Siemens has partnered with United Nations (UN) Women Germany for an upskilling program of more than 600 young African women in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda. The joint initiative was launched in April 2022. Now, the first round of workshops has started. A hybrid event, hosted by Siemens South Africa, will kick off the African Girls Can Code (AGCCI) coding camp and the SieMent EmpowHer mentorship program.
The UN Women – African Girls Can Code Initiative (AGCCI) will train young women between the ages of 17 and 25 in digital literacy, programming and work-readiness skills. Thus, they will be empowered to become programmers, coders and designers so that they can take up studies and careers in the ICT sector. South Africa will be starting their coding camps in June after the kick off event, followed by Rwanda, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda. After the two-week AGCCI curriculum, the EmpowHer Africa program begins which includes coding as well as further digital and work readiness skills in specific workshops. The learning content goes from cybersecurity, through to career options in IT to low coding. The program is further supported by SieMent EmpowHer, our Siemens mentorship program.
During the event, Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO of Siemens Sub-Saharan Africa, said the program offers enormous potential to bridge the ICT gender gap in the African continent by training the beneficiaries from these countries: “We are pleased to partner with UN Women Germany to undertake concerted and systematic action to create development opportunities, particularly for girls and young women, and to address the disadvantages they face. I’m confident that this program will help break down the barriers of entry on the continent, facilitate access to education and technology, and heed the call to address gender inequalities,” Dall’Omo added.
Elke Ferner, President UN Women Germany said: “We’re thrilled to have partnered with Siemens to invest in the education and empowerment of girls in Africa – a crucial driver of sustainable development in the continent. By working together, we can enable young women to develop future-oriented competencies in a protected environment and empower them with the skills needed to succeed at national and international levels. Most importantly, we raise awareness that taking a stand for women’s rights and educational equality is a social duty for all of us.”
In addition, Siemens South Africa has designed a new mentoring program “SieMent EmpowHer” which works hand in hand with the AGCCI. This initiative will connect experienced female mentors from different Siemens locations around the world with the 600 young women participating in the upskilling in Africa. “With the introduction of SieMent EmpowHer, we will help bridge the gap between academia and the workplace. By empowering and upskilling young women through mentorship across the African continent, we will help improve their employability by equipping them with a set of skills that will help them generate an income, develop resilience, and contribute to the reboot of transformative growth in Africa,” commented Dall’Omo.
Through the SieMent EmpowHer program coupled with the coding camps, the young women will be offered trainings and workshops in robotics, cybersecurity, animation, 3D printing, gender equality as well as women empowerment, leadership, work readiness and communications. “I am proud to see our company’s continued commitment to the development of young African women who don’t necessarily have access to skills development opportunities like these. For a country like South Africa and many others in Sub-Sahara Africa, youth unemployment remains a barrier to progress in the region,” said Natalia Oropeza, Chief Cybersecurity and Chief Diversity Officer of Siemens AG. “Teaming up with UN Women on this initiative is helping us to enable young women to gain access to technology, while indirectly addressing the issue of inequality,” she added.