GirlCode Accelerator programme will give girls the opportunity to gain real-world experience, and bridge the gap between academic learning and work-ready skills. The initial intake will be 30 girls.
The GirlCode Incubator is a 24-month mentorship programme focusing on marketing, operations, innovation, finance and self-mastery, to help girls grow their businesses.
The GirlCoder Club will teach high school girls how to code in weekend classes facilitated by unemployed Computer Science graduates.
Among the new initiatives planned for the coming year, according to GirlCode, is the expansion of the annual hackathon and training workshops which provide girls with valuable skills training in everything from HTML and Java to presentation skills, design thinking and WordPress, in the run-up to the hackathon.
Launched in 2014 as a female-only hackathon, GirlCode has grown to include various other skills development and mentoring programmes. They have partnered with the likes of Standard Bank and MTN.
Tech is for everyone
Founder Zandile Keebine, GirlCode in a ITWeb report, explained: “We have to be intentional in our efforts and committed to bringing opportunities to girls in rural areas and disadvantaged communities. Technology is increasingly becoming part of our lives, making digital literacy fundamental for everyone. With half the population being female, if we don’t start upskilling girls today, it means we’re leaving half of our potential IP out of the solutions we should be creating. It’s not enough for girls to simply play with technology; we have to encourage them and give them the chance to understand, create and work with it.”
GirlCode’s vision, according to Keebine, is to impact 10 million women across Africa in 10 years, starting with getting young girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to become the largest female digital academy.