Read time: 3 minutes

CodeBus Africa focuses on female representation in tech

CodeBus Africa focuses on female representation in tech

Finnish tech company Nokia has emphasised the transformative impact that technology can have on Africa's youth as the coding tour it has sponsored, covering ten African countries, draws to a close.

Nokia was the main contributor behind CodeBus Africa and its travels through Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and now South Africa to promote coding, particularly among young women.

Deon Geyser, Head of Southern Africa and Vodafone (SAV) at Nokia, said, "The CodeBus initiative is an occasion to witness leading African and Finnish innovators joining forces, empowering Africa's youth, allowing them to explore and experience innovation transforming their lives. The philosophy of CodeBus from the start has been to work with local partners such as tech and innovation hubs, community-based organisations and employees in each country. As such, the project is training 50 new coding instructors from Finland and Africa,"

Geyser says Nokia hopes that those trained locally will continue to replicate the training workshops in other cities, communities and schools, and also inspire young people across the continent to develop a passion for learning ICT skills.

As the coding initiative prepares to run its final workshops in Johannesburg, Tshwane, Kimberley and Cape Town, in conjunction with Finland's Aalto University, the Embassy of Finland in Pretoria and local tech startup accelerator mLab, the emphasis remains on female representation within technology.

The majority of the 45 youngsters who participated in the first workshop organised with the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and STEMbees in Accra this February were girls.

The Nigeria leg of CodeBus Africa featured an all-girls class.

Ernestina A. Appiah founder of the Ghana Code Club believes the special focus must be given to young African girls to encourage them to start coding.

"At this moment we must support girls because a lot of these girls do not have access to the right devices at home and even in School, they have limited computers to access, but the few who have adequate facilities in their schools and homes love to explore naturally."

Kari Alanko, Ambassador of Finland in South Africa says they are pleased to have been able to bring CodeBus to South Africa.

"The theme of Finland 100 is 'together', and I am confident that the CodeBus reflects our commitment to work together with South Africa to tackle challenges such as youth unemployment. We hope the workshops will help to promote inclusive innovation and inspire more girls and boys in South Africa to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, even as possible career choices."

Read more
Daily newsletter