A group of 20 students from the School of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University participated in this year’s Technovation Challenge. Technovation is a global programme dedicated to inspiring young women in technology and entrepreneurship. In the programme, high school and university girls work in teams to develop mobile apps, conduct market research, write business plans and create a pitch for funding. Each team works with both a classroom teacher at their school and a female mentor from the technology industry.
The 2014 programme theme challenged young women to develop an app to solve a real problem in their community. Over 2500 young women in 35 countries participated in the competition.
In Uganda, the competition was organized under the auspices of the STEM Women Initiative based at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology, Makerere University. STEM Women Initiative seeks to promote and support the entry and growth of careers by women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. With guidance from Ms Viola Nuwaha, formerly a Programme Coordinator at Women în Technology Uganda (WITU), Mr Simon Ntege, a software engineering student at Makerere University as well as the Dean, Dr Consolata Kabonesa, Dr. Ruth Nsibirano and Ms Flavia Tumusiime, the 20 students from the School of Women and Gender Studies, working in groups of five tried developing mobile apps that would provide reproductive health solutions for university girls, help rural women in agriculture to find market for their produce and one that would minimise domestic violence. The application for minimising domestic violence was aimed at providing a hotline and links to service providers such as law enforcement groups.
Only one group from the School of Women and Gender Studies, under the leadership of Asiimire Angella Aryeija made it to the final stage of submission. The group worked on an App that would help rural women in agriculture to find market for their produce.
The goal of the Technovation programme is to inspire girls to see themselves not just as users of technology, but as inventors, designers, builders and entrepreneurs. The programme is free to all participants.
The programme awarded $20k seed funding to winning teams for further app development.
Team Health in a Drop from Moldova, won this year’s Technovation Challenge competition. The final competition was held in Silicon Valley, Northern California on 18th June 2014. Team Health in a Drop created a solution for finding clean water in an area where almost 80% of the population lacks access to drinkable water.