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The Impact of Women Learning to Code in Developing Countries


In a continent where more than 75% of the world’s poorest countries are located all with common problems of Economic hardship, electricity issues, lack of water e.t.c and there is a global need to change the narrative not just as individual countries but as a continent. Our leaders try as it may have failed us, nothing seems to be working. The next point of action is to use Technology in whatever form to change our narrative, change our story and enhance our lives.

What better way to go than to go the open source route. Already many initiatives have sprung up recently with PyCon Namibia and DjangoGirls spreading through different African countries. In this talk we highlight how Python education has gradually changed the lives of many women and hope to make suggestions on how such initiatives hope to bridge the technology gender gap in Africa and ultimately how it is being used to change our narrative.

Anywhere in the world, achieving development means going through serious technological changes and innovation. That implies having qualified people to drive those changes. These qualified people exists in most of the developing countries but it’s not enough. It is indeed a sheer case of demand outweighing supply. It is no secret that in Africa there are so many untapped resources with a whooping 60% of the entire population between the ages of 15-25. At this point there is so much potential laying fallow.

Globally there is a talent gap in technology with not enough people with the right skill set to fill in the role with Africa with no exemption. Furthermore, by looking closely, it’s easily noticeable that the majority of technological workforce is the men. There is therefore a considerable opportunity: WOMEN. Unfortunately, because of different reasons especially in Africa where women rights are not given due consideration, and due to unfair treatments, very few women are involved in technology. By consciously making extra efforts to enlighten and bring in more women, we can nearly double the amount of qualified people in technology, create more innovations and progress. This is in fact a no brainer solution

In this talk we would talk about how workshops like Django Girls are helping increase the number of skilled people in technology and also stress the need for to create a lot more similar events and make them more “3rd world friendly” by tackling challenges such as lack of electricity, internet, proper equipment etc. In this talk we would curate information from all DjangoGirls organizers in different African countries to highlight the general challenges faced in organizing python workshops and events in various countries in Africa and also profer solutions and suggestions in tackling these issues To conclude we leave with this quote from Karen Spärck Jones, Professor of Computers and Information at Cambridge Computer Laboratory "I think it's very important to get more women into computing. My slogan is: Computing is too important to be left to men."


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