South Africa’s GirlCode, a social enterprise that aims to empower young girls and women through technology, has launched its 2018 programme and Vision 2030 statement, which include initiatives such as the GirlCode Accelerator Programme and the GirlCode Incubator initiative.
GirlCode was founded in 2014 as a female-only hackathon, but has since grown to include a variety of initiatives. Aside from the accelerator and incubator programmes, initiatives planned for 2018 also include annual hackathon and training workshops, as well as the launch of the Digital Academy and the GirlCoder Club.
The launch of the 10-month GirlCode Accelerator programme will give girls the opportunity to gain real-world experience, and bridge the gap between academic learning and work-ready skills. The initial intake will be 30 girls.
The GirlCode Incubator, meanwhile, is a 24-month mentorship programme focusing on marketing, operations, innovation, finance and self-mastery, to help girls grow their businesses.
“We have to be intentional in our efforts and committed to bringing opportunities to girls in rural areas and disadvantaged communities. Technology is increasingly becoming part of our lives, making digital literacy fundamental for everyone,” said Zandile Keebine, GirlCode founder.
“With half the population being female, if we don’t start upskilling girls today, it means we’re leaving half of our potential IP out of the solutions we should be creating. It’s not enough for girls to simply play with technology; we have to encourage them and give them the chance to understand, create and work with it.”