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Agang Ditlhogo – All we wanted was to teach kids and teens how to code

Agang Ditlhogo is passionate about education. She is a co-founder of The Clicking Generation ICT Academy for Kids and Teens. It is a social enterprise that offers computing and technology curriculum to kids and teens. Also, she is currently National Expert for UN-World Summit Award Organization, Ambassador-ITU Young Innovator Competition, Ambassador-Africa Code Week and PR Officer – Internet Society (ISOC) local chapter. Agang forms part of the prestigious Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship program. She is also a Mandela Washington Fellow 2016, an initiative by U.S. State Department. She was selected as OkayAfrica Magazine publication top 100 women in 2017. Agang is an Atlas Corps Fellow currently working at Tetra Tech as an International Energy and Internet Fellow.  What led you to choose ICT as the path you wanted to work in? When I first saw the computer back in Junior School I was beyond fascinated. I envisioned what I had previously seen in sci-fi movies and I wanted to learn more. Interestingly, I didn’t know then that I’ll be in a related career and I just forgot all about it. I had always known I wanted an engineering related career and when I found out about computer science I got excited. After a one year BSc program, I joined the Computer Information Systems stream. I have since evolved and I now have a focus on ICT4Development as an emerging field of focus. You co-founded your social enterprise, The Clicking Generation, what has that journey been like? The Clicking Generation (TCG) is an ICT Academy for kids and teens. We offer age-appropriate, fun and explorative learning of ICT and computing concepts for boys and girls in both rural and urban Botswana. We are loud, colorful and fun! The mandate is simple, we want to contribute to the education system of Botswana. Our programs are designed to expose learners to tools and resources that will not only enhance their logic and creative thinking but encourage them to become innovators of socially relevant technology solutions. It has been an interesting journey thus far. Imagine this, two ‘naïve’ techies Tsaone Gaborone and myself with zero experience in curriculum design, financial management principles, and many other elements. All we knew was we wanted to teach kids and teens how to code. We have since come a long way and through professional and self-development efforts continue to embrace the principles of social change and all the related technical factors. What prompted your decision not to work a full-time job? I had worked in an Academic Institution for seven years both on the academic and IT technical aspects. Crazy notion! I left a permanent and pensionable job for a dream, who does that? The intention was to focus on business strategy for the social enterprise. I quickly realized what it takes to be an entrepreneur, it is a specialized field that requires bravery and a distinct DNA. I remain a devoted social- entrepreneur and believe in change maker ideals that foster change. Fast forward a couple of years, I decided to take up working as a local United Nations volunteer and continued technical development work. It has been an interesting career journey and I currently serve as International Energy & Internet Fellow with Tetra Tech based in Washington, DC through the Atlas Corps Fellowship.You were a Tony Elumelu Fund Recipient and have been selected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship, and Atlas Corps Fellowship, how has this shaped your journey? It has been a blessing being selected for these leadership opportunities. The technical takeaways of these programs have positioned both my personal and professional outlook. I have had moments to self-reflect which have allowed me to apply servant leadership strategies and principles to my current efforts. However, I continue to meet inspirational young leaders across the world whose bravery is depicted in their various efforts to contribute to their communities. These moments are treasured and I’ll continue to be encouraged and validated. I would encourage young changemakers to seek these opportunities, apply and be ready to teach and learn. Why did you think is philanthropy important for your career or personal growth? I have in the past volunteered with both local and international organizations. There is power in willingness to learn, genuine willingness always reveals limitless possibilities. It is a simple principle really but may as well be the opportunity that announces you to your next level. I have realized that there is something that you have that the next person needs big or small you have something to offer, this has been a great lesson. What has been your greatest achievement, and what disappointments have you dealt with since you started your journey? One of my highlights in recent months has been part of the coordinating team with SIMI Movement (She.Is.My.Inspiration). This is a mentorship program for young women matched with industry’s influential women from various sectors. The interaction has brought several personal AHA! moments that I was in much need of. I also treasure time spent on implementing GirlsInICT and #eSkills4Girls programs. Far too many disappointments! They come in sometimes being unsure of this journey, constantly requiring personal validation and income statements that make you question WHY? Why do I continue to do this? I will testify of God’s goodness during these times because amidst many reasons to give up there is always assurance unexplainable. What’s your advice for Motherland Moguls interested in starting a social enterprise? Where should they start?  Be intentional! Identify your value-add and be deliberate about your personal and professional branding. It is all about character and discipline in the journey to ‘becoming’. Genuine work and effort have the ability to introduce you to your targeted audience.    Be teachable in the Potter’s hands! God is the revealer of destiny and if you complement your journey with hard work and faith you will be well on your way. What passions do you explore outside of your business? I love poetry. Although I do not write as often as I used to, poetry