Dar es Salaam, 11 January, 2019 – In a bid to foster female participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the second intake of 59 students graduated from a 5-day coding workshop sponsored by Vodacom at Dar Teknohama Business Incubator (DTBI).

According to the United Nations Educations Science and Cultural Organization, ‘female participation is falling in a field that is expanding globally’ and men still dominate the number of STEM graduates in most countries.  Code like a girl is the largest international classroom based global coding program that aims to equip girls with what is quickly becoming one of the most in demand skills across industries as coding is being increasingly utilized by businesses outside the technology space.

 In partnership with DTBI, the workshop covered basic knowledge of computer languages and development programmes including HTML, CSS, GitHub and Bootstrap. The learning was facilitated in an interactive way that integrated life skills training in while developing code which enabled them to develop their own website; the participants also received coaching on presentation and communication skills.

“We are overwhelmed by the number of students who attended the workshop, the week was packed with life skills, coding, presentations as well as communication skills training. By the end of the week, the girls were proud owners of websites that they had personally designed,” said Head of Organizational Effectiveness Zaituni Ally who represents Vodacom’s Human Resource Director, Vivienne Penessis. “Today, digital transformation is happening everywhere in the world, therefore, it is important to prepare girls for the inevitable shifts in the job market,” she noted. 

Speaking in Dar es Salaam today DTBi’s CEO Dr. George Mulamula said that “During the first phase of the training, we observed that a large number of students, especially girls in secondary school are taught Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in theory.  This training strategy aims to equip girls across the country with not only ICT knowledge, but to also help them tap into various opportunities in the tech ecosystem like their male counterparts," he added.

Vodacom’s ambition is to provide opportunities for girls across the country to participate in STEM subjects; “Coding forms the nuts and bolts of the digital workplace of the future. Through programmes such as these, we hope to see more girls represented in the Tech industry.  We are also helping young people expand their skill set through technology to aid Tanzania’s sustainable development” explained Zaituni.

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