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ALX’s ‘WomXn and Tech’ initiative Set to bridge tech gender gap in Africa

In honor of International Women’s Day (IWD), which was observed on March 8, ALX, the leading technology training organization that provides technical and professional training to young Africans, has announced the launch of its first specifically targeted software engineering cohort for women. This initiative will allow up to 50,000 women across Africa to participate in the global technology revolution and will help to change the status quo in the tech sector on the continent.

The cohort forms part of ALX’s ‘WomXn and Tech’ initiative and was inspired by the United Nations IWD theme of ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.’

According to a statement, ALX is showing its commitment to bridging the digital gender divide in Africa, increasing the representation of women in the technology sector and driving the participation of women to innovate and create solutions for a diverse world. “This cohort will provide a launchpad for women to grow their careers in one of the most exciting and in-demand fields in the world”, the statement said.

Part of African Leadership International (ALI), ALX is a foremost technology training provider that offers world-class programmes to thousands of young people across Africa, equipping them with both the professional and technical skills that enable them to thrive in high-growth industries.

“The statistics make for grim reading. Women comprise just 5% of global software engineers. Considering that there are an estimated 690 000 software engineers in Africa, even applying the global average means that there is a significant gender divide that must be addressed”.

The statement said that it is through this female cohort that ALX will take the steps necessary to reduce this considerable disparity. “Thanks to its partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, ALX is offering sponsored placements to thousands of young women who meet the eligibility requirements for this programme.

“ALX knows that our collective future depends upon a female voice, a female brain, and her perspective in devising solutions for the world of tomorrow. Through ‘WomXn and Tech’, we are boldly proclaiming our call to action for women across the continent and the rest of the world to not just have a seat at the table, but to redesign the table. This 100% female software engineering cohort we are introducing helps to accomplish this,” says Fred Swaniker, Founder and CEO of ALI in the statement.

To support women who sign up for this cohort, ALX said it will cultivate a collaborative virtual environment for learning and growth from the start of their training in countries like Nigeria, where women who do not have a foundation in tech might struggle. This support will also continue throughout their career journeys.

“At ALX, we echo the belief that there is no good excuse for the lack of women in tech today. At the core of our mission is diversity and inclusivity, which means that no one should be left behind – especially women. By launching this cohort, we are boldly proclaiming our call to action for women in Nigeria to seize the opportunities of a career in tech, and we are here to collaborate with them every step of the way,” says Seun Babajide-Duroshola, Country Marketing Manager for ALX Nigeria.

The programme has been made possible following the recent acquisition by ALI of leading Silicon Valley institution, Holberton Inc. ALX is now one of the largest software engineering trainers in the world, which aligns with the organisation’s mission to develop Africa’s human capital at scale and enable women with best-in-class digital skills and excellence.

Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation, adds: “The quality of a girl’s future is determined by the quality of the opportunities she has to learn and develop work-relevant skills. The Mastercard Foundation is committed to addressing systemic barriers inhibiting young women from accessing relevant learning and dignified economic opportunities. Through our partnership with ALI, we are working to help enable women to become catalysts and advocates for change in their communities, creating opportunities for future generations of girls and the economy as a whole.”

Applications for the ALX Software Engineering intake for women close on 15 March. The programme will start on 27 March.

No prior experience or background in IT is required to apply. For more information on the programme and its entry requirements, please visit www.alxafrica.com/women-in-tech/.

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