Dare To Dream, Botswana – Finalist Miss.Africa Digital Seed Fund 2019

Miss.Africa Digital Program recently caught up with Captain Kgomotso Phatsima President – Dare to Dream, 
The Girl Code Africa Initiative is a brain child of Dare to Dream to train 100 girls on 3 months after school program on coding, entrepreneurship and life skills . This program will be rolled out at Botswana Innovation Hub – The Home of Science and Technology Park in Botswana. This program is targeting girlsaged between 8 – 18yrs old.

This is a Robotics and Coding program offered by Dare to Dream for 100 girls aged 10 – 18years girls aimed at instilling in girls the passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The Girl Code Africa Initiative aims to introduce girls to the world of robotics and coding, to equip the girls with an idea of team spirit and to solve day to day problems using the application of technology. Dare to Dream partnered with Airbus Foundation and trained more than 1500 learners in rural and urban places across the country https://www.africanaerospace.aero/airbus-foundation-launches-youth-developmentprogramme-
in-botswana.html

1. Can you tell us about this project that has applied for the 2019 Miss.Africa Digital Seed Fund Awards?
The Girl Code Africa Initiative is a brain child of Dare to Dream to train 100 girls on 3 months after school program on coding, entrepreneurship and life skills . This program will be rolled out at Botswana Innovation Hub – The Home of Science and Technology Park in Botswana. This program is targeting girls aged between 8 – 18yrs old. The program will start from the 11th of January 2020 – 11 of April 2020. This program will end with a Hackthon Competition where the girls will go out and solve problems within their society with the skills they learned.

2. What are some of the challenges you are trying to address with your project?
Africa is a continent of incredible richness, innovation, creativity and diversity. By 2050 it will be the
home to another 1.3 billion people representing more than half of the global population. Yet people across the continent face an plethora of challenges from climate change, poverty, lack of enery and safe water, corruption, instability and insurgency as well as mismanagement of resources. It is vital that women and girls contribute fully and equally to the development of solutions to use technology to foster innovative ways of solving our societal problems and enrich their communities, their countries and the African Continent.

The power of Science, technology, engineering arts and design lies at the heart of harnessing the
incredible wealth of our nations – and indeed my country – the blue black Flag nation lying at the heart of
Southern Africa.

3. How are you bringing innovative approaches to these problems?
We have come up with a 3 months after school robust program which is fully packed with coding,
entrepreneurial skills development training as well as coding. The program will enable the girls to learn
coding and entrepreneurial skills and end with a Hackthon Competition where they will come up with
solutions to solve problems affecting their communities and pitch solutions to a group of judges.

4. How does it feel to gain international recognition for your work?
It has been an inspirational journey and we have gained both local and international recognition due to
our resounding success and our efforts in advancing the empowerment of youth women and girls in
STEM Aviation and Aerospace as well as Entrepreanuaship development skills.

For example I had the opportunity to win the Botswana Youth Awards Best Female of the Year 2017, The
80th British High Commission Commonwealth Point of Light Award as well as being selected for the
Obama Foundation Africa Leaders Program. Obama Foundation selects 200 exceptional emerging young
leaders changing the narrative of their communities, their countries and the African Continent. I am also
the alum for the International Visitor Leadership Program ( IVLP ) USA Leadership Tour.

5. Can you explain why skills for women in tech is so important?
Inspiring a new generation of women to learn skills in tech empowers female entrepreneurs to come up
with unique solutions to new problems. Additionally, as more and more industries step into the digital
age, tech will imbue every part of our economy. STEM is a growing field, one in which we desperately
need more top talent. And one in which women and girls can’t be left behind.

6. What in your opinion should be done to address the digital skills gap in Africa?
There is no doubt that African government policy can accelerate this process. The knowledge-based
development model is new territory for Africa. Our country Botswana is anchored on harnessing the
power of knowledge to develop the next generation of world class leaders towards prosperity for all. This
is hence embedded in our collective aims of having a creative, skilled and educated young African
population combined with the implementation of science and evidence-based pan-African and national
public policies and investments leading to large-scale social transformation and improved well-being.
Therefore in this regard acccelerating the knowledge-led development of Africa through science driven
policy and investments is important for boosting long-term growth and well-being. Collaborative
opportunities and open boarders trade agreements will expidite the process towards building the World
Class Africa we can all adore.

African governments should prioritise ICT education and deliberately forge parties and strategies aimed
at introducing digital skills programmes and coding in schools as part of the curriculum from grassroots
level more especially in rural areas. Furthermore internet connectivity and other ICT resources such as
laptops and tablets must be availed to enable the students to start learning at an early age.


Captain Kgomotso Phatsima President – Dare to Dream

The Girl Code Africa Initiative is a brain child of Dare to Dream to train 100 girls on 3 months after school program on coding, entrepreneurship and life skills . This program will be rolled out at Botswana Innovation Hub – The Home of Science and Technology Park in Botswana. This program is targeting girlsaged between 8 – 18yrs old.