In July 2018 Microsoft, Facebook and The Rockefeller Foundation partnered with the African Development Bank to announce Coding for Employment. An initiative seeking to bridge the digital skills divide among African youths.
To kick start the program and to celebrate women’s month Microsoft and the African Development Bank(AfDB) have started a month long all-female ICT and digital skills bootcamp on two campuses(Centres of Excellence) in Nigeria. Gombe State University and Covenant University located in Gombe and Ogun States respectively.
“The all-female cohort of the Coding for Employment Program is to increase the number of female coders, accelerate gender equality and empowerment for women and girls in the digital era“.
The program “aspires that the all-female cohort will spark an interest in more girls and young women to pursue STEM. That’s encourage them to pursue realizations in STEM related fields“.
The ADB says “the programme acts as an entry point for young female participants who are keen to find jobs within the growing ICT sector. At the end of the course, participants may continue to a more advanced level or simply use their new skills to enhance their job searches.”
AfDB program Task Manager Coding For Employment, Uyoyo Edosio spoke at the launch of the pilot scheme at the Covenant University. She said “In the next 10 years, AfDB will be working at increasing ICT Centres of Excellence in the continent. Creating over 1.9 million jobs. We are building a whole value chain from this launch”
160 young women have ben selected to participate in the month-long all-female coding class in Nigeria.
The partnership between Microsoft and the African Development Bank will continue to focus on increasing the participation of underserved youth and women while equipping youth across Africa with the skills needed to fill jobs now and in the future,” – Ghada Khalifa, Director of Philanthropies for the Middle East and Africa
Under the program so far Microsoft and the AfDB have trained 555 participants in a 3 day Hour of Code campaign. Microsoft has also trained 80 instructors in Nigeria and 60 in Kenya to deliver the basic ICT skills material. The Afbd will be launching an aggregated online training and talent portal with content from LinkedIn Learning.
The coding for employment program, still on a pilot scheme will be rolled out at 14 centres of excellence across Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Ivory Coast and Senegal.
📸: Covenant University