mHub Girls4Code Initiative introduced coding and MIT Application Inventor to young ladies in Blantyre at The Blantyre Innovation ....

mHub’s Girls4Code had a coding event at The Blantyre Innovation Hub located at The Polytechnic Chichiri Campus on Saturday May 27th, 2016. The aim the event was to introduce Girls4Code to the young ladies in Blantyre. The event was very successful with a turn-up of 40 girls, including two of their teachers. There were girls from various programs from Administration studies all the way to ICT from Soche Technical College, John Paul II, various secondary schools and other surrounding institutions.

The event started at 11am with self-introductions from the young ladies stating their name, school and the program they were doing. Instructor Elizabeth Kalitsiro Mwale kicked off the event with an introduction into creating and developing an application using MIT App Inventor. Participants eagerly took out notebooks to take notes on what was being taught.

After the theoretic part of the event, the ladies were given a lunch break and during their lunch enjoyed a YouTube video about women in coding. The girls got hand on experience in using MIT App Inventor when they were split into groups to apply everything they learned. One group created an application called Malawi Tours app whereby tourists can find information on hotels and accommodation in Malawi.

The event was very successful. Attendees were very enthusiastic about learning coding and how to create an application and they worked very well in teams so they got the concept of teamwork. The Girls4Code event ended at 4pm. After the event, girls were chosen from each school to tell the audience what they learned from the workshop. "I am grateful for this opportunity. I always thought things like making applications involved a complicated process. Now that I have learned, I know I can also make one" said one of the participants.  In order for Malawi to develop in ICT, it needs youth to acquire these skills despite what field they are in to develop and enforce standards and best practice to guide the delivery of services in all sectors.

By Tapiwa Bokosi