The gender divide is one of the most significant inequalities to be amplified by the digital revolution, and cuts across all social and income groups. According to participants at the Global IT Summit at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology(KAUST), the presence of women in the field of information technology (IT) worldwide is still small compared to men.
While more than 3 billion people are connected online, research indicates there are 200 million fewer women online in developing countries, and 300 million fewer women own a mobile phone.
African women have come to a realization that having a woman in tech and a man who is actively working to be a better ally is very essential to making progress in the technogy sector. This has led to several women in tech campaigns that encourage more females to engage in tech careers. Among the top successful women in tech is:
- Jamila Abass, Linda Kwamboka and Susan Oguya, Kenya
Abass, Kwamboka and Oguya are the founders of MFarm, a mobile software solution that connects Kenyan farmers with farm produce consumers in urban and export markets via SMS . MFarm offers agricultural producers and buyers with the most recent retail price information about products and operates a virtual marketplace whereby consumers can buy their farm products directly from manufacturers while farmers can find buyers for their produce. The company has received more than $230,000 in funding from UK-based charity, Tech For Trade and is working towards profitability.
2. Sophia Bekele, Kenya
Sophia is the founder of Miss.Africa, the first Pan-African Initiative to support women-in-technology,Opening the technological world to African women. Miss.Africa promotes girls and women in technology with the sole aim of improving their digital self-awareness and empowerment to actually funding their dreams. The program runs an annual Seed Fund with applicants being selected from entries of interest within the African continent. The winner of the Miss.Africa Seed fund is awarded USD 5000 to promote more girls and women into the tech sector.
3. Anne Amuzu, Ghana
Amuzu, a graduate of Ghana’s Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is a co-founder of Nandimobile, a company that develops software that enables companies to deliver customer support and information services through SMS. Amuzu co-founded the company in 2010 and it has more than 20 corporate clients in Ghana.
4. Clarisse Iribagize, Rwanda
Iribagize is the founder of HeHe Limited, a Kigali-based mobile technologies company that develops ways for businesses to reach their customers and audiences in a timely and affordable manner. HeHe builds custom mobile applications for businesses, provides 24/7 online and offline support and cloud storage services. Iribagize founded the company in 2010 after winning a $50,000 grant from Inspire Africa, a Rwandan TV entrepreneurial contest.
5. Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, Nigeria
Begho founded Future Software Resources Ltd, a website design & web-solution provider located in Lagos, Nigeria in 2008. The company also provides online marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content management system development, online recruitment and IT consultancy services to more than 25 small and large Nigerian businesses and government agencies.