Miss.Africa is an initiative of the DotConnectAfrica (DCA), a charitable organization that promotes the advancement of IT education to the African society.
Its pan-African campaign STEM for Girls avails grants to launch or expand the initiatives of women and girls to increase digital opportunities in IT training, jobs and leadership roles on the continent.
Abocoders is a startup that provides secure and sustainable livelihoods for young women in Northern Nigeria through ICT training, focusing on software development as a means of empowerment. The initiative of Aspilos Foundation is headed by Simi Olusola.
“This award represents opportunities of a better life for our beneficiaries. Working in an underserved region where things seem not to get any better can be a bit discouraging but we work always to retain the hope whose flames have been made brighter by this award,” Olusola said.
Abocoders will use the $5, 000 grand prize to reach more lives and open more opportunities. The Bahir Dar University STEM Incubation Center, Ethiopia and Ubongo Game Lab, Zambia each won $1, 000 in the second round of the $7, 000 fund that received more than 200 applications from 24 countries across Africa.
Bahir Dar University’s STEM Center provides a challenging learning environment in STEM which maximizes individual potential ensuring that young students especially girls, are well-equipped and prepared to meet the challenges in the world around them.
Community-tech startup Ubongo Game Lab focuses on gaming technology and its use in Zambia, training girls and women on creating games using basic programming languages.
Sophia Bekele, founder of the Seed Fund noted, “To achieve the second round is a milestone for us and we are looking at the lessons we have learned through years to enhance and make the Miss.Africa Seed Fund more rewarding. We saw over 25 girls train to become mobile and web app developers and more others learning new programing language, as well as developing tech centers and training throughout Africa. This year we look forward to adding more into the system, because if she learns to code #SheTechsAfrica.“
Nigeria had the most Miss.Africa Seed Fund applications at 33 per cent; Kenya was second with 11 per cent; and third Ghana with 9 per cent. Tanzania and Cameroon followed with 5 per cent; and South Africa, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe tallied at 4 per cent each.
The third round of the Miss.Africa Seed Fund 2018 will be announced in July 2017.