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GirlCode appoints ICT heavyweights as board members

Read time 3min 30sec
Former Project Isizwe CEO Dudu Mkhwanazi.
Former Project Isizwe CEO Dudu Mkhwanazi.

GirlCode, a non-profit ICT organisation that aims to empower young girls and women through technology, has appointed a new board of advisors, who will provide strategic oversight and guidance.

The organisation, which has been empowering young girls and women through technology since 2014, says its seven new board members bring exceptional depth and breadth of skills, as well as global experience, as it embarks on the next phase of transition into a social enterprise.

Joining the board are:

  • Bontle Senne, who leads Virgin Media’s UK Transformation Office;
  • Dudu Mkhwanazi, the former Project Isizwe CEO, who was announced in 2019 as one of 50 inspiring women in STEM SA by the German Embassy;
  • Neroshnee Rangasamy, technology consulting director for Accenture Netherland’s SAP Advisory Practice, who advises C-level executives on digital transformation strategies and programmes;
  • Nonkululeko Tsita, deputy director of costing at Nelson Mandela University;
  • Thato Mabudusha, SA territory manager at Uber Business;
  • Venisha Nayagar, MD of CRYPT IT Information Risk Management;
  • Philani Mdingi, digital strategy director at Maverick Mind EMEA, a digitally-led agency.

GirlCode says it selected an advisory council that displays passion and willingness to steer the organisation to new heights, as it continues to engage with women in tech and facilitate their skills advancement in the industry.

According to GirlCode, its vision is to impact 10 million women across Africa by 2030, starting with getting young girls interested in STEM, and to become one of the largest female digital organisations.

It aims to achieve this through strategic partnerships with the public sector, strengthening collaboration with similar organisations, and leveraging corporate assets in the development of ICT facilities, infrastructure and networks within schools in disadvantaged communities.

The new members will serve as a critical community champion of GirlCode, assisting in fulfilling its mission by providing the organisation with their professional expertise, diverse knowledge, and connections to local, national and international resources, says GirlCode.

“The board’s expertise incorporates knowledge of non-profit, corporate business and government sectors, a blend of skills that will benefit GirlCode immensely. We absolutely cannot wait for the team to hit the ground running,” says GirlCode founder and chairwoman Zandile Mkwanazi.

When asked about her goals in her new position at GirlCode, Rangasamy notes: “As a leader, I believe in sending the elevator down. Therefore, my involvement spans more than just serving as a role model, it also supports the future growth ambition.

“Leveraging my international and South African network, coupled with my experience, I look forward to our collaboration to create awareness, access to education, and opportunities for girls to pursue a career trajectory in technology or STEM.”

Mkhwanazi studied public administration and political science at North West University and later obtained her Masters Degree in Public Policy and Comparative Politics in France. She believes her more than two years’ experience at the helm of Project Isizwe will play a significant role in her new chapter.

“I am passionate about digital inclusion and believe my skills and expertise from my previous NPO will enable me to contribute to the expansion of GirlCode’s footprint and funding strategies.”

The appointments come as SA is about to observe Women’s Day.

GirlCode says it realises the importance of having a voice of a male ally on the advisory board.

“I am humbled to be selected as the only man on the board surrounded by talented ladies with vast experience,” states Mdingi.

“I am passionate about what GirlCode wants to achieve and nothing will give me greater satisfaction than reaching as many girls as possible and giving them the gift of technology. I wish to elevate the strategic marketing and brand management of GirlCode to position and promote the good that the organisation is doing for our girls and women.”

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