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African women have the potential to be at the leading edge of technology if they are given the opportunity, says WeThinkCode chief executive Nyari Sumashonga following a women-only hackathon held in partnership with Mukuru.
Mukuru, a fintech operating in Southern Africa, identified some of its bursary recipients to participate in the hackathon along with students from WeThinkCode, a software development training academy. The hackathon provided an opportunity for young women to showcase their talent, further their studies and boost their careers in the IT sector.
During the event, teams were tasked with developing a financial education or management tool to, ultimately, provide Mukuru’s customer base with better financial management and education tools. Organisers say they were wowed by the energy, enthusiasm and talent on display, signalling a strong future for women in tech in Africa.
Mukuru CSI manager, Deidré Vrede, says the event was designed to provide the opportunity for winning students to bolster their studies and win internships or job shadowing opportunities at Mukuru, but more importantly create excitement and a platform for young, women students to shine.
“As a fintech business, we encourage students, especially young women, to pursue careers in tech, as currently, only 19% of the industry’s workforce are women. Judging by the innovation, skills and creativity on display, the future of women in IT is bright.
“We felt it was an exciting opportunity to add fuel to our passion for developing young female coders and give them a hand in creating and brainstorming something that will play a crucial role in financial education on the continent,” she says.
Sumashonga adds, “WeThinkCode is an academy that enables youth to become world-class developers who can thrive in any environment.
“Our alumni go on to develop solutions for business and society at large, and so it made sense to partner with Mukuru, a leading African technology platform driving cutting-edge fintech to improve the lives of Africans. This resonates with our purpose. The young women were superb, and I have no doubt they will grow into role models for future generations of female developers.”
Vrede agrees. “Congratulations, not just to the winning teams, but to every young woman who participated in the hackathon. You reminded us that the future is bright for women in tech. Keep on shining!”
The winners and runners-up were:
- First place: Galaletsang Letlape, Katlego Rathelele and Nkhensani Mutilen.
- Second place: Atlegang Tabane, Lethabo Mokgokoloshi, Selaelo Lemekoana, Lindiwe Tshabalala, Amaze Mkhonto and Gugulethu Mngomezulu.
- Third place: Princess Sitole, Pretty Mangwadi, Nomfundo Hope Ngubane, Hleketani Mavanyisi, Paidamoyo Mapfuwa and Lerato Ngcama.