Airtel, Microsoft Encourage Girls to Look to ICT Careers

Airtel Ghana, through its Evolve with STEM initiative, has collaborated with Microsoft Ghana for the maiden edition of the internationally acclaimed DigiGirlz Day in the country.

The inaugural event took place on Saturday April 16 at Ispace Hub, Labone under the theme “Demystifying STEM” involving 60 girls from public schools in Accra, 15 of the girls were selected from the Mataheko Cluster of schools under Airtel’s Evolve with STEM project.

Lucy Quist, Managing Director of Airtel Ghana and CIMG Marketing Woman of the year, who is spearheading the Evolve with STEM initiative was joined by key personalities such as media entrepreneur, TV Radio host Anita Erskine, Founder of Nandi Mobile – Anne Amuzu and Founder of Levers in Heels – Larissa Bowen-Dodoo.

These sessions saw the mentors inspire the young girls to overcome their fears and challenges so as to venture into the technology industry. All mentors shared their personal experiences with the wider audience and later engaged in a one-on-one mentoring and career guidance session with participants.  from the mentoring session, the young participants were taken through the “Hour of Code” session where they were taught basic coding and computer programming in HTML.

Speaking after the session, Lucy Quist said “It’s been an exciting time spent with all the participants of DigiGirlz today. I am encouraged by their curiosity, passion and determination throughout the session. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is an enabler for creativity and problem solving in young people which is why we launched the Evolve with STEM initiative to inspire belief, empower and transform mindsets of young people towards STEM. Today’s session included some of the brilliant students from schools within the Mataheko Circuit where we are currently piloting the Evolve with STEM initiative”.

She continued “we are proud to be associated with DigiGirlz, which aligns with Evolve with STEM. It is great to see organizations like Microsoft, a technology giant, support initiatives to empower young people through STEM”.

Madam Bernice Ansah, a teacher of the Mataheko Roman Catholic School had this to say about the event, "The programme has brought a lot of enlightenment to the pupils, they were able to socialize and engage with their peers which helped to boost their confidence. They now have renewed belief in themselves, a belief that will grow if they are encouraged by their parents and teachers. I am personally grateful because I also learnt how to program during the very interesting hour of code session."

Derek Appiah, Country Manager of Microsoft Ghana, said “Microsoft is committed to encouraging more women to join the ICT industry and we are inviting Ghanaian high school girls to discover the opportunities that exist for them in our industry. We want to demystify any belief that STEM is for boys so as to ensure that they make the right education choices now for the bright future that they deserve.”

DigiGirlz is a Microsoft YouthSpark program focused on giving Junior and senior high school girls the opportunity to learn about the professions in technology, networking opportunities with tech personalities and to also participate in practical computer and technology workshops. During the one-day event, participants are also exposed to hands-on computer and technology workshops

Airtel’s Evolve with STEM initiative, since launch in December 2015 has impacted more than 1,000 pupils, and inspired hundreds of individuals and companies into action to launch initiatives focused on STEM.

LinkedIn Set to Launch Student-Targeted App

LinkedIn, the world’s largest social network for professionals, is set to launch an app targeted at students, according to reports. The app - LinkedIn Students - will benefit the university/college folks in myriad of ways. It will offer them the career paths that best suit their degrees once they graduate.

Through a card-based interface, the app will suggest roles based on their education, surface job listings for their selected major and offer career advice content.

Also, the app will notify students about opportunities they may have not been aware of. For example, if a student is studying computer science, the app will tell him/her about alternative roles they can consider.

Students will be able to browse profiles of recent alumni so they can connect with them to ask questions about how they advanced through their careers and hopefully find a mentor.

In a statement, a senior product manager at LinkedIn, Ada Yu said, “This is a soft introduction to students who may not know the value of networking, and introduce LinkedIn’s value proposition.”

LinkedIn Students will launch officially on April 18, 2016 at 6AM PT. It will be available on Android and iOS for users in the US. It’s not certain, however, when it would become available to students in other parts of the world.
Source: Techloy

{Kenya} Lamudi to Offer Free Online Diploma Courses

Lamudi Kenya has partnered with global education technology company, Shaw Academy, to enable Lamudi subscribers to access a live online learning course worth Sh.50,000 ($500) for free.
All online interactions now made with Lamudi will give subscribers an opportunity to develop new practical skills.

Shaw Academy is a live online skills educator which, according to the company, teaches over 68,000 new students per month in seven different languages. Courses include a range of areas including digital marketing, Financial Trading and Investment, a diploma in blogging, and social media marketing among others. There are also a number of wellness focused courses such as nutrition and diet and weight management.

All the subjects are delivered live online which enable students to fully interact with the educator. Courses on the platform are approved for certification by among others the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) and the International Compliance Association (ICA)

Speaking on the partnership Cynthia Nyamwathi, General Manager of Lamudi Kenya, said: “Our vision is to bring innovation and transparency to the Kenyan real estate market. This partnership with Shaw Academy can empower Lamudi customers with skills that were previously unattainable and will allow them to enhance their career prospects.”

Each Shaw Academy course made available to customers will contain over ten hours of live learning giving students a clear understanding of each subject. Courses are aimed to develop and build practical skills and are internationally accredited.

“The availability of Shaw Academy courses on our Lamudi platform depicts both our versatility and innate desire to give back. With a free course offered to our subscribers, it is one of the little ways we say thank you to our customers” added Nyamwathi.

Lamudi usually offers sellers, buyers, landlords, and renters an easy to use platform to find or list properties online. The partnership has been designed to add value to Lamudi customers, and also address an important issue across Africa; a severe shortage of practical skills.

Commenting on the partnership John White, Director of Corporate Affairs with Shaw Academy, said: “Kenya is no different to the global problem now associated with skills gaps across industries. Shaw Academy believe that access to education should be made available to all. By delivering practical skills online we can reach a huge audience. Our partnership with Lamudi aims to provide free education to as many Kenyans as possible and open up new opportunities for them in the future.”

 Source: Itnewsafrica

[South Africa] Smart ID Orders Now Available Online

Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, and President Jacob Zuma last Thursday launched the department of home affairs’ electronic channel (e-Channel) project.
Gigaba said the department collaborated with four major banks to introduce an online application platform for smart ID cards and passports. Banks that have partnered with the department include Nedbank, Absa, First National Bank and Standard Bank. Gigaba said the programme was dedicated to 30- to 35-year-olds to start with.

He said 12 branches would pilot the project. Eleven were in Gauteng and one would be in Cape Town, Gigaba said. “We will publish the list of these branches so that people know where they can go. The banks have availed to us their facilities and ensured that there is proper branding for our section within the branch at a space were this system will be operating,” he said.
Gigaba said applicants would be able to submit their fingerprints and pictures, having made appointments and payments online. He had instructed the department to investigating extending the service to branches of the department.

“The critical thing for us is to ensure that those without access to Internet services can still be able to obtain qualitative services that respect their human rights. We are not trying to discriminate those without Internet services,” he said.

Gigaba added that the e-Channel system would reduce queues at home affairs offices to enable those without access to Internet services to more easily find a convenient environment.
Zuma said the e-Channel project was an important development in building a state responsive to the needs of the people. “This service is one step further in the ongoing quest to make the services provided by the department of home affairs more accessible to all our people,” Zuma said.
Source: Techcentral