Though the forefront of technology and innovation may be centered in California’s Silicon Valley, leaders in the field, particularly women, are not geographically limited to the Golden State. Africa specifically boasts a score of female ingénues, masters in their given field. From entrepreneurs to leaders, women are very much present in a variety of industries.
In the field of technology, Julia Rotich is the executive director of Ushahidi and one of its four founders. Ushahidi is a Kenyan non-profit tech company committed to providing transparency and democratizing information through open source software.
Originally established as a crisis map visualizing information of violence in Kenya, Ushahidi has since expanded to aiding companies, organizations and individuals. As the executive director, Rotich manages projects, acts as a global voice through her position as a Ted Talk Senior Fellow and is hailed by the World Economic Forum and Forbes, among others.
Combining technology with research, Professor Tebello Nyokong’s research largely focuses on photodynamic therapy. Utilizing light, Nyokong’s research is geared towards the treatment of cancer and restoration of the environment.
With a degree in chemistry at the National University of Lesotho, Nyokong finished with an MSc, to which she followed with a PhD from the University of Western Ontario and a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Notre Dame in the U.S.
Marieme Jamme pushes for the inclusion of African voices regarding the development of Africa. Jamme is a co-founder of Africa Gathering, a forum and global platform to disseminate and share ideas that will better the continent.
With a bevy of innovators and world leaders, these women, a small selection among many, drive against the grain and canon of Africa as a receiver of aid. What the noble peace prize nominee teen Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan did for women’s education, these women, of whom there are many, demonstrate every day for technology: that it is a field run by both sexes.
– Miles Abadilla
Sources: Africa Gathering, Forbes , IT News Africa, New York Times, Tech Women, Ushahidi, Ushahidi-2