Africa Agility boosts female participation in IT sector
...holds technical skills development boot camp
To attract young female talent into the Nigeria IT sector, Africa Agility, a nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in the technology industry, recently held a three weeks boot camp to teach technical skills like web development, product design and data science.
Followed by a 2-day hackathon that required the participants to leverage in-class dispensed knowledge in building real-life applicable solutions, the boot camp helped the young female talents to build their presentation skills as they were required to deliver a pitch to present the merits of each solution.
Industry experts who served as Judges included Funmi Coker Technology Leader CISCO Nigeria, Abimbola Adesemowo from Medcourt, and Lekan Ogunbanwo MD/CEO PlusTV Africa. The industry players helped to evaluate the participants’ solutions that cut across logistics, tourism, entertainment, commerce and education.
“It’s day one of my data science class and we used the ‘Jupiter notebook’. It’s so interesting, I’m so happy to be here…and I can’t imagine learning all of this alone, it would have been tougher,” that was Funyi Igiri’s effusive testimonial after completing boot camp day one, an indication that Africa Agility is just not another tech startup, but is on an impact mission comparable to the greatest technology companies on the planet.
This is the 3rd Cohort and a significant milestone as the organization looks to expand its reach was the summary provided by Nafisat Ojolowo, Program Director, Africa Agility.
Africa Agility in collaboration with Impact Lagos had recently wrapped up its September 2021 female-only boot camp- a successful inroad that targeted the 50 percent of top tech talent that the rest of the industry struggled with attracting and optimizing. Other important partners who made the boot camp successful included SAHCO, Medcourt, and Cisco
When considered alongside the statistic that out of one hundred persons involved in the technology field, only 25 women make up that number and even more alarming, only 3 black women make up that number, then the audacious target of bridging this gap that Africa Agility has set itself becomes even more appreciable.
Recent research by PricewaterhouseCoopers- a global Consultancy powerhouse- asserted in part that “females aren’t considering technology careers as they aren’t given enough information on what working in the sector involves and also because no one is putting it forward as an option to them”.
Africa Agility over the years has embarked on several initiatives in line with its vision of a dignified smarter and brighter future for children and youths of the underserved community and the entire continent as a whole. These include STEM for Rural Areas; Agile in Higher Education; Enterprise Incubation and Girls in Technology.
The foundation’s mission is to touch lives, one breathe at a time through educational programs using digital agile methods and technology, youth development to raise NexGen leaders that will transform nations and bring about sustainable improvement into the lives of underserved young people through strategic collaborations.
As a non-profit organization that aims to transform, leapfrog and enable Africa to be a leading digital economy, Africa Agility said it envisions building a smarter generation of leaders who will take Africa towards the superhighway of progress to a continent that can innovate faster than any other continent in the world.
“All around the world, digital transformation is becoming a critical factor in long-term, sustainable social and economic growth, and Africa is no exception. As Africa is poised to be one of the fastest-growing regions in the world, the key activities that will drive growth over the next two decades is the adoption of Agile and digital technologies, hence equipping the youth particularly the underrepresented gender with digital competencies,” the Africa Agility Founder, Aanu Gopald said.
While acknowledging that the gender gap in the industry requires urgent attention, Gopald said a more significant issue that Africa Agility Foundation is poised to solve is to “showcase African talent to the world, especially the global-level talent that African female tech professionals possess.”