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Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation launches AI in Mitchells Plain

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CAPE TOWN – In celebration of Human Rights Day on 21 March 2019, the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation in partnership with Fliptin, Microsoft and Idea Collective will host “AI in Mitchells Plain” boot camp from 15 to 17 March 2019 to discover the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with youth.

Understanding that access to information and technology is a universal human right, these girls-only boot camps attempt to address the systematic exclusion of youth in a variety of the 21st-century careers by offering a powerful platform to acquire new tools and knowledge, bettering their prospects at female digital inclusion and subsequently, socio-economic forecast.

As part of a nationwide initiative, “AI in Mitchells Plain” kickstarts the 2019 “AI in Africa” tour across South Africa for girls aged 15 to 18 years old in historically disadvantaged communities to create purposeful, high impact solutions that tackle challenges ranging from community safety to unemployment and education.

The sixty intrepid girls from Beacon Hill High School, Lentegeur Secondary School, Portland High School, Oval North Secondary School and Westridge High School have been selected to learn the concepts and ethics of digital technology and how to apply technology to their daily lives to create solutions for their communities.

The three-day exercise will expose these learners to a working environment of cutting-edge technologies including how to build computer chatbots, package their individual tech ideas and solutions, and pitch their innovations to a panel of judges.

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Gugu Motlanthe, Trustee of the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation said in a statement: “The Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation places the wellbeing of our nation’s youth at the heart of our work with the belief that equipping learners with 21st century skills will help prepare South Africa for the 4th Industrial Revolution and lay the fundamental building blocks to creating an inclusive society.”

“The Foundation is invested in and committed to creating an environment that boosts access to technology and drives digital literacy – these are the keys to unlocking the potential for our youth to create a positive, connected and inclusive future in the digital age.”

Following the success of the programme with schools in Soweto in 2018, the girls of Mitchells Plain will be mentored by leading professionals and entrepreneurs, led by technology consultancy Fliptin and facilitated by Idea Collective.

Professor Des Laubscher from IDEA (Innovative Design Education Africa) Collective said in a statement: “The IDEA Collective’s core purpose is to improve the quality of people’s lives through proactive problem-solving workshops and the creation of appropriate solutions that take cognisance of social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. What better way to expose our youth to problem-solving than to challenge these young girls to embrace the design thinking process during this workshop and then use what they have learned to create meaningful solutions to problems within their communities. The passion and the creativity of the girls are manifested in the amazing results that emulate from this experience, as we have learnt from the previous workshop.”

Absa’s WorkInProgress innovation lab and Old Mutual will provide the venues for the workshops.

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