From PHYLLIS BIRORI in Kigali, Rwanda
KIGALI, (CAJ News) – GLOBAL application software leader, SAP, has announced the conclusion of two significant initiatives aligned to Rwanda’s information and communications technology and youth skills development goals.
A collaboration to drive gender equality in ICT education and Cross-company expert volunteer teams support high-impact Innovation projects have been announced.
The initiatives follow the launch of Africa Code Week (ACW) 2016 at the World Economic Forum held in Kigali in May.
As part of the African Union Summit also in July, the Africa Code Week Women in Tech Community was launched in the city.
This continent-wide network brings together game changers in female ICT education. These are eager to become role models in their respective communities.
Partners include Cape Town Science Centre, kLab, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Africa Smart Investments Distribution and Girls in ICT Rwanda.
With millions of African girls still not receiving a formal education — and UNESCO estimating that gender equality in the ICT sector could open up a global market of US$ 50-70 billion, ICT is increasingly the focus of many empowerment organizations for girls and women across the continent.
Last year, Africa Code Week helped to balance gender equality in ICT education with female participation reaching 60 percent in Tunisia, 56 percent in South Africa and 50 percent in Togo.
The Africa Code Week Women in Tech Community encourages young women to gain ICT skills by fostering knowledge exchange and mentoring for female participants.
Meanwhile, in a first time partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a group of SAP employees recently concluded a number of social sabbatical projects in Kigali.
The SAP Social Sabbatical is a short-term volunteer assignment for SAP employees.
The programme assembles international teams to solve business challenges for entrepreneurial and educational organizations in emerging markets, while helping employees strengthen their leadership competencies, cross-industry knowledge and intercultural sensitivity.
The assignments in Uganda included HeHeLabs, Rwanda ICT Chamber, Youth Association for Human Rights Promotion and Development and Partners in Health.
Ashley Boag, Acting SAP Africa Managing Director for East Africa, says as a founding partner of Impact 2030, SAP has committed to facilitating avenues for cooperation between stakeholders to initiate joint commitments.
SAP has partnered GSK in Rwanda to demonstrate to pool skills and create a long-term impact.
“We believe this is one of the best ways for the private and public sector to collaborate on projects where there is a real need for technological innovation.”
– CAJ News