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The New Times – Rwanda
Some 15,000 delegates participated in the last four editions of Transform Africa Summit, a flagship event of Smart Africa. Up to 4,000 delegates from around Africa and beyond are descending on Kigali for the 5th edition this week.
The TAS 2019 will run under the theme, “Boosting Africa’s Digital Economy” and organisers say it will attract Heads of State and Government, First Ladies, UN Broadband Commissioners, regulators, public and private sector actors, International organisations, industry leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, young Innovators, civil society and academia.
A rare guest, Sophia the world’s first robot citizen, is one of the hugely-anticipated attendees.
A strategic forum for Africa’s engagement on emerging and digital technologies, Transform Africa is an opportunity for the continent to learn from the best in the sector and recommit to accelerating uptake of ICT solutions.
The meeting is a platform to learn from some of the world’s best tech brains, and share experiences on how to keep abreast with the ever-changing technological landscape.
One of the highlights of the Transform Africa Summit is the Miss Geek competition, a contest that seeks to encourage African girls to partake in the effort to find sustainable solutions to challenges facing society using technology.
The contest is designed to encourage girls to join careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. The initiative deserves support from all the actors, including governments and the industry, as it offers an opportunity to the continent to grow a tech savvy generation that will take the lead in addressing most pressing challenges facing the African people.
The summit is an opportunity for young and aspiring innovators and startups to pitch their ideas with view to securing funding for their projects.
Whether you are an established business or startup, this is an opportunity that you simply cannot afford to pass up.
The New Times – Rwanda
By: Annita Akinkindi
A few years ago, Segway inventor Dean Kamen observed that, “Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem and a big idea turn into an innovation,” which encompasses the premise that Africa’s challenges will spur innovations that aspire to solve our local problems and perhaps go on to change the world.
Over the years, we have seen local solutions like Safaricom’s M-Pesa, grow into a global mobile money product that today is not only threatening traditional financial systems all over the world but is bridging the financial inclusion gap at an unprecedented rate.
Technology is not only a driver of development but is likely to be the linchpin that will have our continent leapfrogging to middle income status. To achieve this, we are going to need a critical mass of highly qualified professionals in STEM fields.
Girls In ICT Rwanda are lending their expertise to make sure that women will make up a significant number of future Scientists, Engineers and Mathematicians through their flagship event, Ms.Geek Africa.
In partnership with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, Ministry of Youth, Smart Africa Secretariat and Imbuto Foundation, the third edition of Ms. Geek Africa is underway.
Ms. Geek Africa 2018 winner.
This year’s contestants are a diverse group of high school and university girls from across Africa. They have travelled from as far afield as Nouakchott (Mauritania) on the North Western corner, to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the East, to representatives from right here in Rwanda to mention but a few.
On 16 May, on the sidelines of the Transform Africa 2019 summit, each finalist will pitch their idea to a panel of distinguished judges.
This year, the bar has been raised to new heights, contestants are trying to solve problems around fake medication, blood management and storage, mobility and navigation for the visually impaired and much more.
For the last week, the contestants have been working with Girls-in-ICT and their partner GIZ’s Digital Transformation Centre that aims to develop impact driven digital solutions and developing the eco-system capacities to polish their projects ahead of the Ms.Geek Africa grand finale.
Girls-in-ICT believe that in addition to the technical-based mentoring, it is important to spend some time on essential life skills like confidence building and public speaking during the boot camp guaranteeing that the contestants will be a group of well-rounded young ladies.
The last six years has seen Ms. Geek grow from strength to strength making it a safe bet that it will be quite a treat listening to how today’s young ladies are trying to boost Africa’s digital economy.
Ms.Geek Africa finale will be held at the Kigali Convention Centre on 16 May 2019 at 8.30am.