When most people hear the word technology, they associate it with fancy gadgets, progress, development and,more often than not, men. It’s an expected reaction, but have you heard of the Safaricom Women in Technology (WIT)? Well, the brilliant minds at Safaricom WIT have fieldpartnered with Technovation to launch the 2016 edition of the Technovation Challenge.
The Technovation Challenge is a 12-week app development and mentorship program aimed at cultivating interest in Science, Technology and Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) studies. We at Safaricom are passionate about this initiative because we’ve seen that mobile has the ability to transform lives in ways no other technology can, and would love to play a key role in nurturing the next generation of home-grown innovators who will have a direct impact in the society we operate.
Last year’s winners of the Technovation Challenge, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Secondary School from Mombasa, made it to the semi-finals in the global competition held in Silicon Valley, San Francisco. Their mobile application – Gold in Garbage – teaches users how to recycle garbage, make money from recycling and links users to bodies interested in recycling. This year’s program will see girls from 11 high schools work in teams of four to five to identify a challenge affecting a specific group of people. They will then be asked to develop a mobile-phone based application that offers a sustainable solution.
Over 700 high school students in over 22 schools have participated in the program since 2014.
Watch this space for updates on the program & participants – you may be lucky enough to say you knew the next “Bill Gates” before they blew up!