Intel Kenya and Akirachix have launched an initiative to develop tech skills targeting Kenyan girls. The ‘She will Connect’ programme is a countrywide initiative that will see more Kenyan girls start to develop technology applications.
There will be 2-day free training sessions organized annually in Nairobi, Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisumu and Mombasa for girls interested in coding. The sessions will be limited to 25 girls per class and will be open to all Kenyan girls.
Intel has timed the launch of the programme with the second International Day of the Girl on October 11 by launching the joint initiative. ‘She will Connect’ is a direct result of findings in the groundbreaking “Women and the Web” report released in January that showed a major skill gap between the genders.
“Diversity is crucial to succeed in new technologies. We are convinced that technology and education have real power to fuel transformative change and hence the reason Intel is collaborating with other industry players such as Akirachix to see as many girls as possible make a mark in the technology world,” said Agatha Gikunda, Intel East Africa’s Software and Services Lead.
The initiative is part of Intel’s global initiative launched last week that commits to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries. Intel will begin the initiative in Africa, where the gender gap is the greatest, by aiming to reach 5 million women and reduce the gender gap by 50 percent. To achieve this, Intel will work with a diverse set of partners including global and local NGOs and governments.
She Will Connect will test a new model that integrates digital literacy with gender and development programming targeting women and girls:
Online Gaming Platform – Intel is developing an online gaming platform to innovate the delivery of digital literacy content through an interactive, engaging approach for smartphones and tablets in a game-infused environment. With the gaming platform, learning can take place in a mediated environment, individually, across devices and in the context of a peer network.
Peer Network – Intel and World Pulse are working together to integrate World Pulse’s digital empowerment training into existing digital literacy programs and connect women to a safe and supportive peer network. Through the World Pulse platform, women can exchange ideas, find support and mentorship, and obtain relevant content tailored for women. This innovative approach will push the field of digital literacy so learning can take place not only as an individual in a shared computing environment but also through peers.
“In a continent where women form a majority of the population and half of the workforce, it is an anomaly that the percentage of women working in technology is less than 15%. Technology is one of the key factors driving Africa’s projected economic rise. As such, we welcome Intel’s partnership as we believe there is enormous potential for maximizing the growth of technology through increasing the number and quality of women in technology within programs that collaborate with like-minded organizations.” said Linda Kamau, Vice-President of Akirachix.
To apply for the course, participants will be required to apply through ihub.co.ke. The first session will be held on 1st and 2nd November 2013 at the iHub. The dates and venues of the other sessions outside Nairobi will be communicated via iHub website and Intel Kenya’s twitter handle @IntelEastAfrica.