We’re so excited to be bringing Code Clubs to the region in our efforts to ensure that girls have the opportunity to realize their full potential. Through Code Club, girls are given access to technology and mentorship to develop their technical skills while also boosting their confidence and creativity. They’ll have the opportunity to learn so many things that they’ll need in the future to find jobs within Kenya’s expanding tech sector.
Girls who participate in Code Clubs will learn how to build a computer using Kano computer and coding kits, design their own games and artworks using programs like Scratch and Make Art, and be introduced to the Codeacademy online platform that teaches several programming languages.
In total, 120 girls from Nairobi and surrounding rural communities will team up with other girls of similar ages to learn essential technical, critical thinking, and leadership skills over the course of the next 18 months.
Founder and CEO of Youth for Technology Foundation Njideka Harry says, “Despite the growth of digital hubs and mobile technology in Kenya and across Africa, funding and access to science and technology remains unequal with girls lagging behind boys in primary school, higher education, and in the workplace. I want girls to be at the forefront of Africa’s technological boom.”
Participation in Code Clubs has the potential to play a transformational role in supporting Kenya’s efforts to achieve 100% secondary school attainment and increase the number of women employed in STEM fields.
“In this digital age, we cannot afford to deny girls a platform to shape their world through technology,” says Mary Munyoki, Program Manager for YTF in Kenya.
In recent years, Kenya has achieved gender parity in education by transitioning just as many girls from primary to secondary school as boys, but there are still education and gender equality challenges that the Kenyan government is addressing through policy changes and engaging in innovative public-private partnerships like Code Clubs.
Innovation is at the heart of Kenya’s vision to become a globally competitive and prosperous nation. Efforts like the Kenya Vision 2030 initiative serve as a national blueprint to providing a high quality of life to all Kenyans by the year 2030. Additional legislation, like the Science, Technology, and Innovation Act, has been instrumental in positioning Kenya as one of the fastest growing economies in East Africa.
The challenge that programs like Code Clubs can help address is to ensure that future economic growth opportunities are made available to everyone equally, regardless of their gender. When you consider that only 6% of Kenyan engineers are women, it’s easy to see that Youth for Technology Foundation and Theirworld’s work with Code Clubs are uniquely situated to address this imbalance.
“Kenya is a digital leader in Africa. It has the highest rate of internet use on the continent,” says Njideka Harry, Founder and CEO of YTF. “However, if we are to bridge the gender gap within technology, we need to teach girls basic IT skills. We want to spark their interest early so that they become the coders and problem solvers of the future.”