Empowering Girls In STEM: Vodacom Tanzania’s ‘Code it Like a Girl’ Initiative
Arusha, Tanzania – In a bid to empower young girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Vodacom Tanzania’s ‘Code it Like a Girl’ initiative has provided over 150 female secondary school students in the region with valuable coding and web hosting skills.
This initiative, which started in 2018, is not just about teaching coding but also about igniting a passion for STEM-related subjects among underprivileged girls. By doing so, it aims to address the gender gap prevalent in STEM fields. According to UNESCO, only about 35 percent of students enrolled in STEM-related fields worldwide are female.
Creating a Talent Pipeline
Naiman Moshi, the Human Resources and Development Manager at Vodacom Tanzania, emphasized that the ‘Code it Like a Girl’ initiative is designed to expose young female students to the basics of coding while also highlighting career opportunities in STEM. This approach is not only about imparting skills but also about creating a talent pipeline that aligns with current and future industry demands.
Mr. Moshi shared his perspective on the initiative: “As a mobile operator, we decided to take up the initiative with a view of bridging a gap of digital literacy among female students.”
Inclusivity Beyond Boundaries: Scaling Up for Greater Impact
What makes this project even more commendable is its inclusivity. Deaf students have been welcomed into the program, further promoting diversity in STEM education. This commitment to inclusivity aligns with the broader goal of closing the gender gap in STEM, a crucial step in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda’s promise to “leave no one behind.”
The project coordinator from Tanzania Data Lab (dLab), Ms. Somoe Mkwachu, acknowledged the significance of the ‘Code it Like a Girl’ initiative. However, she stressed the need for further scaling up such initiatives, emphasizing that digital literacy is now a cross-cutting issue with far-reaching implications.
Inspiring the Next Generation of STEM Enthusiasts
“This is just a drop in the ocean,” said Ms. Mkwachu. “This needs to be scaled up as digital literacy is now a cross-cutting issue.”
One of the participating students, Dorcas Prima from Ngarenaro Secondary School, shared her excitement about the Bootcamp. She believes that it will broaden her horizons in the world of STEM, offering her new skills and opportunities for networking with mentors and peers.
Vodacom Tanzania’s ‘Code it Like a Girl’ initiative is not just teaching girls to code; it’s empowering them to shape the future of STEM, bridging gender gaps, and fostering inclusivity. It serves as an inspiring example of how education and technology can pave the way for a brighter, more equitable future in the digital age.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.