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Microsoft, Tech4Dev are launching Africa-wide digital skills initiative for 5 million girls and women

“800 million people will be required to learn new skills to fully execute their jobs by 2030”

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Akin Banuso
Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Akin Banuso

Microsoft is working with Tech4Dev, a non-profit social enterprise that creates access to decent work and entrepreneurship opportunities and platforms for Africans through digital skills empowerment and advocacy, to launch digital skills initiative that will impact five million girls and women in Africa, TechEconomy.ng can report.

TechEconomy.ng recalls that Microsoft, in an effort to not only reaffirm its commitment to enabling the continent to achieve more through digital transformation with technology as a key vector, but also to forge commitment to assisting local economies during the Coronavirus Pandemic, about five months ago, hosted a roundtable in Lagos, Nigeria where participants discussed how the rampant digital transformation accelerated by COVID-19 has impacted skills demand.

It was during that roundtable event that the Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Akin Banuso, noted that COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated the pace of digital transformation and as a result of this, digital skills are required immediately.

“According to our research, by 2025 digital job capacity will mean the creation of 149 million new jobs. Further to this, 800 million people will be required to learn new skills to fully execute their jobs by 2030. As the economy in Nigeria starts to slowly reopen for business, we anticipate the return to an economy with different needs and certainly one were a new challenge presents itself in terms of skills.”

So, as 2021 continues to heed the call against the plight against the COVID-19 pandemic, economies and industries are forced to place acute awareness on issues of equality – particularly within science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

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It’s said that it will take 200 years before there is parity between men and women working in senior STEM roles.

Gender roles within society have played a crucial role in shaping private and community lives, ultimately influencing structures within institutions, leading to a minimal number of females participating in the workforce. While much has been done across the continent to bridge this gap – we are still a while from successfully closing it.

Tech4Dev, a non-profit social enterprise that creates access to decent work and entrepreneurship opportunities and platforms for Africans through digital skills empowerment and advocacy, in partnership with Microsoft are joining forces to create an intentional effort to upscale the Nigerian Women Techsters Initiative, which has trained 2400 women and girls across 12 communities in Nigeria, by training 5 million girls and women across Africa over the next ten years through 2030.

Tech4Dev, Diwura Oladepo

Executive Director at Tech4Dev, Diwura Oladepo

This will be done by providing skills in coding and deep tech skills towards bridging the digital and technology divide between men and women as well as ensuring equal access to opportunities for all while helping women achieve economic empowerment across Africa.

TechEconomy.ng understands that this initiative supported by the Microsoft Philanthropies in the Middle East and Africa is launching this week with the objective to grow and support a community of tech empowered girls and women across Africa.

The plan is to implement the initiative across Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Egypt.

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