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Women Techsters: Microsoft, Tech4Dev partner to train women and girls in Africa

Lillian Barnard MD Microsoft South Africa
Lillian Barnard, MD of Microsoft South Africa

Microsoft and Tech4Dev have launched the Women Techsters Initiative, which will train women and girls in Africa in coding and tech skills.

The initiative aims to empower women and girls in the ICT industry by giving them access to skills training.

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“When we empower girls and women in the ICT industry, through greater access to skills and training, we not only unlock innovation, but also economic opportunities,” Ghada Khalifa, Regional Director of Microsoft Philanthropies for the MEA region, said at a media roundtable on 8 March.

Women Techsters was initially piloted in Nigeria, but is expanding to 54 countries in Africa.

In the first phase of its expansion, it will roll out to Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Egypt.

It includes the Women Techsters fellowship, a year-long coding program that includes a three-month training period. This is followed by a six-month internship and then a mentorship program.

Other programs include open days, masterclasses, and bootcamps.

Lillian Barnard, Managing Director at Microsoft South Africa, says that these programs aim to give women access to opportunities and knowledge.

“The overall objective of Women Techsters is to grow and support a community of tech-empowered girls and women across the continent, who will have equal access to decent job opportunities as well as to build and scale their ideas into tech-enabled businesses and deep tech start-ups, ultimately aiding overall economic growth,” she said.

How to register for Microsoft and Tech4Dev Women Techsters

Women and girls interested in registering for programs can do so on the Women Techsters website.

They can also apply for the fellowship on the site.

The programs are aimed at women and girls between the ages of 16 and 40 years old.

Feature image: Microsoft South Africa

Read more: Google pledges $25million for projects for women: SA organisations invited to apply

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