Abidjan, February 16, 2022 – As part of its social responsibility initiatives in Africa, Allianz announced on February 9, 2022, its partnership with the NGO Dynamiques et Excellences d'Afrique (DynExcAfrica) to raise awareness of science and technology among 1,500 young girls, pupils, students and entrepreneurs. About a hundred of them will also be trained in emerging digital professions such as piloting drones or even robotics and digital programming. Allianz employees will support the learners in particular via a female mentoring program.
At the launch of this program, Delphine Traoré, Regional CEO of Allianz Africa, declared: "With a presence of more than a century on the continent, we are well aware of the role of women in securing the future of Africa”. Delphine also affirmed that Allianz is sensitive to the challenges in terms of young girls' access to quality education, adapted to their ambitions. "This is why Allianz has supported the dynamic and excellent African woman through this program, thus reaffirming its commitment to an Africa where all energies contribute to development", she continued. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Barbara Karuth-Zelle, COO of Allianz SE, who believed in this program and supported it from the very beginning,” said Delphine.
Genesis of the partnership
The mastery of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is essential to understand the current adversity, and particularly to access the labor market. However, in 2019, a study by the company Code Day (an organization that promotes greater accessibility of populations to ICTs) in collaboration with Simplon CI (a school of enthusiasts of web professions), showed that IT developers in Côte d'Ivoire were 95% men, women representing only 5%.
This digital divide is even more salient in rural areas where girls and young women have virtually no access to technology.
It is to overcome this imbalance that DynExcAfrica works to instill a culture of excellence in young girls and women and to reduce the digital gender divide. Through the "STEM Girls Côte d'Ivoire" project, the NGO encourages women in disadvantaged neighborhoods and rural areas to embrace STEM education and training.
"In an increasingly competitive world where STEM holds a place of honor, unfortunately very few women and young girls are interested in these fields, for individual, social, cultural reasons or simply, for lack of opportunities. Allianz has decided to support us in preparing this generation of competent and competitive young girls and women to contribute to the inclusive and sustainable development of our Africa,” said Fognon Maïmouna Koné, Founder and General Coordinator of
DynExcAfrica. For her, this partnership is an opportunity for thousands of young girls and women to have access to the skills of today and the future.
René Megela, Expert of the GIZ Business and Cooperation Office in Côte d'Ivoire, confirms the interest of the German development organization for this program with a strong social and economic impact. “Digital education and in all areas of technology in general is one of the most important levers of socio-economic development in Africa,” he insists. According to him, the inclusion of girls and young women now requires this education and training that prepares them to take their place in the digital sector of the future. And to continue: “STEM awareness is the gateway to this digital education. The collaboration between Allianz and DynExcAfrica is a very important step in creating opportunities in the technology sector for a large number of girls and young women”.
Projects with strong social impact in digital
Each of the major axes of this partnership has been designed to create a concrete beneficial effect for young girls and entrepreneurs, direct targets of this project, as well as for their communities:
- DynExcAfrica STEM Tour: A program aimed at raising awareness and introducing 500 young girls in Abidjan and 1,000 others in rural areas to STEM. It consists of introducing them to subjects related to STEM, carrying out practical coding exercises, leading a robotics workshop and finally presenting projects developed by the young learners.
- Girls STEM Academy: An introduction each year to 75 young middle school and high school girls, including 25 from disadvantaged neighborhoods of Abidjan and 50 from rural areas of Côte d'Ivoire, in computer tools, programming, coding, robotics and drones, for 3 to 6 months.
- Young Women Digital Program: A 3-month program designed to build the capacities of 50 female students, young women looking for work or undergoing retraining and young female entrepreneurs, including 25 living in urban areas and 25 in rural areas. This training will allow them to strengthen their mastery of IT and collaborative tools while developing their skills in digital professions.
Mentoring by and for women
Thus, Allianz not only contributes to this initiative with nearly 50,000 euros, but also, Allianz employees accompany DynExcAfrica, thanks to a mentoring program which plans to reward the best projects.
Indeed, Excellence Prizes will be awarded according to the evolution of the program and the interest of the projects proposed by the young learners, to encourage the best among them.
Thus, five young girls will see their merit recognized via a training at Allianz, and also, by the possibility of financing their projects intended to have a significant social impact for the populations.