The initiative, aiming to bridge the widening digital divide, will be conducted in 22 African countries, to transform STEM education for girls and unleash their potential for success in the 21st century.
“CBW-A’s 1 million girls coding initiative is not just an educational program; it’s a catalyst for change. By empowering girls with the skills and knowledge to thrive in the digital age, CBW-A is investing in a brighter future for Africa, one where innovation and opportunity know no gender boundaries,” said CBW-A’s Vice President for Africa Nana Wanjau.
“This initiative has the potential to unlock untapped talent, foster economic growth, and create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.”
Apart from bridging the digital skills gap, the partnership likewise aims to identify and train teachers who will coordinate online learning for the participating girls.
The partnership also seeks to develop a transparent system to ensure fair and equitable selection of participants across the 22 Commonwealth countries where CBW-A operates as well as delivering engaging and age-appropriate learning materials to the girls’ cohort.
“Across Africa, the underrepresentation of girls in STEM fields remains a significant challenge. According to UNESCO, women make up only 28% of STEM graduates globally, and the situation is even starker in Africa, where girls often face cultural barriers and limited access to quality STEM education,” said Wanjau.
“This lack of participation not only restricts individual opportunities but also hampers the continent’s overall technological advancement and economic growth. If we are to turn this time, we have to start somewhere and start now. It’s time to catalyse the change we desire to see.”
Kodris Africa CEO Mugomo Munene on his part expressed confidence that the partnership with CBW-A will achieve its intended objectives.
“It is exciting to equip young people with the skills they need to participate fully and effectively in the global digital economy. The girls who will join this programme will have an opportunity to acquire 21st-century skills such as design thinking, critical and algorithmic thinking,” he said.
“The coding skills they acquire will also lead them to online environments where they can pick jobs as soon as they attain the age of 18, deliver remotely and receive payments from the comfort of their homes.”