Artificial intelligence bootcamp heads to Khayelitsha

A mentor is pictured with girls participating in one of the AI bootcamps. (Photo source: Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation)

In the spirit of youth month, the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation, together with Fliptin Venture Builder, will host various artificial intelligence (AI) bootcamps, kicking off in Cape Town.

Dubbed “AI in Khayelitsha”, this first series of youth month bootcamps will take place on 7 June through to 9 June.

The Khayelitsha AI learning drive marks the second time the Motlanthe Foundation hosts such an event in Cape Town this year. In March, the foundation hosted the “AI in Mitchells Plain” bootcamp.

“AI in Khayelitsha” forms part of the nationwide social impact bootcamp programme, AI in Africa, focused on exposing young South Africans to technology that will prepare them for a digitally-driven economy.

According to a statement, the girls-only bootcamps target girls aged 15- to 18-years-old from historically disadvantaged communities, to motivate them to create purposeful, high-impact solutions that tackle challenges ranging from community safety to unemployment and education.

“AI in Khayelitsha” will gather 60 girls from Chris Hani Secondary, Harry Gwala Secondary, Joe Slovo Secondary, Siphamandla Secondary and Usasazo High in Khayelitsha.

“These girls-only bootcamps attempt to address the systematic exclusion of youth in a variety of 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,” notes the statement.

“The youth are taken through a dynamic journey of contemporary education methodologies 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.”

This series of bootcamps comes as young South Africans have expressed uncertainty in their future career prospects in the age of the fourth industrial revolution.

This week, Deloitte released its annual millennial survey, which revealed the majority (working and unemployed) of young South Africans believe the next digital revolution will make it harder to get a job or change jobs in the future.

Mustapha Zaouini, head of innovation at the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation, says: “The aim of this youth month is to give young people a glimpse of what the future of work may look like and give them access to tools, concepts and access to 21st century skills.”

From 13 to 15 June, “AI in Africa” will head to Johannesburg to partner with the Gauteng Provincial Government and African Women and Youth Foundation at the fifth annual Gauteng youth career, jobs and entrepreneurship expo in Nasrec.

The youth expo features various activities, including exhibitions, discussions and workshops, and provides information and live services to youth on careers, jobs and work exposure, as well as how to start, run and operate a business.

On 17 June, Fliptin will partner with Veromo Enterprise to host a digital dialogue under the theme, “21st Century Skills”, which will bring together leaders from the corporate and government sectors, academics, entrepreneurs and job-seekers to discuss the accessibility of opportunities for young people.

The Motlanthe Foundation says throughout the series of events, learners will be mentored by leading professionals and entrepreneurs to deliver a stimulating series of workshops to excite and inspire the youth to reach their fullest potential.

“All content is carefully crafted to merge technology and entrepreneurship through an understanding of tech (AI), as well as design thinking and business models.”