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Microsoft to train 1,000 African women

This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today.

1. Microsoft to train 1000 African women on tech skills

Microsoft 4Afrika initiative has announced partnering with Wentors, a women’s mentorship organisation, to launch a programme to train and provide mentorship to 1000 women in the technology industry.

According to the tech giant, 1000 women in tech will be provided with on-hand mentorship and training from industry experts.

The development comes as the company looks to address the 30% gap in global female researches along with the stark and prevalent gender imbalance in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) fields of research in sub-Saharan Africa.

Media reports say women in the STEM field are paid significantly less for their research and do not progress at the same rate that men do in their respective fields.

On the other hand, Wentors is a platform that is made up of a global community of women in technology mentoring and training aims to provide assistance and mentorship to young women in the tech space and final year students who wish to enter the industry.

Tech Trivia: Whose company introduced the first Android-powered tablets into Nigeria?

A. Jack Ma

B. Saheed Adepoju

C. Jack Dorsey

D. Mark Zuckerberg

Answer: See end of post.

2. SAB Foundation extends applications for 2021 SAB Social Innovation and Disability Awards

Deadline for the SAB Foundation’s 11th annual Social Innovation Awards and 6th annual Disability Empowerment Awards has been extended to encourage more applicants benefit from the scheme.

Now extended to Thursday, April 8, 2021, the extension will provide interested applicants the opportunity to apply and stand a chance of winning R1.3-million in funding.

Speaking on the development, Bridgit Evans, SAB Foundation Director explained that the awards promote innovation and help entrepreneurs push-boundaries in their concept development.

He said: “Over the years, we have seen entrepreneurs who had barely more than an idea when they started with us, go on to reach national and even international significance in addressing complex social problems in efficient and sustainable ways.

“With the world being where it is right now, we are excited to see what emerges through this application process. We always look forward to seeing the innovations that emerge each year.”

3. Solar startup Sun Exchange completes $1.4m crowdsale for solar-plus-storage project

Sun Exchange, South African startup has completed the crowdsale for a 510 kilowatt solar-plus-storage installation.

Founded in 2015, Sun Exchange is a peer-to-peer solar leasing platform that enables anyone, anywhere in the world, to buy remotely-located solar cells that power schools, businesses and other organisations.

Since inception, the startup has built a community of more than 19,000 members across 168 countries and brought solar power to 35 South African schools, businesses and organisations.

Following the raiser, the startup is set to further grow its footprints.

Last year, despite the effects of the pandemic, the startup raised US$4 million Series A investment round.

By accessing lower-cost and reliable solar power through the Sun Exchange platform, the fresh produce grower and exporter will save approximately US$2 million on its solar installation and reduce overall energy costs by roughly 60 per cent.

Tech Trivia Saheed Adepoju

Saheed Adepoju is the founder of Encipher Limited, a Nigerian based technology company that introduced the first android-powered tablet into Nigeria.

He is credited as the inventor of INYE-1&2, tablet computers designed for the African market.