Be innovative and technology savvy, girls challenged

10Nov 2018
Aisia Rweyemamu
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Be innovative and technology savvy, girls challenged

GIRLS Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2018 has challenged girls in the country to be innovative and use technology to solve community problems around their areas.

U.S. Embassy to Tanzania Chargé d' Affaires of the Dr. Inmi Patterson speaks to girls from various Dar es Salaam City secondary schools during the Girls Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2018 co-hosted by ‘Apps and Girls’ and the embassy in the city yesterday. Photo: Guardian Correspondent

GES is an annual tech-entrepreneurship school in the country to learn and build innovations and solutions for community problems and compete for prizes.

The event, which was held in Dar es Salaam yesterday, was co-hosted by Apps and Girls and the US embassy for girls in secondary and high schools.

Dr. Inmi Patterson, Chargé d' Affaires of the US Embassy, asked girls to always think of their community and how they can contribute in solving their problems.

“Girls have a huge contribution to the national economy if they are empowered by good and quality education,” she said.

She asked them never to give up but overcome challenges that they face and stay within a network for better results.

Patterson said good capital for entrepreneurship is an idea and then take action from it without being afraid of any challenge ahead.

Earlier in her keynote remarks at the summit, founder of Apps & Girls Carolyne Ekyarisiima said the summit aimed to place young girls at the forefront of change by inspiring, supporting, mentoring and funding tech-driven innovations developed by girls.

She said in most projects they develop targets at addressing problems related to their communities, such as poor education, gender issues, and environmental challenges.

“To make this possible, Apps and Girls cooperated with school teachers by inviting them for training and workshops to know the importance of digital literacy to students,” she added.

During the four months of training, girls worked in teams to find solutions to specific problems surrounding their community.

According to her, girls are able to reflect on their society to come up with their projects, by doing research, consulted some institutions and individuals.

She said, “Some of the projects are business ideas while others are simply campaigns aimed at improving young girls’ life standards in the community.”

The most promising part about the GES 2018 is that the projects have direct concerns about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“This means that these young girls are in the forefront to finding solutions to world’s most disturbing problems such as shortage of safe water, gender inequality, poor education, early pregnancies and child marriages,” she said

A total of 72 schools girls from various schools in Dar es Salaam participated in the GES 2018, where they spent four months in their respective schools and during holidays with mentors, experts and trainers learning coding, pitching, business model and other entrepreneurship skills.

Most of the girls participating in the GES training are from neighbourhoods with no opportunities, attending schools with limited facilities, particularly computing facilities.

Jomitrida Jorum, a form two student from Kibasila secondary school, was among participants of the event. She said they developed an application which enables students to learn science subjects through various games found in the app.

Founded in 2013 in Tanzania, Apps & Girls is a social enterprise that seeks to bridge the technology gender gap by providing quality coding training, entrepreneurship skills to girls in secondary schools.