Rwanda focuses on encouraging more women and girls in technology
The number of girls in ICT is on a steady rise thanks to the numerous awareness campaigns and other programmes in the country. The once male-dominated field is now attractive to women as well and those who have excelled are doing alot to encourage their compatriots.
Girls in ICT, a young organisation will today crown Miss Geek, to recorgnise the winner of a stiff competition to select the girls with the most brilliant ideas in technology. With the World Celebrating the International Women’s Day, the crown would not have come at a better time, the organisers of the event say.
Eleni Gabre-Madhin, founder of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange Photo: Ted.com
It’s important to adapt business models developed elsewhere to the context of the African market, says Eleni Gabre-Madhin, founder and former CEO of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, in an interview in HowWeMadeItInAfrica.
The success of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) resulted in several awards for Gabre-Madhin, and she is considered one of Africa’s most respected business leaders, the report said.
“It’s critical to find the African solution to the businesses that we build,” Gabre-Madhin said.
She illustrated this point with an anecdote she remembered from several years back when software was being developed for the ECX’s electronic system. While delivering coffee to a warehouse outside Addis Ababa, a supplier was asked for a number of details needed for the ECX system to accept the commodity. One of these requirements was the licence of the vehicle that brought the commodity to the warehouse.
The supplier said he did not have a vehicle licence number and since the clerk could not override the system without it, an argument started. Turns out the supplier had brought his coffee to the warehouse using donkeys.
“So we have built an electronic system but the reality is that people are still using donkeys to transfer a commodity to our market,” Gabre-Madhin said.“We (had to) go back to the drawing board.”
Gabre-Madhin said there are many similar examples that highlight the constant tension between global standards of systems and processes and the reality of the people “that we are working for and with.”
“And I think all of this actually leads to not only understanding the context, but innovating the right solution and tailoring that solution with all the global knowledge that foreign investors may bring,” she said.
“At the end of the day it’s an African company, it’s an African business that’s been built, and it’s going to be employing African people so it has to be a solution tailored to the context, in recognition of all those challenges and constraints… and equally the size and dimensions of the opportunities that are available.”
Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin is co-founder and CEO of eleni LLC, a new company that is incubating and supporting the formation of commodity exchanges across Africa.
By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Elle.com
As a child, I loved watching my mother get dressed for Mass. She folded and twisted and pinned her ichafu until it sat on her head like a large flower. She wrapped her george—heavy beaded cloth, alive with embroidery, always in bright shades of red or purple or pink—around her waist in two layers. The first, the longer piece, hit her ankles, and the second formed an elegant tier just below her knees. Her sequined blouse caught the light and glittered. Her shoes and handbag always matched. Her lips shone with gloss. As she moved, so did the heady scent of Dior Poison. I loved, too, the way she dressed me in pretty little-girl clothes, lace-edged socks pulled up to my calves, my hair arranged in two puffy bunny-tails. My favorite memory is of a sunny Sunday morning, standing in front of her dressing table, my mother clasping her necklace around my neck, a delicate gold wisp with a fish-shape pendant, the mouth of the fish open as though in delighted surprise.
For her work as a university administrator, my mother also wore color: skirt suits, feminine swingy dresses belted at the waist, medium-high heels. She was stylish, but she was not unusual. Other middle-class Igbo women also invested in gold jewelry, in good shoes, in appearance. They searched for the best tailors to make clothes for them and their children. If they were lucky enough to travel abroad, they shopped mostly for clothes and shoes. They spoke of grooming almost in moral terms. The rare woman who did not appear well dressed and well lotioned was frowned upon, as though her appearance were a character failing. “She doesn’t look like a person,” my mother would say.
As a teenager, I searched her trunks for crochet tops from the 1970s. I took a pair of her old jeans to a seamstress who turned them into a miniskirt. I once wore my brother’s tie, knotted like a man’s, to a party. For my 17th birthday, I designed a halter maxidress, low in the back, the collar lined with plastic pearls. My tailor, a gentle man sitting in his market stall, looked baffled while I explained it to him. My mother did not always approve of these clothing choices, but what mattered to her was that I made an effort. Ours was a relatively privileged life, but to pay attention to appearance—and to look as though one did—was a trait that cut across class in Nigeria.
Philomena Kwao, ESSENCE Magazine, April 2014.
Photos Credit: Tom Corbett
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I am in NYC
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#iwokeuplikethis #nofilter Something new and fresh … Y’all ain’t ready (Londoners do you like my Americano slang?) #philomenakwao #models1 #models1curvy #britinvasion #jagmodels #plusmodel #modeljourney #plussize #model #curvymodel #size16andproud #blackbeauty #teamdarkskin #fordmodels #honourmycurves
Last one I promise (blame @porschefabulous and @hairbyuno 🙈 #helloidmagazine #philomenakwao #models1 #models1curvy #britinvasion #jagmodels #plusmodel #modeljourney #plussize #model #curvymodel #size16andproud #blackbeauty #teamdarkskin #fordmodels #honourmycurves
I’ve spent the past few days working with greatness!!!!! @nikkinelms @porschefabulous @hairbyuno @steffyfullstyle @official_treydior 💆💆💆💆💆 😊 #thisistheclosestivegottoworkingwithbeyonce … #fornow
In more exciting news this month check out my Interview with Essence Magazine!!!! I’m their ‘Curvy Model of the Month’ http://m.essence.com/2014/03/06/curvy-model-month-philomena-kwao @essencemag #philomenakwao #models1 #models1curvy #britinvasion #jagmodels #plusmodel #modeljourney #plussize #model #curvymodel #size16andproud #blackbeauty #teamdarkskin #fordmodels #honourmycurves
@essencemag is showing me an incredible amount of love this month in their April 14 issue and online! Don’t forget to pick up a copy in store now!!!!! #blessed #grateful #ThankyouGod 😊😊😊#philomenakwao #models1 #models1curve #britinvasion #jagmodels #plusmodel #modeljourney #plussize #model #curvymodel #size16andproud #blackbeauty #fordmodels #honourmycurves
Happy #GhanaIndependenceDay 🎉🎉🎉🎉I’m proud to say (minus twaaaaaaaaa) #MeFiriGhana #ProudlyGhanaian At times like this I wish I was in London Town 😩#philomenakwao #ghana
And today was a good day 😊 goodnight 😘