24 Year Old Female Entrepreneur Drives Senegalese Women Participation in Technology

24 Year Old Female Entrepreneur Drives Senegalese Women Participation in Technology

ENTERPRISE54 – Among the two things driving conversation in African development is the need for technology innovation and women empowerment. In Senegal, 24 years old Coudy Binta De and three other female computer engineers are changing the technology conversation along this line with Jjiguene Tech Hub, an organisation established basically for tech savvy women. Jjiguene

ENTERPRISE54 – Among the two things driving conversation in African development is the need for technology innovation and women empowerment.

In Senegal, 24 years old Coudy Binta De and three other female computer engineers are changing the technology conversation along this line with Jjiguene Tech Hub, an organisation established basically for tech savvy women.

Jjiguene (which means “Woman” in Senegal’s Wolof language) is the country’s first technology hub run by and for women.

Globally, women are under-represented in the IT industry as they account for just 30 percent of the population.

In Africa where there is significant backwardness regarding gender equality issues, the number is even lower.

However, these ladies who are probably one of the few female Senegalese computer engineers intend to endear more women to take up IT in the country which in 2009 had a 14 percent women participation in Information Technology.

“We want to be a role model for girls and for women in tech,” Awa Caba, one of the co-founders at Jjiguene Tech Hub told BBC.

The hub, located in Sacre Coeur – a middle-class suburb of the capital Dakar – is home to young female techies who are either there to learn or explore their own entrepreneurial idea.

The founders also offer their services for free to primary and secondary schools in Senegal. Microsoft programmes and computer coding are part of the courses they teach their students and customers.

They are able to do offer these services free of charge through the support of Microsoft and local IT companies.

Ismayla Ba, whose IT company, Oasis Media Group, is one of the local IT Company providing support for the hub says his company is supporting the Jjiguene project because they need to be encouraged.

“I think in general women are much more serious and rigorous than men when it comes to work – in many domains, not just in technology,” he said.

According to McKinsey 2013 think tank report Lions Go Digital, internet-facilitated business contributed 3.3 percent to Senegal’s GDP – the highest contribution for any African nation.

 

Busayo Sotunde
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