Sage, GirlCode partner to develop future-ready workforce
Sage Foundation and GirlCode, a tech non-profit organisation, are marking five years of supporting young girls and women in technology.
The Foundation is supported by Sage, an accounting, financial, human resources, and payroll technology solution for small and medium-sized enterprises, and GirlCode is dedicated to providing young girls and women with the skills they need to become skilled software developers.
Sage Foundation says it will support 1,000 aspiring young South African GirlCoders this year to help them learn coding and technology skills, as well as education and mentorship aimed at developing their science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) abilities.
The Foundation's investment comes at a critical time, as Africa faces a severe digital skills gap that limits economic prospects and development.
Governments and businesses are being urged to continue to rely on technology to accelerate and boost growth in the digital economy.
GirlCode CEO, Zandile Mkwanazi, says: “In South Africa, there exists a critical need for technology skills amidst a rising youth unemployment crisis. To ensure everyone benefits from technology and its opportunities, we should strive for a diverse tech sector where all individuals have equal opportunities to thrive in the new era of work.”
For Derk Bleeker, Sage president, EMEA, “Providing access to digital learning and technology skills, training is an important way we can break down barriers for young women and help build a more inclusive technology workforce of the future.”
Sage Foundation says it supported more than 12,000 people worldwide through its STEM courses in fiscal year 2023, bringing the total to nearly 19,000 over the last two years.
It goes on to say that this includes a wide range of programmes and projects in South Africa aimed at school-age students and young people about to begin their professions.
Pieter Bensch, executive vice president for Sage Africa and Middle East, says: “We need a diverse technology sector for all South Africans to benefit from the opportunities it creates.”