STEMBees Launches To Promote Girl-Child Engagement in Science and Tech

Over the years, there has been a growing interest in grooming young girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. In Ghana, we’ve had our own fair share of such initiatives such as Tech Needs Girls. In this same regard, a new organization, STEMBees, has been launched in Accra by a groups of young software entrepreneurs.

STEMbees is a non-profit organisation founded by software entrepreneurs Angela Koranteng and Linda Ansong. They realized that there is a tremendous need for females in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields to encourage and mentor young women so they might help minimize the gender gap prevalent in STEM fields.

The organization was launched at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology when they undertook a 2-day STEM workshop with 30 young girls from the Korle Gonno Girls Basic School, the only girls basic school in Accra.

Speaking with Linda Ansong she said, “our main goal and vision is to encourage and mentor more young African women to pursue their dreams and careers in STEM. STEMbees’ ultimate goal is to improve the statistics of women pursuing STEM-related courses and working in STEM fields. This requires generating greater interest and excitement about the many opportunities in STEM.”

The two day workshop brought together women entrepreneurs and leaders who shared their experiences across their journey. Ekua Odoom, Managing Director of Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology shared her story and experiences. Anne Amuzu of Nandimobile explained to the young girls to learn to take initiative, not regarding some occupations as for men only, reassuring the girls that its possible for them to be CEOs just as she is.

The workshops included typing games, Microsoft Office Sessions, Science experiments, an egg-throwing competition which tested their engineering acumen, etc. The girls had a lot of fun as they worked together with their mentors in groups, learning and exploring the sessions together.

Speaking with one of the young participants, Sarah, she said STEMBees and the stories she heard from the women leaders has helped her to understand that some careers are not gender-biased. It has given her the hope and the ambition to dream bigger, while putting in the effort to become the best she can be in her field.

Seeing young women in Ghana come up with such initiatives is reassuring. It would be encouraging to see support from the online and offline communities, to further STEM education among young girls, to promote development.

First Pan-African Women In Tech Meetup Happening 2nd August

Press Release
19/07/2014

First Pan-African Women in Tech Meetup

Working in technology can, at times, be an isolating experience for women, especially in Africa. The impact of this can limit women’s professional growth in the sector. Women need mentors, role-models and a network to share their experiences, challenges and skills.
Some Women in Technology clubs exist already, but to date, no-one has attempted to build a pan-African network, allowing us to compare our challenges, learn from other countries and connect across borders to expand our influence.
Therefore, we are pleased to announce the first ever pan-African Women in Tech meet up. This will take the form of a virtual event, supported by simultaneous live viewing events in selected cities: [Kampla, South Africa  and Ghana ] 

We’d like to invite you to join us for a day of learning, food and fun!
When: 2 August 2014, Time :12pm GMT:2pm CAT :3pm EAT – [1 hour]
Register for live stream event or viewing parties at https://womentechafrica.wordpress.com

Speakers:
Wabei Walusiku – Accenture (Zambia) 
Victoria Mbabazi(Uganda) 
Enyonam Kumahor CEO – Thoughtworks Africa ( Ghana) 
Please join us, whether you’re already working in technology or aspire to. Men are welcome if they bring at least one woman with them.

The first Pan-African Women in Tech meet up has been organised by Women in Tech Ghana, Women in Tech Zambia, Women in Tech Uganda, and Girls in ICT Rwanda. 

Planning team:
Ethel Cofie (Ghana) – A tech entrepreneur who is the founder of women in tech Ghana. She runs an IT consultancy and is working on launching accelerator program for tech startups. [ethel@ethelcofie.com]
Ethel (Ella) Mbewe (Zambia) – She is the  Co-founder of AsikanaNetwork,. A motivated, accomplished and versatile IT technician know for Android mobile development, web design.
Akaliza Keza Gara(Rwanda) – She is the founder of Yambi Animation Studios and a member of Girls In ICT Rwanda. She loves open source software, animated films and chocolate milkshakes! She is also the Advisory Council Member for Microsoft 4Afrika.
Barbara Birungi (Uganda) – Social Entrepreneur, ICT4D activist, Zero technological gender balance focused, woman activist mother, consultant .Founder of women in tech Uganda ,Director of hivecolab and board chair of Afrilabs
Chisenga Muyoya (Zambia) – She is an ambitious and highly motivated young woman with experience in the IT industry. Eager to learn and work with emerging technologies and runs women in tech Zambia.

