Cisco has launched the first Africa Women Initiative, that targets young talented women at college and universities who have already shown motivation, talent and are potentially successful in their local environments, but in need of a small boost to widen their views.
The initiative’s primary goal is to boost future prospects of talented young women by exposing them to women friendly technologies and to inspiring women role models who have positively impacted society.
A select audience of youthful female participants from Kenya attended a session moderated by the Ambassador Seretse of Botswana to the United States. Ambassador Seretse shared her background, as well as the decisions she made throughout the different stages of her childhood, adulthood and her professional life. Ambassador Seretse also spoke about how technology has played a role in her day-to-day life.
The session had participants from remote locations in Lagos, Tunis, Johannesburg and Cairo and the session was live courtesy of the Cisco proprietary Telepresence videoconferencing technology.
Highlights and key facts:
- In Africa, women are the guardians of the next generation; they raise, educate, nurse and give as stable a home as possible. Their environment is also changing quickly, local markets become global markets, village social environments become virtual global social environments, and opportunities for advancement are not limited anymore because of time and distance.
- Providing young talented women with a sense of how women friendly technologies can widen their opportunities, opens a window on the world and be inspired by powerful, iconic female role models who “made it out there”. This way they feel more comfortable with technology as a means to advance their career prospects and at the same time, be inspired with women who made it in the world, by understanding how they did it and be inspired by their struggle, experience and victory.
- Specifically, this program aims to:
- provide young talented women with a chance to learn about technology and open them to a world of iconic female role models
- create a network of female students from around Africa, a bond that will help them later on in their careers
<li>The audience in Kenya comprised 12 female participants from KCA University, Strathmore University, Kabarak University, Kenyatta University and the Africa center for women in IT (ACWICT).</li> <li>All these institutions are accredited Cisco academies in Kenya mandated to offer quality ICT training focusing on hands-on skills that are imperative and responsive to the ICT market skills demand in the present day technology-mediated socio-economic development.</li> <li>The program will be implemented by reaching out to target audience in select institutions and aligning their felt needs with potential speakers, mentors and role models. We will then deploy the use of information and communication technologies including social media and the Cisco video conference technology (Telepresence) to offer targeted training to the selected s female students.</li>