The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), in collaboration with the Government of Niger and UN-WOMEN, is organizing from February 20 to March 1 in Niamey, Niger, its 7th edition of coding training for young girls in Africa.
Approximately 100 Nigerien girls aged 12 to 25 are participating in person in this coding camp in Niamey.
This training, which is part of the ECA’s “Young African Women Connected Coding Camp” initiative, aims to promote access to ICTs for these girls, provide them with a good foundation for long-term success in their employment, business creation or further education, and build important partnerships.
The launching ceremony of this coding camp was chaired by the Minister of Post and New Information Technologies, Mr. Hassane Moussa Baraze, in the presence of the Minister of Women’s Promotion and Child Protection, Ms. Allahoury Aminata Zourkaleini, the Minister of National Education, Mr. Ibrahim Natatou, Members of the Parliament, the Director of the ECA Sub Regional Office for Africa, Ms. Ngone Diop, the Director of the ECA Division of Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, the Representative of UNWOMEN in Niger, Ms. MIAN DJANGONE Anne Marie Rachelle and several guests.
In his launching speech of this coding camp, the Minister of Post and New Information Technologies of Niger, Mr. Hassane Moussa Baraze, said it was imperative to strengthen vocational training in general and that of young girls in particular and operationalize the skills required to drive creativity and innovation.
“Technology skills can lift women out of poverty by providing them with middle and higher level jobs. It is also a stepping stone for high-potential women to higher levels. It also reduces the gender gap between men and women,” said Hassane Moussa Baraze.
The Director of the ECA Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, Ms. Ngone Diop said that “In Niger, 70% of the population does not yet have access to the Internet & this segment of the population excluded from its use is mainly made up of women, young people and the elderly”.
“More than ever, Africa must accelerate digital transformation initiatives by strengthening the participation of youth in STEM activities,” said Ms. Ngone Diop.
The ECA’s Director of Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources, Jean Paul Adam, he said that since the launch of this initiative in 2019, “ECA has already had to train more than 20,000 young women and girls, with 239 innovative projects and 49 awards for the best prototypes designed to solve the socio-economic challenges of the continent across the continent.”
This Nigerien girls’ coding camp covers technical areas such as animation, gaming and web development, robotics and the Internet of Things, and 3D printing.
It also includes generic cognitive processes such as project development, design thinking, and the role of women in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM).
ABOUT JEAN PAUL ADAM
Jean-Paul Adam is the Director for Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Prior to taking on this role, he served in the Government of the Republic of Seychelles in several Cabinet positions. He was Minister of Health from 2016 to 2019. He served as Minister of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy from 2015 to 2016 where he negotiated a debt for climate change adaptation swap and launched the process for Seychelles to become the first issuer of a Blue Bond.
Between 2010 and 2014, he was Seychelles’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, where he advocated for countries to embrace the concept of the Blue Economy, to improve sustainability for island and coastal countries. Before entering the Cabinet, between 2005 and 2009, he occupied several senior roles in the Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles including Director General for presidential affairs, Principal Secretary for the Office of the President and Secretary of state in the presidency. He started his career as a career diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 2001 and 2004.
He is a holder of a Masters in International Political Economy form the University of Manchester (UK) and a BA in English Literature and French from the University of Sheffield (UK).