The role of technology cannot be overlooked in the evolution of the world today. Every single innovation that has come up over time was conceived by an incredible person somewhere. Someone who saw a need to innovate.
This brings us to our Techprenuer of the week, Judith Owigar, 32 and from Nairobi, Kenya. A social entrepreneur to whom technology is a catalyst for positive change.
She studied Computer science in University Of Nairobi and finished in 2008, she also has an MSC in Applied computing in the same University. During her University days, Judith was among the few women who offered technology. The fact that women were behind in things regarding ICT triggered her passion in technology. She saw the need to bring women on board on things and chose a path to prove her point.
She strongly maintains that exposure, education and technology can improve the quality of life and change the world as well. It was her passion in technology that led her to co-found AkiraChix, an organization that trains generations of women to use technology for innovations and solutions in Africa.
She envisions to increase the female social impact in the African Tech ecosystem and this initiative has helped spur the entry of many young women and girls into careers in, Science Technology Engineering and Math.
Akirachix was launched with Angela Lungati, Linda Kamau, and Marie Githinji in 2010. In only a year, 30 girls learnt softwares, coding programs, explored graphic design and app development for free. The program focuses on recruiting girls from low-income areas that may not have the opportunity to pursue an education beyond high school.
Owigar said “How do we increase the pipeline of women entering the field of technology? So one of the things we realized is, number one, we need to have more women thinking and deciding to do technology careers.”
She also said “Technology will drive development in Africa through techpreneurship, giving people a platform to speak and even making African government more transparent and accountable to their citizens. As Akirachix we want women to be a part of this revolution. African women make up less than 15% of the workforce in technology yet they are greatest contributors to the African economy. In order to exploit technology and find better and more diverse solutions we need to have more women driving the technology revolution in Africa.”
She is also the founder of Juakali Workforce, a platform that addresses the challenge of growing youth unemployment and improve livelihoods of skilled manual laborers in Kenya.
Judith serves in the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER) board, the Lumen Labs board, the Africa WeTech (Women Enhancing Technology) Leadership Council and the St. George’s Primary School Alumni Association. In 2012, She was listed among CNN’s African Voices.
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