Celebrate International Women’s Day with Women In Tech Ghana at iSpace

Women in Tech Ghana in commemoration of International Women Day (IWD) will be convening two programs in Collaboration with iSpace Ghana and Female in Mobile Entrepreneurship to support women leaders and entrepreneurs.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political, and social achievements.

The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March during International Women’s Year 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

The Programs are:
Talk on Personal Branding with Otema Yirenkyi (Microsoft Ghana Country Manager) on Personal Branding and Lead Nurturing

Venue: iSpace Ghana
Date: Thursday 5th March 2015
Time: 6pm – 8.30pm

Free Event, but places are limited. Get tickets at https://egotickets.com/events/women-in-tech-ghana-march-event

Half a Day Training Session for Female Entrepreneurs on Technology for Business Growth and Marketing on a Budget by Industry experts like Ethel Cofie (CEO of Edel Tech and President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellow) and Ebenezer Amankwah (Head of Corporate Communication Vodafone Ghana)

Venue: iSpace Ghana
Date: Friday 6th March 2015
Time: 9am-2pm
Free Event, but only 25 spots are available. Please apply to be invited at http://goo.gl/forms/1glFk4ongp

Women in Tech Ghana
Women in Technology Ghana is a networking group focused on two main goals encouraging women and girls into Science, Technology , Engineering and  Math careers  and  preventing  women dropping out of technology roles and careers  through  education, providing opportunities and by sharing experiences and lessons learnt. Women in Tech Ghana is affiliated with Women in tech Africa.

Female in Mobile Entrepreneurship
Female in Mobile Entrepreneurship’s goal is to build a community of female entrepreneurs, who are connected and trained with the relevant skills, and to support and enable them to use the right tools to develop mobile applications. In doing so, we also aim to foster entrepreneurship and empower females by inspiring and encouraging them to challenge the status quo.

iSpace Ghana
iSpace Ghana is a unique environment where technology startups can start up faster. We nurture a local network of like-minded and focused tech entrepreneurs, providing space for them to work, meet, collaborate, learn and have fun. By getting the right people together in a physical space, good things happen.

Ethel Cofie Shortlisted As Part of 5 Women in UN ITU GEM Tech Awards

As part of the United Nation(UN) and International Telecommunications Union (ITU) GEM Tech Awards, Ethel Cofie was  1 of 5 shortlisted from over 360 nominations for the GEM Tech Awards under the Category : Promoting Women in ICT Sector. Winners will be announced at PP-14 on 28th October 2014. Below is the list of the 5 shortlisted candidates for the same category. Categories which have Africans shortlisted are also listed here.

