Member Spotlight-Sylvia Mukasa from Kenya

Member SpotLight(Sylvia Mukasa)

Sylvia is a professional with considerable hands-on experience in Strategy Planning and business development, Balanced Scorecard & Performance Management, Market Research & Analysis,Tactical Marketing, Business Process Improvement/Excellence (Six Sigma), commercial operations, program management and accounting with exposure in working in extremely competitive markets in Sub Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom.

She has experience in various sectors including Oil & Energy,Healthcare, ICT and Telecommunications.

Sylvia has been Ericsson Innovation Coach nominee to help coach and support employees with innovative ideas in Sub Saharan Africa to boost creation of New Business Development and Innovation from within.

Sylvia was selected as a TechWomen Emerging leader from Africa,an Initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs from 1400 applications from Africa & the Middle East in 2014.

She founded GlobalX Investments Ltd in 2014 due to her passion to use technology in solving business issues as well as provide solutions with a social impact using ICT & Telecommunications.

Mentoring Girls to Embrace Tech the Vision of Virginia Wairimu

The dynamism in technology is one of the reasons I choose this career, there is not one boring moment when you are in the technology world. We all wake up and there is something different each day, it’s thrilling and exciting. Being a lady in technology is even better; the look of surprise on people’s faces when you tell them you are an IT specialist makes one feel good about one’s self. The journey has been both exciting and full of challenges while some of us women might lose hope along the way, I choose to hang on and fight.

I love science and engineering and it’s my hope that we can get as many girls as possible to do same. In my college class five years ago, we were only ten girls out of an estimated sixty students, out of the ten a few of us graduated and currently I know of none of them who is actively into the technology profession. Well that is a sad situation in itself and one that we all need to work hard to change. Things are changing fast though and more women are taking up science, engineering and technology courses but we are not there yet.

After school I joined Flex communications which is a software development company as a programmer ,I was also involved in customizing custom-made software’s to fit organization’s needs. Programming is a challenging career and it’s even hard when you are lady and you have people who believe you cannot deliver because of your gender. I had many incidences where I would get assigned only simple tasks while my male colleagues got all the challenging projects. It was demoralizing but I have always had a positive attitude and a fighting spirit.

After leaving Flex I joined CARE international, an NGO dealing with humanitarian work as an ICT officer where am currently working, I do IT support and ensure the daily running of technical and communication equipment’s for the organization, besides that I also develop different kinds software’s and market them to companies as a side business.

My goal is to setup Computer labs in primary and secondary schools across Kenya and equip them with computers, trainers and internet. We will introduce computer skills to girls at a younger age and help them build a good foundation of technology. We will also mentor these girls to take up STEM courses when they join institutions of higher learning. We want women to take up more science courses since the field is under represented with a huge percentage of the jobs in science being done by men.

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Virginia Wairimu  is Kenyan IT graduate with Bias in software development using Vb.Net, C# among other languages as well as IT software & Hardware support and networking. I’m hoping to start coding classes for young girls and ladies to mentor them to join IT and the Tech world. Currently I’m working as an ICT officer with CARE International in Kenya, which is an international NGO dealing with humanitarian activities among other projects; previously I have worked with Flex Communications as a Software developer. I also have an interest in writing and photography.

I’m in the process of initiating a project that will see young girls in primary and secondary schools get formal training on technology which will include basic computer skills to advanced education such as coding as well as mentorship to these girls to encourage them to take up science and engineering courses. We will also train them on how to be creative and innovative using technology and also use technology for enterprise purposes.

Exciting Speakers for the Women in Tech Africa UK Event

On the 9th of July 2015 , Women in Tech Africa will be launching the Diaspora group in London UK .

Please book you tickets on Eventbrite

We have the pleasure of  announcing exciting speakers

Lola Oyelayo

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A passionate designer and researcher and with over 10 years experience in the field, Lola has developed her skills working in multi-disciplinary teams in large organisations and digital agencies, delivering delightful digital products. A self-confessed perfectionist, Lola is extremely vocal and knowledgeable about creating a sustainable future for user-centred thinking and design, a journey which has seen her become Scrum Certified and an official member of the “Agile is best” club.

Rashada Harry

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Rashada is responsible for driving fixed infrastructure business opportunities in a global capacity at Vodafone Global Enterprise. She possesses a strong track record of new business development, account management and consultative selling into Enterprise client organisations offset against aggressive sales targets (in excess of $50m). Prior to joining Vodafone she spent 10 years with Cisco where she worked as a global business development manager for EMEAR (Europe Middle East Africa & Russia).  She is co-Director of “Your Future Your Ambition” (www.yourfutureyourambition.com) an initiative aimed at creating an awareness and encouraging young people from diverse backgrounds that studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) at school, college or university can open doors to an array of careers. Rashada was a STEM Leader finalist in the 2014 inaugural Black British Awards and is a nominee in the National Diversity Awards 2015.

