Afro Fem Coders has announced a partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, to empower African women with technology skills amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic. Afro Fem Coders, a program being implemented in Uganda, aims to create a platform for African women to learn computer programming in a safe and encouraging environment.
To kick-start, the partnership, Afro Fem Coders and the Mastercard Foundation will host a hackathon, a software design, and development skills workshop, on October 16th, 2021 where women will be taught how to pitch, develop websites & apps, coding, and programming skills. After which they will have an opportunity to enroll in the third cohort of the Afro Fem Coders programming course scheduled to start on October 31st, 2021.
Ms. Gloria Tumushabe, the Founder of Afro Fem Coders, while announcing the hackathon said, “Given the low number of African women in technology, this is an opportunity to challenge the status quo and provide women, with the ability to equip themselves with technology skills that will put them on the path to financial freedom.”
The hackathon will offer valuable insight into the learning process, provide direction and an understanding of what coding and programming are about, and how they can use the skills to create work opportunities for themselves.
“It is important to acquire these skills, especially in this current technology-driven world. More women are needed in the technology sector and opportunities are already available and will continue to be created in this sector,” Tumushabe noted.
Tumushabe saw an opportunity to teach coding to young women who were forced to stay home due to Covid-19. She leveraged the power of her network, knowledge, and the internet to start teaching girls in Uganda and the rest of Africa how to code and create computer software, apps, and websites.
Samuel Yalew Adela, Country Head Uganda at the Mastercard Foundation during the announcement said they are excited about the partnership to ensure that African women have the opportunity to learn new life and business skills that will make them more resilient and enable them to pursue their professional and entrepreneurial aspirations.
Afro Fem Coder’s aims to increase the number of female programmers in Sub-Saharan Africa by over 2 million within the next 10 years, and ensuring that Uganda has more than 100,000 female programmers either starting their own tech ventures or being employed in top tech positions. They hope to see the percentage of women who are exposed to programming at a young age increase by 95%.
According to UNESCO, women in the tech industry constitute only 28% of professionals in the sector worldwide and only 30% in Sub-Saharan Africa. About 20% of software engineers in Silicon Valley are women while Africa has only 2% female software engineers. Tumushabe was able to identify this gap with the exposure she had in programming, thus inspired her to start teaching other women.
“These statistics shed light on the significant gap between women and men in exploring careers in STEM. It is my wish that every woman out there can use this chance to join a cohort of other young women to not only learn something new but also create valuable networks,” said Tumushabe.
To participate in the hackathon and program, African women can sign up using here; https://forms.gle/b6pFhs4qRzGv52pC9