The AMPION Venture Bus (formerly Startup Bus) Scheduled for DEMO Africa 2014!



Press Release
18th July 2014

AMPION Venture Bus Destined for DEMO Africa, Lagos

DEMO Africa is getting even fierier after a confirmation that the AMPION Venture Bus 2014 will land at the venue of the DEMO Africa event in Lagos, Nigeria. The collaboration will see the best start up team that emerges from this bus earning a chance to pitch at the opening session of DEMO Africa 2014.

The AMPION Venture Bus journey to DEMO Africa will begin on 19 September 2014 in Abidjan. Over the next five days Ampioneers will be travelling to Takoradi, Ghana; Lomé, Togo; Accra, Ghana; and Cotonou, Benin before arriving in Lagos on 24 September 2014. The trip is open to all tech designers, developers, mentors and investors and application is ongoing on http://www.ampion.org/#!info1/cfg6. The seats are highly subsidized and are going for as low as US$50.

Commenting on the new collaboration, DEMO Africa’s event director Mbugua Njihia emphasised the importance of joint efforts by various parties in boosting the start-up scene in Africa. “We are all working hard to raise the awareness among stakeholder on the importance of innovations across Africa. Joining hands gives us and even louder voice thus making better our chances to be heard.”

Excited about the move, Fabian Guhl, Managing Director of the Berlin and Harare based AMPION, commented that being able to participate at DEMO Africa is a double win. “We share a lot of the same vision and goals. I am very pleased that our Ampioneers will have the opportunity to access such a high calibre audience, particularly so soon after their awesome trip from Abidjan”

The AMPION Venture Bus will operate in the week preceding the DEMO Africa event ending its journey in Lagos on the 24th September 204. The Ampioners will then join the other participants at DEMO Africa, one of the most successful tech events in Africa,with an estimated US$10 million of investment and business value being raised in previous  iterations of the conference.

As has been witnessed in the previous events, the September event is expected to attract top notch African investors. Participants’ registration is already open on https://www.eventbrite.com/e/demo-africa-2014-tickets-10936486325. The secretariat has put together a special package for investor delegates which comprises: 15% discount on a DEMO Africa ticket, 15% discount on a VC4A Pro Account, Access to the companies’ financials, Ticket to the Investor Cocktail on DEMO Africa’s opening evening, Ticket to a special Investor Boomcamp as well as access to a special Investor Lounge and Deal Room at DEMO Africa. More information on this package can be found at http://vc4afri.ca/h6j8u

DEMO Africa 2014 is scheduled to take place between 22nd and 26th of September at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. This year’s event is being organized in collaboration with the LIONS@FRICA partners (Microsoft, Nokia, US State Department, DEMO, USAID, African Development Bank, VC4Africa among others) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies.

Top 40 Startups For DEMO Africa 2014 Announced

— BEGIN —

DEMO Africa has released the names of the forty start-ups that have qualified to launch their product on the DEMO Africa stage in September 2014.Topping the list is Nigeria with a total of 14 start-ups qualifying followed by Kenya, Ghana and Egypt. Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa and Ethiopia will each have two representatives while Tunisia, Benin, Cameroon, Uganda and Zimbabwe have earned their space at the DEMO Africa platform.

More than 400 hundred applications were received but only 242 had met the threshold for the adjudication. Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana recorded the highest number of entries.

Out of 12 categories for application, Communication attracted the highest number of applications with a total of 76 applications received, and it’s no wonder that this category will have the highest number of representation with 14 projects of the final forty being in this category. Finance and banking will also have a good representation of 8 out of 18 entries received. Other categories that will have high representation on the DEMO Africa stage include retail, health and education. Start-ups, however, shied away from Water & Sanitation, and Waste Management & Recycling. No entries were recorded for these two categories, an indication that stakeholder still have to work on entrepreneurs’ confidence to encourage homemade solutions across all sectors.

