African Girls Can Code Initiative coding camp kicks off in Kenya
The African Girls Can Code Initiative (AGCCI) launched Kenya's inaugural coding camp in Nairobi on Tuesday 15 August.
As part of the AGCCI continental programme, Kenya’s first coding camp will train 50 young women aspiring to find careers in ICT and STEM. The two-week intensive course incorporates elements of web development, mobile applications and robotics as well as sessions on gender equality and ICT safety.
The participants for the camp have been selected from all corners of the country in an attempt to bring equality to ICT and STEM sectors in Kenya which are still disproportionately comprised of by men, as they are globally. Access to internet and computer usage in Kenya still favours men, but greater inclusion of women in the digital economy and increased diversity will bring both social and economic value to Kenya.
When involved in ICT and coding, women can help to create user-friendly technology that is responsive to the needs of women and girls. In addition, inventions arising out of mixed teams are more economically valuable and have higher impact than those in which only men are involved.
The programme is playing its part in closing the digital gender divide, overturning stereotypes and encouraging women and girls to use ICTs. This not only empowers women and girls, but moves Kenya closer to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and a better world for all – including for men and boys. Speaking at the event, UN Women Country Representative to Kenya, Anna Mutavati committed UN Women to support girls beyond coding camps:
“The launch of the African Girls Can Code Initiative is timely as through the initiative, we will train the girls to code; we will work with the government to make ICT and coding a bigger part of the education system; and we will work with media and prominent role-models to change the narrative for girls going for jobs in the tech sector.”
The AGCCI programme in Kenya has collaborated with Kenya’s Ministry of Education, Ministry of ICT, and Mistry of Gender Affairs with support from the International Telecommunication Union and the African Union. A second cohort of a further 50 girls will take place at the end of 2023. This introductory year hopes to generate interest from national and international development partners, including the private sector, to scale up future iterations of the programme.
Kenya is one of 11 countries included in this African-wide initiative, in which the UN Women is implementing this programme. The other counties are Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, DRC Congo, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa.