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Girls4Tech Program Upgrades Lives of Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa

MasterCard has hosted the second Girls4Tech Marathon in South Africa and Kenya, which aimed to inspire girls aged 7-12 to advance careers in STEM skills.

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The Girls4Tech education program was launched in 2014 by MasterCard in order to show off an interactive Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum based on global science and maths standards.

Girls4Tech Program Upgrades Lives of Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa
PHOTO/MasterCard: Girls4Tech Program Upgrades Lives of Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It also incorporates MasterCard’s expertise in Technology and Innovation, enabling students to discover a wide range of STEM careers including fraud detection, data science, and software engineering respectively.

The program began as hands-on, in-person sessions and workshops run by volunteers from the company’s workforce but has since expanded to include topics such as Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security and is available through Digital sessions including various activities such as Workshops, Hackathons, and Mentorship programs.

Girls4Tech Program Upgrades Lives of Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa
PHOTO/MasterCard: Young girls during a learning process.

 A total of 176 girls from South Africa and Kenya participated in this instalment of the workshops this year.

In the Republic of South Africa, the various workshops were fully interactive with MasterCard employee volunteers, taking as an example of creating a fun, learning environment.  

“The Girls4Tech Initiative is designed to help address the gender gap in STEM fields by providing hands-on, inquiry-based activities that help girls develop an interest in STEM subjects. At MasterCard we remain committed to the advancement of girls in technology as we continue our journey to embrace equity through digital education,” Megan Clunnie, Technology Divisional lead for Sub-Saharan Africa, at MasterCard said.

Girls4Tech Program Upgrades Lives of Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa
PHOTO/MasterCard: Young girls poses for a photo.

Currently, the inquiry-based STEM program has reached over 3.5 million girls between the ages of 8 and 16 in 60 countries, and MasterCard has further committed to reaching 5 million girls globally by 2025.

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Through the Girls4Tech Initiative MasterCard will continue to invest in the future of the girl child, especially with the almost exponential growth in tech-based jobs over the past 3 years.

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“As educators of girls between the age of 7-12 years, we aim to continue showing girls that they can give away a career path in STEM fields and are just as capable as the boys at being successful in those careers. Girls4Tech is in line with our efforts to prioritize STEM subjects as part of our curriculum and we are excited to participate in this initiative,” Daniel Muthee, Principal at Woodcreek School in Nairobi-Kenya, Daniel Muthee said.

Girls4Tech Program Upgrades Lives of Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa
PHOTO/MasterCard: A teacher teaching young girls during class session.

“We are honored to have been selected by MasterCard, to have our learners participate in the Girls4Tech workshops, which provided them with an opportunity to expand their knowledge base by learning about all things STEM-related. Our legacy of being the oldest school in Johannesburg drives the importance of investing in and inspiring our girls to dream big, and initiatives such as Girls4Tech facilitate this. With this program, our girls get exposed to various career opportunities outside of the traditional ones, that they are familiar with,” Natalie Bompas, a Teacher at Johannesburg Girls Preparatory School, South Africa said.

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Further, there are still gender parties that exist in technology-related fields, and women in Sub-Saharan Africa only make up less than 31 percent of science researchers. 

Girls4Tech Program Upgrades Lives of Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa
PHOTO/MasterCard: Young girls during class session.

MasterCard’s Girls4Tech program is challenging the present status and forms part of a broader global commitment towards embracing equality and exposing young girls to future career prospects in STEM.

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