The challenge, which is focused on imparting tech skills to school girls from different walks of life was held at the Hypercube hub last year which acted as a central venue for the competition series.
According to Rumbidzai Mlambo, coordinator of the Technovation Challenge and co-founder of Techwomen Zimbabwe, commuting to another part of town presented extra costs for participants who also had added responsibilities at home.
This year the approach has been changed with the Techwomen Zimbabwe visiting different communities and imparting the same tech and entrepreneurship skills to clusters of children from different schools.
In the past couple of days, the Techwomen team has been working with a cluster of participants from Mbare. The children (34 girls and 6 boys) have gone through the process of identifying different problems in their community, grouping together into teams and brainstorming solutions that they will develop apps for.
They also had their first lesson in computer programming which will be expanded on as they are taught how to create applications that have a relevance to the problems they identified.
In the proceeding weeks, Techwomen will be hosting a series of training sessions in different clusters around the city in addition to monitoring the progress made by the participants. Not all of the work will just be for the school children though. Part of this community outreach will also include the digital literacy training for women in the respective communities.
Today Techwomen conducted one of these digital literacy workshops in Mbare, Harare at Chitsere Primary School. All these efforts are meant to help raise a community awareness of technology. Techwomen’s overall goal is to get a 50% representation of women in all Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professions.