Coding for New Employment Digital Skills Training Centers to Increase Opportunities for Women in Information and Communication Technology Fields

The new digital training centers of the African Development Bank’s Coding for Employment program (www.AfDB.org) will reserve half of their initial training slots for female candidates, the Bank announced on International Day of the Girl in information and communication technologies (ICT).

Equipping young Africans with the digital skills they need to contribute meaningfully to the global digital economy, the Coding for Employment program is part of a vital channel for girls and young women to pursue careers related to science and to technology.

Coding For Employment held virtual and in-person groundbreaking ceremonies for three new Centers of Excellence on March 8, 2022. Two of these centers are in Nigeria: at Covenant University in Ogun State and Gombe State University. , in the state of Gombe. The third center of excellence is located on the campus of the University of Nairobi in Kenya. The ceremonies took place at Covenant University and the University of Nairobi. Representatives from the Bank, Coding for Employment partners and university staff were present.

“This launch reflects the Bank’s strong commitment to creating a world where gender equality is a reality in the classroom, in the boardroom and in all sectors of the economy to build a more inclusive African society. , innovative and sustainable. resilient. Martha Phiri, Director of Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development at the Bank, said in virtual comments.

Initially, the centers will serve participants of Coding for Employment’s Digital Ambassadors program, a new model of intensive peer-to-peer training set up to extend digital skills to more young Africans, especially in rural communities where connectivity Internet is weak.

The launch event also included a virtual discussion on the role of women in Africa’s digital economy, as well as the persistent gender disparities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics ( STEM).

According to the International Telecommunications Union, which organizes Girls in ICT Day, only 30% of science and technology professionals in the world are women.

“Socio-cultural norms, beliefs and biases have long influenced how women are viewed and limited opportunities for women to pursue careers in technology. Breaking down these biases requires exposing young women to coding and STEM-related fields early on, so that they see it as a viable career path,” said Olatomiwa Williams, country manager for Microsoft in Nigeria. Microsoft is a Coding Partner for Jobs.

The new Centers of Excellence are equipped with 50 computers, ergonomic furniture in classroom-style learning stations and informal networking spaces. Students enrolled in Coding for Work programs have access to free courses in web design, app development, data science, and digital marketing, among others.

The Codification for Jobs program is a key component of the African Development Bank Group’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Initiative (https://bit.ly/3MDbNQI), which aims to put African youth on the right track. towards prosperity. By 2025, the Jobs for Youth in Africa Initiative aims to equip 50 million young people with employable skills and create 25 million jobs in agriculture, information, communication and technology, and other key industries in Africa.

The opening of the centers brings the number of Coding for Employment-branded learning spaces to seven across the continent, including in Rwanda, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. Coding for Employment plans to open 130 centers in Africa by 2025.

To view the virtual ceremony and gender discussion, click here (https://bit.ly/3OHR2F4).

Learn more about coding for employment: www.Coding4Employment.org

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