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Vodacom launches hybrid coding boot camp to empower South African girls

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South African telecommunications giant, Vodacom has launched a hybrid coding boot camp for young girls in the country which will provide virtual training accessibility to participants.

The Human Resources Director of Vodacom South Africa, Njabulo Mashigo, who disclosed this on Friday, said the programme which would run between October 2nd and 6th, is part of this year”s #CodeLikeaGirl programme, targeting girls aged between 14 and 18.

“The on-site training will be hosted at 19 Schools of Excellence across the country, with virtual training accessible to all female learners who meet the criteria,” Mashigo said.

The official said the programme was designed to bridge a gap after realizing that female participation in STEM fields in the country was lagging.

“With our 2023 hybrid instalment of this critical initiative, we are driving access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for more girls and addressing the severe gender gap in these fields,” he said.

“Through #CodeLikeaGirl, we are empowering young women with valuable coding and other life skills to equip them for jobs of the future and ensure diversity in STEM.”

He further reiterated that at the five-day boot camp, girls would be exposed to coding, robotics and other ICT development programmes, nurturing their confidence in digital learning and skills and opening the possibility to pursue STEM further.

“There is also a life skills component, with female mentors available to share their experiences of working in STEM and serve as visible role models.

“At Vodacom, we want to #ShowUpforHer by actively breaking barriers to gender inequality. The success of #CodeLikeaGirl is testament to the need to increase representation as we aim to build a digitally inclusive society,” Mashigo added.

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Afreximbank seals $100m trade finance deal with DRC’s Rawbank

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African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced signing an agreement that will see it commit $100 million in trade finance facility in favour of Democratic Republic of Congo’d Rawbank aimed at assisting the bank increase its trade flows into and out of the country.

The facility which is by far the largest trade finance facility ever provided by Afreximbank to a commercial bank in the DRC is expected to help reduce pressure on the country’s balance of payments using the trade finance instrument offered by the Afreximbank Trade Finance Facility (AFTRAF) programme.

Haytham Elmaayergi, Executive Vice President, Global Trade Bank, Afreximbank, who made the announcement during the signing ceremony held as part of Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM2024), said the facility would make a serious impact in supporting economic development in the DRC.

“We are very pleased to deploy this important facility in the DRC to support such a strategic partner as Rawbank,” said Elmaayergi.

He added that some of the benefits of the facility includes creating business opportunities for Rawbank and its clients while supporting the economic development of the DRC.

“Our partnership with Rawbank will be further strengthened to support economic development in the DRC.

“Our synergies can only help to build the Africa we want by unleashing the full potential of intra-African and global trade for the benefit of our people,” he stated.

Elmaayergi further noted that “AFTRAF was structured to provide trade confirmation services, trade confirmation guarantees and irrevocable reimbursement undertakings to clients,” adding that it was designed to counter the recurring trend of reduction or withdrawal of trade lines to African banks by the international banks following the de-risking process.

Didier Tilman, Vice-President, Business Development, for Rawbank, who welcomed the deal, said:

“Today marks a significant milestone for Rawbank and for the Democratic Republic of Congo. This agreement with Afreximbank represents not only a substantial injection of capital into our trade finance capabilities but also a testament to the confidence placed in Rawbank as a key player in driving economic growth and facilitating trade in the region.”

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Airtel Africa activates subsea cable connecting Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa

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Airtel Africa has announced the successful activation of the 2Africa submarine cable system that will connect Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa.

In a statement by the telecom giant on Monday, the 2Africa cable system, which is one of the largest subsea projects globally, is designed to interconnect Africa, Europe, and Asia.

The statement added that the
activation 2Africa cable system is “part of a broader initiative to deliver faster and more resilient internet services, supporting the digital transformation across Africa.”

While speaking on the activation, CEO of Airtel Telesonic, PD Sarma, said the company, through its wholesale arm of Airtel Telesonic, achieved the milestone with their partnership with Alcatel Submarine Networks, which is an industry leader in optical submarine networks deployed worldwide, with the ability to offer turn-key solutions utilizing the latest technology, both in subsea infrastructure and transmission capacity.

“The activation of the 2Africa submarine cable is a monumental step in our mission to bridge the digital divide in Africa,” he said.

“Airtel is proud to launch the first phase of 2Africa cable system powered by the latest SLTE equipment from our partner.

“This project not only underscores our commitment to investing in advanced infrastructure, but also our dedication to empowering communities with the tools they need to thrive in the digital age.

“This is a significant milestone underscoring the power of collaboration and innovation to bring the world’s longest Submarine cable system to Africa,” he added.

He added that the 2Africa submarine cable is set to transform the digital landscape in Africa, providing unprecedented opportunities for connectivity and growth.

“As Airtel Africa continues to expand its network, we remain committed to delivering innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of its customers,” Sarma added.

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