By Nvulane Nhlapo (Sedibeng.com)
The pioneering Miss.Africa Digital, a DCA Digital Academy Pan-African program of DotConnectAfrica (DCA) Trust, has announced the winners of the fourth prestigious Africa-focused seed fund award.
The 2019 Grand Prize Winner of the Prestigious Miss.Africa Digital Seed Fund award is KampaBits of Uganda, BasaliTech in Lesotho and Ace Commmunications, from The Gambia are both winners in the Second category prize.
The Women-In-Tech seed fund award is now in its fourth year and offers grants to support women and girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields to launch or expand their own initiatives that will increase their digital opportunities in IT related training, jobs and leadership roles.
BasaliTech exists to provide affordable opportunities for women and children interested in learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), from relevant applications and gadgets to software development, electronics and robotics, through in-person classes, workshops, seminars and community support. This is to protect their future by introducing them to a growing field in the market and to address the gender gap in STEM.
For the 2019 Miss.Africa Digital Seed Fund Awards, BasaliTech won through their initiative dubbed Lesotho Code Divas. The aim of Lesotho Code Divas is to encourage girls to partake in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics activities.
With this initiative the primary focus is to introduce young girls to science and tech through training in programming basics, introduction to website development as well as showing them diversity in the field of STEM by including introductory electronics and robotics to get them interested in joining STEM related courses and consequently STEM related careers.
The training usually go with a mentoring program in order to provide girls with female role models in STEM to look up to who may then offer academic and professional advice.
Even better, mobile training is provided to reach the most remote areas of the Lesotho where opportunities are often rare.
BasaliTech aims to utilize the 1000USD seed fund to host a coding camp for girls in the near future.
The pioneering Miss.Africa Digital Program is a gender-focused initiative targeted mainly at female youth audiences in Africa to increase their personal involvement in early technology use and adoption with a view to improving their digital self-awareness and empowerment, and bridging the economic divide through employment and/or entrepreneurship.
It is envisioned as one of the central pillars of DotConnectAfrica Trust’s corporate social responsibility program, to attract a sizable women and girls demographic of Internet users in Africa in complementary gender development initiatives that improve the lives through digital inclusion.
Led by the DCA Academy, the Miss.Africa Digital also announced the prestigious annual Seed Fund program in Africa that provides grants to support women and girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields to launch or expand their own initiatives that will increase their digital opportunities in IoTs, Mobile Internet, E-Commerce, Digital Marketing and leadership roles.
The Seed Fund program is interested in learning about successful activities that are currently supporting women and girls in STEM, and through this effort, we identify how we might support scalability and their impacts.