Commending the African entrepreneurs, the Nigeria Minister for Communication Technology, Honourable Mrs Omobola Johnson, stressed that; “This presents another opportunity for African tech startups. Africa may have missed out on the industrial revolution, but we surely will not in the ICT revolution. Through innovation, we will put Nigeria and Africa in general on the ICT map. Realizing the huge potential of the software industry, we have put in place a set of initiatives that will assist the tech startups to create successful businesses, which will directly create jobs and wealth.”

The DEMO Africa Executive Producer Harry Hare, acknowledged the efforts by all the participating start-ups and called upon the investors to support the work of these young entrepreneurs. ”We had really amazing entries this year, but unfortunately the DEMO Africa team can only accommodate forty for now. The high number of entries is inspiring. It only shows that entrepreneurs have risen above the fear of venturing into new waters to create new products. This in itself shows that confidence levels in Africa made solutions are steadily rising. I am confident that we will get to levels where we can generate solutions that can be applied globally.”

VC4Africa Founder, Ben White, observed that the standard of applications continues to rise each year with Victor Okigbo one of the DEMO Africa’s jurists supporting him by commenting that the judges task to shortlist the final forty was not easy.

The application for this year’s DEMO Africa opened in March 2014 closing in June. The applications were then fine combed by a panel comprising top minds in business and tech leaders from across Africa. The criterion for adjudication was the ability to link creativity, innovation, effectiveness and scalability.

The selected forty start-ups will have a chance to launch their products to an ecosystem of VCs, investors, tech acquisition specialists, IT buyers and media from across the region and around the globe. They will also benefit from one and a half month coaching and mentorship program to be spearheaded by DEMO Africa and the US State Department. The Mentorship program will be coordinated by Dr. Susan Amat, CEO, VentureHive and will include both local and international mentors and coaches.

As has been witnessed in the previous events, the September event is expected to attract top notch African investors. Participants registration is already open on https://www.eventbrite.com/e/demo-africa-2014-tickets-10936486325. The secretariat has put together a special package for investor delegates which comprises: 15% discount on a DEMO Africa ticket, 15% discount on a VC4A Pro Account, Access to the companies’ financials, Ticket to the Investor Cocktail on DEMO Africa’s opening evening, Ticket to a special Investor Boomcamp as well as access to a special Investor Lounge and Deal Room at DEMO Africa. More information on this package can be found at http://vc4afri.ca/h6j8u

DEMO Africa 2014 is scheduled to take place between 22nd and 26th of September at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. This year’s event is being organized in collaboration with the LIONS@FRICA partners (Microsoft, Nokia, US State Department, DEMO, USAID, African Development Bank, VC4Africa among others) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies.

— END —

The 40 Startups are:

Shamba Technologies
mergims
Prepclass
SmartPesa
Kitiwa
Cube
LocName
TrafficBytes
Oradian
MyeCampus.net
Nerve
SokoNect
IroFit
NiKweli
MobileJobs (mjobs) powered by SOMTEC
Online Hisab
PieRide
Hutbay
VOTO Mobile
Pliby
Jifunza
SpellAfrica Initiative
ASiM
Feedbackplus
SpacePointe
VIGO
Valuraha Group
Cribpark
Saisai
Chura
matibabu
Paysail
Integrated Medics
.CONNECT FINANCE
MuZik
What’sIn™
Foodstantly
Telecosys
The Pearl Dream Inc
InstaCare


For more information please contact:

Evelyne Wangui | Project and Communication Manager
Office:+254  20  404 1646
Mobile:+254  726 087 451
Email: evelyne.wangui@demo-africa.com

Mr. Yele Okeremi | Chairman, Nigerian Local Organising Committee

Mobile: +234 803 304 1049

Email: yele@thepfs.biz

Mbugua Njihia| DEMO Africa Event Director:Email:mbugua@demo-africa.com