- The programme aims to empower and equip 2,000 African women and girls between the ages of 17-25 with digital literacy skills over the course of four years.
- According to statistics, globally, women make up 28.4 per cent of the workforce engaged in STEM and only 30 percent on average in sub-Saharan Africa.
The UN Women Tanzania has launched a call for applications to qualified girls to participate in the first coding camp to be held in Mbeya, Tanzania.
The coding camp under the African Girls Can Code (AGCCI) Initiative Phase II will run from February 27 to March 10.
The coding camps are coordinated in close collaboration with United Republic of Tanzania (Mainland and Zanzibar).
This is through the Ministry of Community Development, Gender, Women and Special Groups, Ministry of Information, Communication and Information Technology and Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
In 2022, UN Women and the African Union Commission launched the second phase of the AGCCI in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
This was in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union, UNESCO, UNECA, and Unicef
The first phase of AGCCI which was implemented from 2018-2021 built the knowledge and skill of over 600 young girls from 32 member states, empowering them to pursue education and innovation in ICT.
The programme aims to empower and equip 2,000 African women and girls between ages 17-25 with digital literacy skills over four years, putting them on track for careers in the ICT sector.
AGCCI's core objectives are to create a pool of trainers to provide training at national coding camps on ICT initiatives, digital, robotics, and different programming languages involving young girls to address gender mainstreaming issues.
According to statistics, globally, women make up 28.4 per cent of the workforce engaged in STEM and only 30 per cent on average in sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition, women in low- and middle-income countries are 10 per cent less likely than men to own a mobile device and 23 per cent less likely to use the internet compared to their male counterparts.
This is according to the Global Mobile Communication Mobility Gap Report 2019.
In Africa, the proportion of women using the internet is 24 per cent compared to 35 per cent of men.
The UN Women through a statement said that the lower levels of ownership and use of mobile devices by women not only reflect existing gender inequalities but also threaten to exacerbate them.
“If the gender gap is not closed, women risk being left behind as societies and economies become more digital,” the statement read.
It also said that affordability, literacy, patriarchy and digital skills, perceived lack of relevance, and safety as well as security concerns are the most common barriers to women's access to and use of mobile internet.
In the second phase, funded by the government of Belgium, the AGCCI aims to build on previous success to support two-week coding camps in 11 countries.
This includes Burundi, DRC, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Over 1000 girls are expected to benefit.
The call for applications is open until January 20, 2023, at 23:59 hrs (EAT, Tanzanian Time).