A technology non-profit social enterprise, the Women Techsters Initiative, the flagship program of Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative (Tech4Dev), is said to be expanding its operations to Sierra Leone with the vision of bridging the digital and technology knowledge divide between men and women as well as ensuring equal access to opportunities.
The tuition-free instructor-led initiative aims to empower women and girls between the ages of 16 to 35 with digital skills which will further create inclusivity and sustainability in the tech ecosystem.
Launched in 2021, the initiative has seen over 15,000 women across 15 African countries benefit and graduate from its programs, learning in-demand tech skills in eight well curated learning tracks namely Mobile App Development, Software Development, Product Design, Product Management, Cybersecurity, Data Science/ Artificial Intelligence Engineering, Blockchain and Mixed Reality/3D.
After recording massive success during its launch in five African countries namely Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Ghana and Kenya, the initiative moved to 10 more African countries in 2022 – Ethiopia, DR Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Algeria, Sudan, Morocco, Angola, Mozambique, Madagascar and Tech4Dev is confident that it will make a positive impact in Liberia.
Aside from Sierra Leone the initiative will also open up to applicants from Rwanda, The Gambia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Liberia taking the total number of countries to 22.
Speaking on why the expansion to Sierra Leone is important, Founder and President, Tech4Dev, Joel Ogunsola says it was only right to move to the West African country as it is fast becoming a technology powerhouse on the continent.
“Expanding to Sierra Leone for us was a no brainer looking at the growth in the country’s tech ecosystem. This alone was enough to convince us because we feel we can help more women in the country break into tech and give them access to decent jobs in the ever-changing global market.”
Co-Founder and Executive Director at Tech4Dev, Oladiwura Oladepo added, “We believe that by empowering women with digital skills, we can contribute to the development of the tech industry in Sierra Leone and bridge the gender gap in the sector. Women have the potential to be great leaders and innovators in the tech industry, and we want to provide them with the necessary tools and resources to succeed,” she said.
The expansion of Tech4Dev to Sierra Leone is a significant milestone for the organization, as it continues to work towards its goal of bridging the digital divide in developing countries as well as its goal of reaching 5 million women across Africa by 2030.