Podcast of the week: Marieme Jamme – The tech gender gap is #solvable

iamthecode marieme jamme

The digital gender gap sees 200 million fewer women online than men. To redress the balance, Marieme Jamme’s iamtheCODE plans to get one million disadvantaged girls coding by 2030.

I wrote an open letter to Bono and Bob Geldof and asked them to back off from Africa.”

“You wrote to them – just to make this clear – on the blog that you created after teaching yourself to read and write, teaching yourself to code and building yourself at a public library?”


Marieme Jamme makes an extraordinary interviewee in this 25-minute episode on tech equality. She is a woman with an incredible personal journey and an ambitious plan for the future to support one million young women and girls around the world to thrive through tech skills and coding by 2030.

Marieme was abandoned as a child in rural Senegal before being raped at 11 years old and trafficked to France where the abuse continued. After making her way to England, at the age of 16 she used a local library to teach herself how to read and write before moving into the field of technology.

Marieme’s story involves her writing a letter in response to celebrity attempts to help Africans via Live Aid and other charity drives, being nominated by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader and, most recently, starting up a global coding project for girls, iamtheCODE.

So far 14,000 young women and girls (aged six to 25) across 64 countries have joined iamtheCODE, with no PR or marketing. With 986,000 more to reach over the next decade, Marieme is determined and unfazed.

The project has brought training to girls in a refugee camp in Kenya as well as to those in favelas in Brazil. It offers free content which can be used in digital clubs, young offender institutions or prisons.

Marieme is using technology to empower women and girls around the world, presenting women as agents of change and agents of development.

I believe that coding is the future.”

Individuals and organisations can get involved by becoming a mentor or ambassador, running a hackathon or providing space. Find out more here.

  • Solvable is a podcast by The Rockefeller Foundation, interviewing innovative thinkers who are working to solve the world’s biggest problems.