Ethel Cofie

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Ethel Cofie is CEO and founder of EDEL Technology Consulting, an IT consulting and digital products company, and Mandela Fellow for President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. A high caliber IT professional with over 12 years’ experience working in the UK, Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, she has worked on the Bill and Melinda Gates Mobile Technology for Health project and the Ford Foundation”s Election Monitoring project for Nigeria. She also served as head of commercial solutions for Vodafone. She is the founder of Women in Tech Africa, which brings together women in over 30 countries, and will open offices in Zambia, Nigeria, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo and Benin in the coming months. She initiated the first pan-African Women in Tech meet up and was a finalist for the United Nations Gender Equality Mainstreaming – Technology Award for her work supporting women in IT. She has been featured on BBC and CNN for her work, and she sits on the boards of numerous companies in Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Emem Rita Usanga

Emem Usanga is the CEO and Co-Founder of InvestWell. She has 18 years business development experience in the media industry from magazines to digital, in corporates and startups. Emem previously worked for companies such as WPP’s 24/7 Real Media and Glow Digital Media. InvestWell is the sixth startup that she will be working in and her first foray into Finance

Josiah Kwesi Eyison

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Josiah Kwesi Eyison,  Co-Founder and CEO of iSpace Foundation, bringing more than 15 years of experience and expertise in management. Kwesi holds a HND in New Technology, Media and Communication from University of East London and a Business Management degree with the open university.

He was the West Africa Regional CEO for Quintessentially, a luxury concierge service company with over 40 offices worldwide. Josiah was the Events and Business  Development Manager for Learning Without Frontiers, a global platform for thinkers and practitioners from the education, digital media, technology and entertainment sectors who come together to explore how new disruptive technologies can drive radical efficiency and importance in learning.

Envisioning My World – Emily Achieng

I trace my interest in technology to a childhood passion. My passion came from a place of insight and simplicity. I used to scoff and cringe during my High School years on hearing that there are not enough women in technology. Much in my current life has been shaped by my younger years; a gradually developed interest that has in a long run influenced me in a good way.

Alongside being a technology enthusiast, I am a writer. I am doing lots of poetry to be a better engineer one time. I find writing and programming similar in the sense that they both involve lone time trying to create something interesting. Their brevity and hidden meaning and all make me know myself better. That inward energy gives me a great feeling of accomplishment.

I derive most of my energy from being surrounded by people. Meeting incredible people has made me view life through a hue and tint of imagination. It is through these tech gatherings that I have managed to answer my endless questions to satisfy my curiosity.  I am now conscious that technology was meant for me. There is no mechanical way of learning other than the golden chance of brushing shoulders with people and talking to them. To me, actualizing a dream begins with talking. I have talked to many women I have met and we have shared our interests, what the world lacks, happenings that affect us in a way.

I admire women who have influenced a change in the technology world from afar. I dream of being there too someday. The world is crying out for more women who can venture in technology, and I want to be one of the women who can elbow their way out of patriarchy to silence the cry.

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Bio 

“Achieng’ Emily is a Kenyan technology lover and writer. She loves watching stars at night. And better still, looks at them more than most people do. ”

Technology as my Foundation-Lola Banjo

I chose a career in Technology because I just didn’t know what I wanted to do in life but I was confident I would do well as I’m a strong believer of the saying “Anything worth doing is worth doing well”.

As an IT student, I decided to take a part time job in an SEO company and specialized in Link Building and Search Engine Optimization without having a clue about it. I just knew I was going to be helping my company make millions of dollars online. I put my mind into it and eventually understood the complete basics of Web Marketing (Search Engine Optimization, Link Building and Online Marketing).

This experience opened doors of opportunity into the Online World where I got my first International Job via the Internet as a Web Marketing Analyst. My goal was simple – To Capture Online Users looking to visit China for the Summer Games in 2008.

With my Digital Marketing experience in China, I developed a career in Hospitality Digital Marketing for one of the best hospitality giants in the World and as I continue to evolve, I have gone further to achieve a Masters in Marketing to really understand how core fundamentals of Marketing combine with Core Digital and Information Technology to drive a business forward.

My Career Dream is to be best that I can in any field using my foundational IT skills to improve in everything I do. I am currently looking to take a course in General Leadership Management to integrate Technology into a business. We can’t run away from Technology in fact with the rate at which Technology is fast evolving, it has become fundamental to any business today. I am passionate about Technology as it has shown me how much of an impact it can be in one’s personal life and business today.

