GamChix trains 20 girls on Android development using MIT App Inventor

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

GamChix, a Gambia-based non-profit network of women engineers in ICT with members drawn from ministries, ISPs, regulators, universities and financial institutions recently held a 2-day capacity building forum for 20 girls on Android development using MIT App Inventor.

The group seeks to empower, connect and support the next generation of women leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by providing them with access and opportunities to advance their careers, pursue their dreams and become role models for women and girls in their communities through trainings and capacity building programs.

Giving an overview of the network, Esther King, chairperson of GamChix said the organization was formed in 2017 following a training on Unix Systems Administration and Networking for female engineers, which she said, was organized and coordinated in The Gambia by AFCHIX in collaboration with the Internet Society Chapter of The Gambia (ISOC).

“GamChix is involved in mentoring girls to consider careers in Computer Science and ICT. One of their mandates is to provide STEM awareness and Capacity Building for women and young girls in The Gambia,” she revealed.

She further stated that they consider gender diversity in Computer Science & ICT industry very critical for increased creativity and innovative performance of the industry especially in The Gambia.

Program coordinator Amie Njie said the introductory course introduced participants to programming giving them a strong foundation while preparing them for high level programming languages like Java, Python and JavaScript.

During the training, participants built their first creative apps like talktomeApp in which the user interacts using non-visible components like text-to-speech, sensors.

She said participants were also exposed to problem solving apps like no texting while driving App, which will automatically respond telling “I’m driving, I’ll call you later” whenever the app is running, Soundcards like IHaveadreamApp  featuring Martin Luther King and many other drawings, animations and quizzes program.

Jarrie Jallow, one of the participants and a graduate from St Peter’s Senior Secondary School, said the training serves as an opportunity for people like her who wants to further their education in ICT in tertiary level. “Training like this is helpful to youth and we hope that this would not be the last training Gamchix will be conducting” she lamented.

Author: Fatou B. Cham