CATEGORY 3:  Promoting Women in ICT Sector – initiatives aimed at attracting, retaining and promoting women within the ICT sector and into decision-making positions (private and public sector)
Luna Shamsuddoha – President, Bangladesh Women in Technology (Bangladesh)
Luna’s efforts have been in gender equality and inclusion of women and girls through education participation in the ICT sector in particular. She has been engaged in a number of activities to promote gender empowerment within the ICT sector including leadership roles in private business, government and the banking sector, and advocacy work through speaking roles and work with various NGOs.
Ethel Cofie – Founder, Women in Technology Alliance Africa (Ghana)
Ethel Cofie is the founder of the Women in Tech group in Ghana, a platform to help women in the ICT industry grow and climb the cooperate ladder with networking sessions. The events have brought together a variety of speakers such as Estelle Akrofi, Country Manager of Google, and Otema Yirenkyi, Country Manager of Microsoft Ghana, who draw on their diverse range of backgrounds and personal experiences to discuss tips, tricks, and anecdotes on how women can take advantage of changes happening in the high tech world.
Ifat Baron – Executive Director, ITWorks-Empowering People (Israel)
Ifat Baron established ITWorks, an Israeli non-profit organization in 2006, to provide economically disenfranchised women throughout Israel with technological training, professional skills, and job placement support, helping them launch careers in unfilled positions in Israel’s hi-tech and communications industries. ITWorks has provided approximately 1,100 women with the tools for financial self-sufficiency and long-term integration into Israel’s thriving technology sectors, successfully maintaining a 73% quality job placement rate.
Dr Salim Sultan Salim Al Ruzaiqi – CEO, Information Technology Authority (Oman)
Dr Salim is active in bridging the digital gender divide and empowering women in Oman. Realising that Omani women cannot be left behind in the pursuit of knowledge in the digital age, he has implementation of various capacity building initiatives targeted for Omani women, so they become avid users and contributors in a knowledge-based economy.
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT (UK)
Established in 2007, BCSWomen is a group of almost 1500 IT professionals who, as volunteers, work on numerous initiatives to encourage more women to join the IT profession and support those who are part of it, including training courses, virtual activities using social media and discussion groups. The group comprises women working in technology based roles from across all industry sectors and has an international membership. 
Other African Persons and Projects shortlisted under different categories:
CATEGORY 1: ICT Applications, Content, Production Capacities and Skills for Women’s Social, Political Empowerment and Women’s Empowerment Linkages with Sustainable Development.
Muso Ladamunen – MAMMA project (Mobile Mothers against Malaria in Mali) (Mali)
UNESCO – Women in African History: An E-Learning Tool (Ethiopia)
Women in African History: An E-Learning Tool is a platform that consists of multimedia educational resources including comic strips, audio modules, and quizzes which highlight the role of women in African history.
CATEGORY 2: ICT Applications, Content, Production Capacities and Skills for Women’s Economic Empowerment and Poverty Reduction
Sophie Kumwanje – Malawi Country Manager, Grow Movement, (Malawi)
Grow Movement provides virtual consultancy to female entrepreneurs, aimed at improving their ICT, financial literacy and marketing skills which enables each woman to run their businesses better, employ more people in their community and earn more money.
Asikana Network (Zambia)
The organization aims to increase female participation in computer science. In order to do so, the Asikana Network focuses on teaching ICT skills to young girls, paying particular attention to vulnerable girls so that they can access better jobs
CATEGORY 4:  Enabling Girls to Become ICT Creators – initiatives aimed towards providing girls with an opportunity to become not just active users but also creators of ICTs and content
CEFEPROD (Women’s Centre for the Promotion of Development) (Cameroon)
The organization is engaged in multiple activities to encourage women and girls to participate in the ICT sector. These include annual ‘Girls in ICT Day’ celebrations which aim to encourage thousands of young girls to choose science courses and careers in the ICT sector by giving talks in schools, hosting competitions  and inviting female leaders in the ICT sector  to share their experiences with the girls.
Category 5: Closing the ICT Gender Gap – Ensuring ICT accessibility for women, such as digital literacy training and ensuring affordable and meaningful access to ICTs by women. Initiatives aimed at measuring the ICT gender gap including research and data on women’s engagement with ICTs and their impact
Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) (Nigeria)
Set up in 2008, the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) builds the capability of Nigerian girls and women to increase their economic power and to speak about issues affecting their lives through information and communication technology (ICT)-based training and projects, focusing on education, activism, entrepreneurship, and professional activities.
Category 6: Efforts to Reduce Threats Online and Building Women’s Confidence and Security in the Use of ICTs
Association for Progressive Communication (APC) – Feminist Tech Exchanges (FTX) (South Africa)
Through skills diffusion and capacity building, the Feminist Tech Exchange (FTX) empowers women’s rights organizations, advocates and feminists. FTXs train women’s rights advocates in essential internet, audio and other technical skills to enable them to use technology to more effectively to document abuses, build knowledge, disseminate information, mobilize support and amplify pressures for change
Category 7: ICT and Broadband strategies policies, framework that promote women’s digital empowerment
Federal Ministry of Communication Technology (Nigeria)
The social and economic transformation of Nigeria requires that the economically active population be empowered and productive. Women, a significant part of this population, traditionally tend to be marginalized, but ICTs provide a useful avenue for the inclusion and active participation of women in development.
For further details about the Awards finalists, please visit http://www.itu.int/en/action/women/gem/Pages/finalists.aspx

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

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

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.

We Hanged Out With The Ladies at Women In Tech Night

Quite recently, a lot of discussion has been going on concerning women empowerment in Tech, especially in Ghana. With the exploits of Tech Needs Girls, and very soon, STEMBees, we are sure young girls in Ghana are off to a great start in the sciences thanks to the great support from the community.

Since January this year, the Women In Tech event has been taking place each month bringing together women, and some men, in tech to deliberate on issues relating to women and their contributions to tech in Ghana.

Yesterday’s event was its first to be held at the AITI-KACE. The discussion centered on e-commerce in Ghana. The night featured 5 reps from the Rocket Internet powerhouse, AIH. Carmudi, Lamudi, EasyTaxi, Kaymu, and Hello Foods represented the e-commerce community in Ghana. Most of the discussions involved their operations in Ghana, and the lessons they have learnt.

For most of these businesses, the almost-nonexistent presence of Ghanaians online made it difficult for them. Other logistical issues like address systems, etc. all came up.

The presence of Google Ghana Manager was felt as she offered some insights into the listings market with respect to her Google Trader experience. The meeting was streamed live, and can be watched on YouTube, any day.

I think a lot more of such events will be helpful to young women who have plans of going into tech in Ghana. We’ll fill you in on subsequent Women In Tech Events to come. To the team behind this initiative, we say Kudos!