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Jiggen Tech Hub Breaking Tech Boundaries in Senegal

SEATTLE, Washington — In keeping with the GSMA Intelligence’s 2017 report, Senegal is one among sub-Saharan Africa’s know-how hotspots with 10 lively know-how hubs. Senegal’s relative political stability has attracted investments from giant know-how firms, reminiscent of Microsoft, Orange and Google. Regardless of the rising significance of know-how companies within the Senegalese economic system, the vast majority of ladies stay excluded from jobs within the sector. Jiggen Tech Hub, West Africa’s first tech hub run for girls, by ladies, goals to alter this.

Origins of Jiggen Tech Hub

In 2011, Binta Coudy Dé flew to New York with a workforce of Senegalese ladies to take part in a tech competitors organized by Microsoft. Because the competitors had individuals from across the globe, Dé and her workforce anticipated to see plenty of feminine participation. Nonetheless, once they arrived, they have been the one all-female workforce on the competitors. For these Senegalese ladies, the shortage of girls on the competitors highlighted a worldwide want for supporting ladies in know-how. This expertise impressed Dé and her teammates to type Jiggen Tech Hub in 2012.

The group prepares ladies to interrupt into the know-how trade regardless of prevalent gender stereotypes. It trains ladies and ladies in know-how and management to organize them for the burgeoning trade. The McKinsey World Institute reported that 3.Three % of the entire GDP in Senegal got here from web companies in 2013. Since Senegal is one among Africa’s fastest-growing tech sectors, making ready ladies for the tech trade helps to undermine gender stereotypes within the office and society at giant.

Gender Boundaries to Employment in West Africa

The feminine employment charge of 59.Three % in sub-Saharan Africa is increased than the worldwide common of 45.eight %. Gender limitations that also exist for girls within the West African workforce. Regardless of excessive employment charges, West African ladies are inclined to have low-paying jobs within the casual sector. Moreover, some international locations nonetheless have legal guidelines that stop ladies from getting into sure professions.

Girls additionally face social stigma once they search “non-traditional” jobs. In keeping with West Africa Temporary, 22 % of Senegalese males consider that ladies mustn’t work exterior of the house. In keeping with conventional philosophy, ladies ought to stay within the house, taking good care of their households versus working for a wage. These gendered stereotypes make it troublesome for girls to achieve high-paying, technology-related jobs in West Africa.

Jiggen Tech Hub In the present day

Since its inception, Jiggen Tech Hub has made a big affect, educating tons of of Senegalese ladies and ladies know-how expertise. A workforce of greater than 40 volunteers, each ladies and men, run the group. The group dedicates all of its applications to STEM matters in addition to Info and Communications Know-how. The group provides ladies sensible expertise that they will leverage within the ever-growing tech trade in West Africa.

Together with educating in-demand tech expertise, Jiggen Tech Hub empowers ladies by means of management coaching. Since gender stereotypes are nonetheless persistent in Senegal, management coaching helps ladies discover ways to be assured and try for increased skilled targets. The group believes that this distinctive mixture of management and know-how coaching will assist ladies scale back the gender hole within the Senegalese tech workforce in addition to struggle conventional gender stereotypes.

– Morgan Harden
Picture: Flickr

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