TechInAfrica – Microsoft has launched the DigiGirlz initiative as a part of its commitment to support educational development in South Africa. The initiative is taken under a collaboration with AI in Townships. The initiative allows talented young girls to optimize their skills and potential through a bootcamp program.
In the AI bootcamp, these girls will be equipped with critical skills in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
During the opening address of the DigiGirlz initiative, Gugu Motlante said: “The Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation places the wellbeing of our nation’s youth at the heart of our work with the belief that equipping learners with 21st-century skills will help prepare South Africa for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and lay the fundamental building blocks to creating an inclusive South Africa.”
“The foundation has invested in and is committed to creating an environment that boosts access to technology and drives digital literacy. These are the keys to unlocking the potential for our youth to create a positively connected and inclusive future in the digital age,” Motlante added.
The DigiGirlz initiative is targeting young girls between the age of 15 and 18 years old, particularly from the underserved communities. It aims at establishing impactful and meaningful solutions to the challenges that range from education, unemployment, and community safety.
Through the AI bootcamp program, applicants will have the opportunities to learn about potential careers in technology, be connected to Microsoft employees, as well as partake in computer and technology workshops.
Lillian Barnard, Managing Director of Microsoft South Africa remarked, “We are proud to be involved with such an initiative that aims to harness the STEM skills young girls need to become problem solvers and build successful careers in these fields. The AI revolution has begun in Africa, and it’s going to empower and enable us to do more than ever before.”
Barnard continued, “Approximately 80 percent of jobs created in the next ten years will require a blend of science, technology, engineering, and maths, but right now only about 30 percent of the science and technology workforce in Africa is comprised of women, indicating a massive gap that urgently needs to be addressed,”