​LAGOS, NIGERIA, March 2, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — Technology is undeniably reshaping the world. Across industries and sectors, technological skills are no longer merely in demand—they’re essential. Unfortunately, the tech ecosystem remains heavily male-dominated, creating a significant gender gap that limits opportunities and innovation.

In contributing to closing the gender gap in the technology ecosystem, the Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative, (Tech4Dev) launched the Women Techsters Initiative to ensure women have equal access to better opportunities, decent jobs and can scale their ideas into tech-enabled businesses.

The program spans 22 African countries namely Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Algeria, Sudan, Morocco, Angola, Mozambique, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Liberia has grown to become Africa’s largest women-in-tech tuition-free program aimed at bridging the digital technology knowledge divide between men and women across low-income communities in Africa

The program goes beyond just teaching coding or software development. Women Techsters focuses on holistic development, fostering skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, soft skills, and project management. It emphasizes collaboration and community building, creating a supportive network for women to uplift each other as they navigate the tech world.

Impact so Far: Over 120,000 Lives Transformed

Since its inception, the Women Techsters Initiative has directly benefited the lives of over 120,298 women across Africa. The impact of the program is undeniable. Graduates of the fellowship have gone on to secure high-paying jobs at reputable tech companies, launch their technology-driven businesses, and become role models and mentors inspiring the next generation of women in tech.

A couple of examples start with Celestine Tetteh from Ghana who got promoted from being a receptionist at a construction company to becoming a data analyst at the same company within six months. She is a beneficiary of the Women Techsters Fellowship class of 2023.

Nkamogeleng Bogopa from Gauteng, South Africa, a beneficiary of the Women Techsters Fellowship Class of 2022 in the Software Development learning track has moved from not having a job before joining the program to becoming the Head of Base Management for a Telecommunications company. She’s also started a bicycle rental and data management enterprise.

Bridging the Gap, Driving Innovation

The success of Tech4Dev’s Women Techsters Initiative exemplifies the power of targeted initiatives in addressing the gender gap within the technology industry. By providing women with access to education, mentorship, and opportunities, the program not only changes individual lives but also contributes to the broader economic development of the continent.

To properly bridge the gap, the Women Techsters Initiative was divided into two pillars which are advocacy and training.

The advocacy arm of the initiative is Tech Girls Drive. This arm is designed to create awareness and spur the interest of young girls between the ages of 8 – 20 years to take up careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). It serves as an initial touch point for young girls who will eventually participate in Africa’s technology ecosystem.

The training pillar is divided into three facets namely: The Women Techsters Bootcamp, Fellowship, and Masterclass.

The Bootcamp is a three-week monthly training designed to introduce women and girls to intermediate-level technology skills along 5 learning paths to help them jump-start careers or fill in knowledge gaps from emerging technologies. The Fellowship is a one-year virtual learning program delivered through six months of intensive training, and a six-month internship program while the masterclass is a training program facilitated by skilled professionals in the technology industry and tailored towards equipping women with specific focal technology skills knowledge drawn from the Women Techsters learning tracks.

The Future: Expanding Opportunities

Tech4Dev’s vision for the future is ambitious. The goal is to empower 5 million women and girls across Africa with digital and technology skills by 2030, across all 54 countries on the continent. The organization aims to continue expanding the reach and impact of the Women Techsters Fellowship. Scaling this program means training more women, empowering more entrepreneurs, and creating a multiplier effect that will shape the future of the tech industry across Africa.

Co-founder and Executive Director at Tech4Dev, Oladiwura Oladepo, says she will not rest on her laurels until the ratio of women in tech reaches a 50-50 ratio.

“I am not satisfied with the status quo, which is why I am striving to make a change.

“My goal is to see women’s participation in STEM reach a 50-50 ratio and this is not because it sounds good. When you look at Africa’s population, the ratio of women to men, it is almost 50-50, so, why can’t we have a 50-50 representation in STEM? That’s why we want to contribute in our own way by reaching 5 million women across Africa by 2030 and empowering them with technology skills.”

Kelvin EkereteTech4devemail us here