The African Women Global Technology Initiative is a cross-border networking series designed to gather ideas to close the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in African countries. This initiative was started by a group of young women with a shared objective; to motivate and inspire women and girls to pursue careers in technology by organizing cross-border networking events.
The event is relevant to the fulfillment of SDG Goals 4 and 5 which are Quality Education and Gender Equality respectively. The first tech meetup held at Vivian Fowler Memorial College, Oregun, Lagos on Friday June 28th, 2019 with students from Leeland College, Veritas College and Vivian Fowler Memorial College in attendance.
Abisoye Akinfolarin of Pearls Africa who is one of the CNN Heroes of 2018 gave the keynote speech. In her speech, she shared how she started her career in technology and the challenges she faced over the years. She inspired the students to keep trying in their chosen professions even when things don’t seem to be working. The opening remark was given by Esther Nwaka, where she spoke about her career and role as a technology associate at Morgan Stanley. She encouraged the students to step above cultural limitations and realize their goals.
After this was the panel session with Dami Solesi, the founder and CEO of Smids Animation and Esther Nwaka, a tech associate at Morgan Stanley as panelists. The panel session was moderated by Teniola Awokulehin, a technology associate at Morgan Stanley. The panelists discussed starting a career as a woman in technology, courses to study in the University and ultimately how to succeed in a tech oriented workplace. Blessing Ayeni, a Software engineer from Andela also gave some insights into her career in technology.
There was also a mentorship session were students interacted with the speakers and asked them questions about resources for starting their tech careers. The closing remark was given by Ommo Clarke, CEO of Ibez Nigeria where she spoke about opportunities in Technology.
Scholarships were given to one student from each participating school to attend “She Creates” coding camp organized by Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC). The recipients were those who emerged as the best computer science students in their respective schools. The scholarship covered tuition, feeding, boarding and educational resources. The coding camp will give the awarded students a chance to learn programming outside of the school environment and hopefully inspire them to take more computer science courses in school.
The inaugural meet-up of the African Women Global technology Initiative was an opportunity for female tech leaders to give back and we look forward to more success stories from this organization.
Click here to learn more about the awesome work from AWGTI.