Image Source: http://sorianomedia.com/infographic-digital-marketing/

Lola Banjo

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Lola Banjo is a seasoned Digital and Marketing Expert in the Hospitality, Travel & Leisure space.

Over 10 years’ experience across Asia, Middle East & Africa

Connect with Me on Linked In. https://ae.linkedin.com/in/lbanjo

Who Are We ?

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In the past few years there has been a flourishing number of self-organisation amongst African women in technology. Many focus on encouraging women entering the field as coders, IT managers and to establish enterprises that increase women’s socio-economic well-being. Projects have also focused on improving self-reliance and livelihoods in rural areas.

In order to identify and learn from other Women in Technology organisations in Africa, Women in Technology Ghana spear headed and run the first Pan African women in tech virtual meet up which brought together over 150 women in technology roles across Africa and was featured in CNN.

The success of this process resulted established a formal Pan-African Network of Women in Technology to organise regular activities to provide effective support to women in technology across the African continent.

Women in Tech Africa’s Vision is three fold
• Creating today’s female leaders and role Models for tomorrow’s Women
• Showing the world what a strong African woman in capable of achieving
• Support African growth through technology

Africa Women in Tech is the brainchild of ICT4D GH Foundation
[slideshare id=48522779&doc=womenintechafricapresentation-150523194939-lva1-app6892] Women in Tech Africa routinely runs event across Africa including:
• First Pan African Women in Tech virtual conference
• Quarterly meetings in Ghana showcasing successful women in tech in that country including head of Google, head of Microsoft Africa
• Joint Women and Tech and USAID Program on the subject of women and technology, the future of Africa
• Women in Technology sessions in Lagos Nigeria at Africa biggest social media event , social media Lagos
• Training for Women Entrepreneurs on the use on technology for business growth

IMPACTING AFRICAN BUSINESSES: ONE BUSINESS AT A TIME

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My dream is to become a business management expert. I chose this career because, I want to help businesses make the right business decisions for success.
The journey has not been easy because I never studied any business related course in high school or the University for that Matter except a little entrepreneurship I studied as a minor course during my undergraduate studies in Bsc. Agricultural Engineering. After graduation, I was posted to a bank to do my national service. I found it very confusing working in a business environment when I was coming from an engineering background. But I later realized that I was doing very well in that area. When I completed my national service, my mum who also runs multiple businesses, employed me as a manager for her businesses that gave me the opportunity to nurture my skills and gain a certain level of expertise. I began to execute my duties with so much flare and translated leads into sales.
My appointment as regional coordinator for Youth Enterprises and Skills Development Center (YESDEC) catapulted my business management desire to another level. My region was adjudged the best during the project period. Since then I have managed and still managing other promising businesses.
My dream is to reach the highest echelon in business management and strategy not only in Africa but internationally. Also to impact positively into the business culture focusing on African businesses.
In order to achieve this, I will equip myself with the right knowledge, gain more practical experience and make a positive impact at every opportunity that comes my way.

SHORT BIO
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Selasi Segbedzi holds a BSc. in Agricultural Engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. She also holds an Executive Certificate in Projects Management. She
Oversees the day-to-day management and strategic direction of Jayset Consulting. She focuses on building high-performing teams, continuously improving our solutions and clients’ experiences, and identifying new services at the center of transparency and accountability, results management.
Selasi Segbedzi also served as the Regional Coordinator for Youth Enterprises and Skills Development Centre (YESDEC), a social intervention and innovation programme that develops the skills of young entrepreneurs, creating jobs and making jobs more accessible and actionable. Selasi has extensive experience in management, team leading and projects/programmes management, and working with governments and donors.
Previously, Selasi worked with Ghana Commercial Bank as a Back Office Executive, Barclays Bank as a Support Staff and currently at Afromod Trends as Operations Manager

Our Android development Lecturer is a lady-Rachael Orum

Not just Girls go to school; it is Girls to Tech …

Our Android development Lecturer is a lady!!!

I get this expression of surprise from students every time I step into a class for the first time. My name is Rachael Orum or [G+], and I am a woman in Tech.
I have great passion for Technology, this passion begun 8years ago (2007) when I was a level 100 student in the ICT Department at the “Université Africaine de Technologie et Management” Cotonou, Republic. of Benin
I finished my Masters in Software Development Engineering in 2012. I learnt a lot while serving as an intern in some software laboratories in Benin and in Cameroun during my studies.

Coupled with my software orientation is a Degree in Linguistics which I acquired at the “Université D’Abomey Calavi”, Calavi. Rep. of Benin in 2009.
I am an impending Doctorate Degree student in Computer Linguistics; I developed a prototype “Yoruba Language Individualized Language Learning ” software which I intend to work on.

