Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Cisco partners with locals for Girl Coding Initiative

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From Left: Zandile Keebine, Edzai Zvobwo, DJ Wildfire

Cisco Systems Inc, a global leader in Digital Business Transformation is on a mission to empower South African girls in ICT.The corporation has partnered with the Sibulele Sibaca Foundation, 1873FM, MathsGee and GirlsCode in its efforts to diffuse digital skills among school girls across the country. “We are very delighted to be partnering with Cisco in our quest to level the playing field in the ICT sector, we see equality and diversity as the pillars of success in product and market development for any serious organisation”, said Edzai Zvobwo, Chief Genius at MathsGee.

The 16th of July 2018 saw the partners converge on the Cisco offices in Bryanston, Johannesburg where 17 top performing high school girls were taken through an intensive one day conference on skills of the future and how to succeed in life as part of a 12 months ICT training under the Sibulele Sibaca Foundation. The renowned 1873FM disc jockey, WildFire gave an amazing talk to the girls on the need for more girls to code. He emphasized that app development should be motivated by a yearning to solve real life problems that the girls would have identified.

Zandile Keebine, a mathematician and computer scientist who as a young girl started GirlsCode reiterated on the fact that problems should be the foundation of app development. “Once you have identified a problem, take time to understand it and then come up with a solution for it, technology now allows us to imagine and turn those imaginations into products”, said Zandile.

Edzai Zvobwo stressed on critical thinking as a basis for idea generation and innovation. “You must look at the world and ask questions, do not just accept status quo, ask why things are the way they are”, insisted the Chief Genius.

The partners agreed that the day was a success and this intervention should go beyond the one day conference. The program should take the girls to a stage where they are digital skills wizards. It was agreed that these girls would form the first cohort for a six week program that will be hosted by MathsGee, publicised by 1873FM and GirlsCode will provide female mentors from various universities to inspire the girls.

Published in Science and Education