Somalia hosts Mogadishu's first tech summit

2 November 2018


This is Mogadishu's inaugural tech summit, and one of the focuses has been advancing women and girls in the field of ICT.

The workshop is organised by Bilan Codes, an organisation whose stated aim is to empower Somali girls with coding skills.

Sahra Abdikarim, an engineer and founder of Bilan Codes, told Reuters: "In Somalia, Somali women do not have the opportunity to join the technology (sector) and we want to create an opportunity to overcome the challenges they face in the technology (sector), and create skills to catch up with technology market."

According to a report from Intel in 2017, 25% fewer women than men are online in emerging countries, a figure that rises to 45% in sub-Saharan Africa.

Bilan says the gender gap is arguably wider in Somalia due to the damage caused to the Horn of Africa countries education infrastructure in decades of armed conflicts.

And the gender gap in ICT is not limited to emerging countries. Globally, according to World Economic Forum research from 2016, 30% of all male students graduate from STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects compared to 16% of female students.

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