Ebele Agu is the Vice President and Board Secretary of WAAW Foundation. Ebele is very passionate about education, she believes everyone should have access to education and be given an opportunity to realize their full potential. She is especially dedicated to ensuring that the African girl child is given an opportunity and access to STEM Education especially to those who for economic factors may be discouraged.
Ebele Agu was a host on WAAW Foundation’s tweet meet discussing “Women Leading Tech Change in Africa.” She spoke passionately about exposing girls to STEM opportunities and encouraging girls to achieve their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) potential.
The founder, Dr. Unoma Okorafor is a very good friend. She mentioned WAAW Foundation during one of our families get together in 2011. I was immediately interested as I have a strong passion for education and empowering African women.
IN RECENT YEARS, LESS ATTENTION HAS BEEN PAID TO TECHNOLOGY AND STEM SKILLS BY AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS. WHY IS THIS SO?
While the African government may be paying less attention, individuals and private organizations are not. WAAW Foundation is ensuring that a great deal of attention is drawn towards STEM skills in Africa. WAAW Foundation provides opportunities for African girls to access technology in the way they may not be able to. There is a huge opportunity for growth in technology for Africa and it needs to be leveraged.
AS A LEADING WOMAN IN TECHNOLOGY WHAT SHOULD THE ROLE OF WOMEN BE IN THE TECH INDUSTRY?
Women will be playing a major role in the tech industry. We have girls in our STEM Camps and Chapters learning to code, build websites and apps. They are also generating energy using local resources that can benefit their communities. The future of women in the tech industry is yet to be fully achieved.
HOW DO YOU THINK THESE CHALLENGES CAN BE BETTER MANAGED IN FUTURE?
The tech world is still seen as a man’s world. Women are being threatened in universities and at work. Girl education in some areas are still frowned upon, girls are married off too early. Despite these challenges more women are venturing into STEM fields. Our mission at WAAW Foundation is to help and encourage more girls to achieve their STEM potentials. Exposing girls to the possibilities available to them is the first step to managing these challenges. Providing girls access to STEM opportunities will help reduce the challenges they face. Girl STEM education needs to be encouraged and celebrated.
A fun filled experience packed with both coding and app development learning. Each participant will increase their ability to successfully create and lunch an app. Not to mention being able to build websites. At WAAW Foundation, we have STEM Camps targeted at secondary school girls. We have STEM Chapters led by university girls providing STEM education to secondary school youths
We are pleased with our partners – Andela Nigeria and Enspire Incubator. Andela Nigeria provides experienced developers to tech companies while Enspire Incubator helps entrepreneurs to build their businesses.
WHAT IS PLANNED IN TERMS OF CURRICULUM AND TRAINING FOR THE (S)HE HACKS AFRICA CODING BOOT CAMP?
Participants will learn to build a full stack web application using Node, Angular, Express, MongoDB. There will be an introduction to HTML, Java Script and designing a website using Word Press. There will also be sessions on CMS, Customer Journey/UX Experiences, APIs, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), how the server works in a computer room, an in-depth exposure to coding and app building with the appropriate infrastructures.
CAN YOU SHARE A FEW SUCCESS STORIES ON PREVIOUS BOOT CAMPS?
They created a prototype tech app that could tackle challenges like Rape and Sexual Assault. Most of the participants were happy with the hands on experience of the training. Majority of our participants will share this training at #SheHacksAfrica with others
IN YOUR WORDS, WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY IN AFRICA?
There’s no doubt that #SheHacksAfrica is curbing the challenges of tech in Africa. The future of tech in Africa is growing. There is a huge potential for building of sustainable infrastructure by Africans for Africans. The ability to solve Africa’s problems is our responsibility and tech will play a big part in this. The more apt question is, is Africa ready for the future of technology in Africa? WAAW Foundation is poised to increase the pipeline of girls in STEM fields and improve the future of tech in Africa.
While this discussion may end now, a lot needs to be continued for STEM in Africa.