A growing participation in the Nigerian tech space is one of the goals the key players in the industry hope to achieve. Generally, when discussing the tech industry, a few issues such as the general state of the ecosystem demographic, and existing situation regarding inter-personnel relations come up. We want to see more ladies in tech and we want to eliminate sexism in tech. We also want to spark kids’ interest in ICT so there would be budding growth in the work force. These discussions have reformed the entire tech scene but like I say, there’s always room for improvement.

The barriers-to-entry we’ve been trying hard to bring down are sexism and ageism, but we haven’t paid as much attention to classism. Not any more, if Abisoye can help it. Along with the rest of her team, she’s working to get girls from the bottom of the pyramid into the technology space.

GirlsCoding

GirlsCoding is an initiative from PearlsAfrica, co-founded and coordinated by Abisoye Ajayi. What it does is equip young girls with functional IT skills so they can have a chance at economic independence. These 10 – 17 year-old girls usually come from public schools, orphanages and other places where flexing your technological muscles isn’t on anyone’s minds. The girls are drilled in programming, UI design and animation, but that’s not all. They are also encouraged to build relationships with female mentors in the technology space so they’re sure they are moving in the right direction. This project has sustainability covered.

So far, the project’s scope is limited to Lagos, but…baby steps. How successful has it been? Very. There’s participation and there’s support.

They’ve been to Makoko

The girls learn cool stuff

There’s support from other companies in the tech ecosystem

Participants have been successful

Obviously

And they are able to transfer the knowledge they have garnered

Their families are not left out, either

 

To quote PearlsAfrica, “when the world invests in girls and women, everybody wins”. It’s great that they are taking down economic boundaries. The goal is to create interest regardless of background and this is an amazing way to achieve this. With the proliferation of the ICT scene in Nigeria, initiatives like GirlsCoding ensures a well-rounded approach. GirlsCoding is branching out to Akure. Don’t you love it when great ideas are successful?

 

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