International Girls’ in ICT Day is an initiative backed by ITU Member States in ITU Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Guadalajara, 2010) to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in April every year. This years will be observed on 25.04.2013 and as GirlGeekKampala, we shall hold a special Ruby programming session on 26th April at the Outbox Hub where girls have hands on trainings as well as a Google Hangout with AkiraChix of Kenya on 27th April
By Maureen Agena
In a city like Kampala, It’s not common that you find a group of over 50 girls seated in one room in the name of programming. Not because they are unable to, but because there exists a stereotype that programming is something for the male gender. This rare occurance came true during the just concluded very first Rails Girls event held in Kampala Uganda that took place at the Outbox Hub on the 18th and 19th of Jan 2013, with a total of about 75 girls in attendance.These were both students and working class ladies. Organised by Thoughtworks Uganda a global IT consultancy, the 2 days event saw many young tech enthusiastic girls around Kampala mainly members of GirlGeeksKampala, who are passionate about programming come together to write code. The main focus was ruby on Rails. It was a free event open to both novice and advanced programmers and was taking place in many major cities around the world. While speaking to Kathy Gettelfinger a Principal with ThoughtWorks, She said that “bringing more women into the industry will create better software”
For more details, read it on Maureen Agena’s blog
By Evelyn Namara
Who says women can not code? Who says girls are not meant for the hardcore programming courses? All those stereotypes against women in technology will long be gone if forums like Girl Geek Kampala keep rising up to do an amazing job at showing that it can be done.
Girl Geek Kampala is an innitiative that seeks to create a community that promotes and celebrates Women in the Technology field by infusing entrepreneurship and programming skills into girls passionate about IT. It is practical when it comes to Girl Geeks. A lot of smart young girls at Universities have come out of University with good grades, and having the ability to program but they do not think beyond their very best program. With the education system that instills a more theoratical way of thinking and dealing with problems, it is always hard for these smart girls to come out and be relevant in a tough world that will demand real world solutions.
That is where Girl Geek comes in, they help take up these women and girls who are passionate about computing and IT and they build a platform that helps them build skills that they can use in the real world whilst mentoring and coaching them to learn to code in a specific language while taking on real projects. I think that is the best sustainable approach. No matter how beautiful your code is, or runs, at the end of the day the girls need to think like enterpreneurs, how do you then take that code to build a program that will be used in a real world setting and make some money?
Read full story here on Evelyn’s Blog
Developing Apps that Support Women and address their needs
1. Maureen Agena
Maureen Agena is an online communictions consultant, blogger, trainer, part time developer and a trained citizen Journalist.
She has worked as a program Manager at Text to Change a Mobile for Development company and as a Communciations and information Officer with Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) an organsisation that empowers women through ICTs in Uganda. Maureen has also worked as the Online communications Consultant with UNFPA Uganda Country office and a Remote Intern with the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural development (CTA) Netherlands. She is the East African Award for Agriculture and Rural development Youth in ICT (ARDYIS) 2010 She is so passionate about ICT4D mobile technology and Gender issues in Technology. Maureen holds a Masters in Information Systems from St. Mary’s University in Halifax Canada/ Uganda Martyrs University and a Bsc in Information Technology from Uganda Martyrs University. Also a Certifcate in Intriduction to internet Governace and another in Web 2.0 Technologies which have contributed a lot to her career. Maureen has conducted a number of trainings in Citizen Journalism and Online Digital media both within and out of Uganda. She is a founding member of Girl Geek Kampala together with Ampaire Christine and Evelyn Namara.
2. Christine Ampaire
Christine is a driven and highly enthusiastic techpreneur passionate about using technology as a solution to everyday problems. She currently works as project lead at Codesync an uprising startup in Kampala offering mobile solutions to various needs. She is part of the core team that made Mafutago which is an award winning mobile application on both the regional and international platform having picked up awards both in Barcelona during the Mobile Premier Awards held during the Mobile World Congress and also in Nairobi during the PivotEast Mobile App Competitions. Christine is a dedicated girl geek who takes joy in inspiring more girls in the field to discover the potential within. She is currently pursuing her Bachelors degree in Software Engineering at Makerere University. Christine is a founding member of GirlGeekKampala
3. Evelyn Namara
Evelyn Namara is Program Manager of Solar Sister and a recipient of the Anita Borg Change Agent Award 2012. Her focus is on the dissemination and adaptation of life changing technologies, picking up where technology designers and manufacturers often drop off. With the use of simple ICTs she has empowered the rural woman in Uganda. Evelyn holds a Diploma in Information Technology (Science) from the Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology (UICT) , A BSc. Computer Science from Makerere University, Certificate in Unix Systems Administration (AfNOG- Kenya), Certificate in Scalable Internet Services (AfNOG – Nigeria) Certificate in Scalable Network Infrastructure (AfNOG – Morocco). In 2010, Evelyn joined the Instructor team of AfNOGChix (Africa Network Operators Group) which is a spin off of the main AfNOG courses. AfNOGChix is a forum that seeks to increase the participation of women in IT and system administration by providing them with a woman – only training environment. To date, AfNOGCHIX has had trainings in Kenya, Malawi, Botswana, and Ghana. More about Evelyn http://evelynnamara.com/sample-page/ Evelyn is a founding member of GirlGeekKampala
4. Victor Miclovich
Victor is a software developer that loves trotting the globe. He work as director of technology at the kuyu project, and is co-founder and software developer at cwezi and mspoti. Victore loves writing code in 2 of his favorite languages: Python and Ruby. He also programs mobile applications (iPhone, Android and J2ME). He is a research programmer with the MIT-EPROM program and he also worked with the Technology for Development team at UNICEF Kampala focusing on mobile Apps. Victor is a trainer with GirlGeeksKampala and a Founder member.
5. Lynn Asiimwe
Lynn Fiona Asiimwe is currently a final year student at the University of Cape town pursing a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering . She is also Google –Zawadi scholar. Over the past the year ,she has gotten the opportunity to work with software developers at Ushahidi based in Nairobi and the Praekelt foundation based Cape town. With Ushahidi ,she got the opportunity to learn the kohana framework that is php and with Praekelt , the django framework that is python based. Currently she working on her my final year project that is developing a distributed database with the aid of embedded devices. Her other interests are photography. She is a member of GirlGeekKampala.
Some of our Very Active members include:
- Richard Zulu (Manager Outbox Hub Manager, Hosts GirlGeekKampala)
- Alvin Kato
- Sarah Kiden
- Boaz Shani
- Kathryn Mirembe
- Emilly Karungi
- Patricia Akello
- Elizabeth Kasujja
- Eunice Namirembe
- Hadijah Nankanja
- Panta Hellen
- Joseline N
- jolie Mirembe
- Judith Akora
- Maxin Lutz
- Racheal Ntare
- Birungi Rhona Cynthia
- Alupot Rosemary
- Viola Bazanye
- Sandra Komuhiimbo