UN teams close Namibia’s digital literacy gap

This year’s training camp… brought together 100 young women and girls from Namibia and hundreds more virtually from across the African continent to strengthen their skills in ICT and coding.

Girls from across Namibia gathered on 16 August 2022 at the Windhoek Palm Hotel to participate in the seven-day coding program, a first for Namibia, and the fifth edition in Africa respectively. | Photograph courtesy of UN

By TDT

September 11, 2022

Celebrated annually on 8 September, International Literacy Day promotes the importance of literacy as a fundamental human right and aims to advance global efforts toward a more literate, equal, and inclusive society. In recent years, digital literacy has become an increasingly important part of the education and learning process, providing a generation of learners the writing, reading and technical skills to navigate our digital world.

Coding is one of the areas which is helping advance digital literacy and inclusion around the world.

UN teams joined efforts in Namibia to strengthen the coding skills of girls, boost their confidence and close the gender divide in the Information Communications Technology industry.

Read, write, count, code

Wherever you go in Namibia, you are surrounded by products and systems that rely on coding — a digital instruction that enables software to function. Coding is now indispensable in almost every aspect of our lives and has become a prerequisite skill for many jobs. As a result, the demand for training in coding has grown significantly.

In Africa, however, the number of women working in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics is limited. The digital divide across the continent remains high. According to a 2021 report by the International Telecommunication Union, only 24 percent of women are digitally active, compared to 35 percent of men.

To help narrow this digital gap and empower more women and girls with the technical skills for careers in the field of STEM, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, in collaboration with UN Namibia, UN Women, ITU, the Government of Namibia and other partners, launched the training course “Connected African Girls Coding Camp.”

Now in its fifth edition, this year’s training camp, held in Windhoek from 16 to 24 August, brought together 100 young women and girls from Namibia and hundreds more virtually from across the African continent to strengthen their skills in ICT and coding.

The camp featured workshops on animation, web development and gaming, Internet of Things and robotics, and 3D printing. Graphic design was included as a core course, as well as artificial intelligence, design thinking, and computational thinking. The camp also helped develop knowledge on gender-based violence, the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.


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