African Women in ICT
Overview of the change makers in the continent
Digital Coalition is hosting a workshop for ITU on African digital shapers the e-Women of the continent
We will be addressing the question of gender in STEM, and during this 1 hour, hear from the change makers in Africa.
Speakers and Topics
- The question of education “Women in STEM” by Yetunde Holloway | Vice-President and Chair of Women in Engineering Committee at World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) and Federation of African Engineering Organisations (FAEO)
- The question of ecosystem by Dr Rita Bissoonauth | Head of African Union International Centre for Girls and Women’s Education - AU CIEFFA
- The question of access by Onica Makwakwa | Head of Africa region at Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI)
- The question of Innovation and Role model by Reine Nsike Johansen | NASA Engineer
Host : Reine Mbang Essobmadje – Co-Founder at Digital Coalition
Reine Essobmadje holds a Global Executive MBA from IE business school Spain with an additional program in Ethics & Corporate Governance from SMU Singapore. She is also an Engineer by training (Master of sciences), graduated in 2004, from ECE Paris (she has been introduced in School Hall of Fame) including an additional program in Management from Stafford University in UK.
She is the founder of Evolving Consulting in Cameroon and France since 2009.
With a double culture (African and European) Reine advocate for the added value of ICT4Dev in various sectors (finance, education, agronomy...), while in parallel being involved in scientist and women organizations.
Her activities focus on women and youth entrepreneurship, workforce diversity, diaspora role in development and women in STEM
▪ President of Digital Economy Committee at Cameroonian Business Council named GICAM (Groupement Interpatronal du Cameroun) and member of Women CEO Committee
▪ Board member at GICAM (Cameroonian Business Council) and past board member at Air e-Go (West Parisian Business Council)
▪ Member, WIE Committee (WomenInEngineering) at WFEO (World Fed of Eng Organizations)
▪ INWES Africa – Chair of Advocacy committee
▪ Member of Club 21e Siècle / Diversity
▪ Co-Founder Digital Coalition (Ex ICT4MDG (Hackathon, ICT days, Master Class, Entrepreneurship, Think Tank)
With the intent of using ICT to achieve inclusive and sustainable development Reine is also the promoter of ICT days under the brand name “ICT days Africa 4.0” launched in Cameroon in 2010, and the Hack4Cause series including (Hack4Afrik and Hack4Girl) through her NGO Digital Coalition. She is also co-organizer of the African Digital Woman Award patron by Dr Hamadoun Touré former ITU SG.
Yetunde holds both a first degree in Civil Engineering (1986) and a Master’s degree (2001) from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
She is a Registered Engineer with the Council for the Regulation for Engineering of Nigeria (COREN), a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE), a Fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (FNICE), an Associate of Chartered Arbitrators (UK) ACIArb and a member of the Institute of Facility Managers (IFMA).
Yetunde worked with the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) for 19 years, where she held progressive leadership roles in various projects for the organisation. Her career has given her vast experience in the management of various matters in the built environment. Professionally, she has a solid grasp of principles and is focused with a pragmatic approach to issues having worked as a Consultant, Supervising Engineer and Project Construction Manager on different projects in Nigeria and in the UK.
She is currently an Executive Director with the Special Committee for Rehabilitation of Public Schools in Lagos State, which is a policy implementation agency of Lagos State, given the task of upgrading school infrastructure in the State.
Yetunde has attended several courses and conferences within and outside Nigeria to enhance professional development and to broaden her horizons. She is a believer in the concept of “lifelong learning” and so continues to challenge and engage herself by taking online courses and other assignments to enhance her knowledge.
Voluntary responsibilities have included being Past Chair of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Lagos Branch and Founding Secretary of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Lagos Chapter. She is also past Chair of the Women in Engineering Committee(WiE) of the NSE. She served as a member of the Procurement Planning Committee of the University of Lagos, Federal Technical College, Akoka as well as the COREN Committee on regulations and other NSE committees. She is a Vice Chairman of the University of Lagos, Faculty of Engineering Alumni Association (UNILAGFEAA).
Yetunde is a facilitator for the Continuing Education Seminar for aspiring members of the NSE. She promotes gender equality and mentors several young and aspiring engineers and encourages professional development, especially for females.
An advocate of the United Nations Sustainable goals, Yetunde is a Vice-President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) and the current Chair of the WiE Committee of the WFEO and of the Federation of African Organisations (FAEO).
Dr Rita Bissoonauth holds a Masters degree in Biochemistry from the University of Lyon, France and a Ph.D. Education from the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada. She presently heads the African Union International Centre for Girls and Women’s Education in Africa (AU/CIEFFA) based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Before moving to Ouagadougou, she was a Senior Policy Officer in Education for five years at African Union Commission in Addis Ababa. She also worked as a Senior Lecturer at the Mauritius Institute of Education, Mauritius and the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada teaching Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Science Education.
Leads the multi-stakeholder engagement across Africa for the Alliance for Affordable Internet focusing on advancing good practices in policy and regulatory frameworks for affordable access to broadband. She also co-convenes the Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology.
A consumer, civil and digital rights advocate, Onica has managed and pioneered various national and international campaigns and policy change processes for women’s rights, civil rights, consumer rights, media and digital transformation initiatives. She brings a strong sensitivity and unique perspective to the dynamics affecting women, and other disadvantaged populations.
Reine Ntone Johansen is an aerospace systems engineer employed by Millennium Engineering and Integration. Reine is currently a contractor at NASA Ames Research Center, where she supports the Technology Education Satellite team in the development, testing and implementing of an exo-atmospheric passive deorbiting system called Exobrake in three CubeSats (TechEdSatellite 7,8, and 10).
With a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from San Jose State University located in San Jose, California, Reine started her professional career in August 2018 as a part-time engineer while finishing her master’s degree project on Ablative Thermal Protection Systems, with an emphasis on thermo-chemical ablation. Her master’s degree report is
devoted to investigating ablative material’s behavior during Earth re-entry conditions and presents two different computational approaches for space missions APOLLO-4 (AS-501) and 10.
Prior to that, Reine studied at the University of Paris in Paris, France graduating with a bachelor’s degree in System Engineering in 2016. In 2014 she earned a second bachelor’s degree in Engineering Sciences from Catholic University in Lille, France.
Reine was born and raised in Cameroon, Africa where she completed her primary education and became passionate about science. Reine speaks multiple languages, including French and English. A life-long learner, Reine has had the opportunity to live and work in multiple countries. Through these global experiences, Reine is grateful to her mentors and the women who came before her in Aerospace Engineering. She dreams big and is inspired to make a difference in her field, where she can give back to girls and young women pursuing engineering or their life dreams.
When not breaking barriers professionally, Reine is breaking records on the tennis court, winning multiple USTA singles titles. Reine lives in Sunnyvale, California.
- C1. The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
- C4. Capacity building
- C8. Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content
- C11. International and regional cooperation
C1. The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development - The development is only possible if it is inclusive of half of the population (Women)
C8. Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content – What does it take to attract, retain and maintain women in STEM (role model, …)
C11. International and regional cooperation – The importance of combining all efforts to achieve a sustainable and meaningful impact for Women in STEM in Africa
- Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
- Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all – We will address the question of gender in STEM Education
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls – We want to increase the number of girls in STEM
Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all – We want a better match between skills and job
Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development – We would like to achieve a global coalition for digital and gender related issues