First DigiGirlz Technology Camp launched in Uganda

Technology Company Microsoft in partnership with the Pan African Non-Governmental Organization Forum for African Women Educationalists Uganda (FAWEU) held its first ever DigiGirlz event in Uganda at Kitante Hill School in Kampala, open­ing doors to fervent and determined young women for the DigiGirlz Tech’ Camp.

The event under the theme Enhancing Girls' Capacities in STEM for De­velopment saw 104 high school girls from Kampala and Wakiso districts in Uganda immerse themselves in the latest innovations in technology.

Throughout the day, the girls participated in a number of activities including hands on training on computer games, safe internet use among other ICT skills. The girls were also mentored on building their capacities in STEM by successful career women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics fields from both Government and the Private Sector.

Through the DigiGirlz Camp, Microsoft and FAWEU hopes to significantly increase the number of young women involved in technology-focused careers, and to set an example for other corporations to pursue avenues of inclusion in the workplace. Di­giGirlz High Tech Camps’ purpose is to dispel myths of what it means to have a career in the high-tech in­dustry and give girls a chance to experience firsthand what it is like to develop cutting-edge technology.

“Microsoft’s DigiGirlz Camp strives to provide young women with the necessary expertise and direction to succeed in a world becoming more dependent on the latest tech­nologies and innovations,” said Microsoft’s Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs Manager in East and Southern Africa, Mr. Alex Nyingi. “We believe that the camp will help dismiss any stereotypes of the high-tech industry catering solely to men,” noted Nyingi.

While pitching the importance of building capacities of girls in STEM careers FAWEU Executive Director Christine Semambo Sem­pebwa, noted that DigiGirlz will help bridge gender disparities in performance in math and science by instilling positive attitudes among girls towards the subjects.

"Gender stereotypes, cultural barriers and low quality of education continue to affect girls’ career choices and opportunities in STEM fields. This training lays ground for secondary school girls to acquire hands on experience of the relevant skills needed to not only meet the technological manpower of the nation but also explore better ways of influencing the rest of their peers into considering careers in STEM," said Sempebwa.

More than 23,500 students from Kenya, Ethiopia, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe have attended the Microsoft Di­giGirlz Technology Programs (both camps and one-day events) since they began in the year 2000.

Through DigiGirlz Microsoft and FAWEU continue to live up to their shared com­mitment on bringing up a new generation of innovative women leaders and helping girls change their future through the use of technology.

Girls from selected eight schools in Kam­pala and Wakiso Ditsricts during one of the breakaway mentorship sessions at DigiGirlz camp

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