I lecture programming languages (web and mobile) and databases at the “Université Africaine de Technologie et Management” since 2012. I also founded the [UATM Developers Orb] and the [Cercle de s développeurs de l’UATM]

I run a start up company [SENS ORBIT] since 2013; we have deployed soft solutions for some companies here in Benin. I am currently leading the Google Developers Group [Women Tecmakers’ community at Abomey Calavi], Republic of Benin.

I Chose Software Development engineering because I want to make the world a better place by creating software that solve people’s problems. Also, sharing what I know is an exciting thing for me. I love to teach young and passionate youth like myself.

Down the road of teaching tech.

My interest in Female Technological Awareness aroused when I was in level 100 in the University and found myself in a class of 40 boys with only 2 girls. I immediately realized that most girls do not have the luxury of having parents and folks like mine who made me believe I can do anything I love to do.

This became a clarion call for me. Through my few years of Lecturing, I encourage my students to go for the Software Development specialty; the female students in particular.

This has not yielded much fruit as the number of female students in the ICT department is still very few and those of them going for the Software Development specialty are even fewer. I cross-checked with other schools here in Benin, The statistics are the same.

This is because most students if not all, already decide what they want to become before filling a university admission form.

The solution to this, would only be introducing programming to girls before they are able to decide which career they want to venture in; that is WHEN THEY ARE STILL IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS/HIGH SCHOOLS.

Decision comes from interest; interest is birthed by knowledge.

I believe that the decrease in the number of females in the software industry is not a question of lack of interest but rather that of orientation. My vision is to have a lot Girls who go to school to study software development
This vision will become a reality when more girls decide to dive into the world of information Technology at all levels.

This can be achieved if we center where girls can learn programming after school.
We are sure to raise over 5000 girl developers within the space of 3 years.

THIS IS MY DREAM…

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Bio 

Lecturer

African University of Technology and Management

Algorithms, Web Programming, Xml galaxy and Databases

Links 

[G+] 

[Girls who code] 

[SENS ORBIT] 

[Women Techmakers community at Abomey Calavi] 

[UATM Developpers Orb] 

Technology is About Efficiency -Sherifah Tumusiime(My Dream)

Wikipedia defines technologist broadly: A technologist is a specialist who is trained to perform work in a field of technology. I believe a better definition of a technologist is “a person who manipulates resources in the most efficient manner using specialized technology available to complete a task”.

This really appeals to me as efficiency, sufficiency and creative thinking have been part of my life from when I was very young and thus has fuelled my desire to become a Professional technologist.

There have been uncountable engineering feats that have awed the world. From the first moon landing, the construction of the Hoover Dam, the Panama Canal, the Millau Viaduct to the Hadron Collider, used to discover the birth of the Universe, to the mechanics of a can opener, irrespective of the size of the project, engineering principles coupled with diligent application, have enhanced the accelerating technological age and have made our lives easier. On the flip side, it does not take long before one reads in the world headlines the signs of climate catastrophe, diminishing resources and human tragedy resulting from malfunctioning, poorly designed equipment and/or poorly engineered technology. These are the avoidable issues that we cannot afford to ignore.

From international world class mountain bikes to nail clippers, practically any part of anything man-made can be attributed to an engineer or more probably a team of engineers using a particular technology. Opportunities for improvement are everywhere; we just need the right sort of people and the technology to achieve them.
I have been strongly influenced by having grown up in an environment of computing and technology. My mother, an IT officer, has always shared the benefits and challenges of her job and the way it impacted the rest of the organization and this sparked my enthusiasm for technology. I started out by being an intern in the network department of MTN, a multinational African telecom rising up to being a leader of a team of Data Centre Operations Engineers. I am currently the CEO of Zimba Group LTD, an IT firm that develops e-solutions for small and medium enterprises with a focus on women-led organisations.

I intend to be part of the new generation of technologists who help Africa rise to the challenge of developing efficient, ecologically aware and forward thinking regarding systems and technologies.

Technology is about using resources efficiently to find solutions to challenges. I find this not only fulfilling but enjoyable. I want to go to work each day, being part of a team and doing something to make a difference in Africa, is a dream job in my eyes.

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Bio

Sherifah Tumusiime(Uganda)

A fiery entrepreneur and independent thinker with proven abilities in web development, project management, communications, and IT services. She is an enthusiastic and high-achieving IT professional with a Bachelor of Computer Science with over 5 years’ experience in information systems. She is currently the CEO of Zimba Group Ltd, an Adtech company providing technical and software solutions for SME’s.