The Miss. Africa Initiative, a pan-african trust program of DotConnectAfrica (DCA), has announced eMobilis as winner of the Miss.Africa 2015 US $5,000 Seed Fund.
DCA Trust received over 90 applications from more than 18 African countries for the Seed Fund.
In addition to the US $5,000, a further US $1,000 was granted as a second prize for other applicants from emerging African countries that create further socio-economic value for women by effectively leveraging tech opportunities.
Therefore, this brings the total price of the Inaugural 2015 Miss.Africa seed fund to US $7,000.
eMobilis is a Kenya-based Mobile Technology Institute that focuses on training women and girls on Mobile Software Development and Network Infrastructure. It was founded in 2008 and is the first of its kind in Sub Saharan Africa. eMobilis runs the Mobigirlz programme aimed at growing the ecosystem of women in technology. Through Mobigirlz, girls and women discover an interest in technology and down the road venture into STEM careers, innovate and create sustainable businesses that solve real time problems in local communities.
The other two winners of the US $1,000 prize are a Madagascar-based initiative Tech MDG / Pyladies Antananarivo, MDG led by Ms. Aina Anjary Fenomamy R. to encourage girls to study and build career in computer sciences or other STEM fields as well as educate Malagasy mothers concerning the use of technology and Pycon Cameroon, led by Mr. Ngangsi Richard that teaches computer coding to girls and women.
Ms. Kim Gueho, DCA Trust Corporate Trustee and Advisory Board Member, gave a standing ovation to all the Nominees, in particular to the inaugural winner, eMobilis, saying they responded to all the criteria (of the Seed Fund )and that they offers ‘great, innovative training for women. Our fund is very excited with this program in general, as well as to lend financial support to these initiatives”.
Recalling DCA’s New Year’s message from our Founder & CEO Sophia Bekele, who hailed 2016 “Year of The Women”:
“There are many reasons I came up with this theme, but mostly I feel a sea-change is happening and my global engagement everywhere tells me the Universe is now on the side of women. This is in no way to reject our strongest supporters, men, but to simply acknowledge that women have become more independent, smart, accomplished, finding their new found roles and using it to push the limits of their opportunity confidently and with a great sense of responsibility, and care. And let us not forget women are leading by example.”
Giving a statement to this press release, Bekele said: “The Miss.Africa program has come a long way from just an idea to an incredible pan-african initiative to promote girls and women with the sole aim of improving their digital self-awareness and empowerment to actually funding their dreams. What a great way to celebrate this year’s Women’s History Month!”
Nancy Wanjira, Mobigirlz Program Manager, eMobilis, speaking after the win said: “We are thrilled to learn that we emerged as a finalist and winner of the inaugural 2015 Miss. Africa Seed Fund. Thank you to DotConnectAfrica Trust for directly supporting eMobilis Mobigirlz initiative and awarding us with the grant to improve technology literacy and education among girls while strengthening their stance in the tech field. We believe that for us to drive tech progress in Kenya and Africa as a whole we need to put girls in the driver’s seat and empower them to reach their full potential. We are very excited to work with DotConnectAfrica in this partnership.”
For the inaugural grand prize, Code for Cape Town from South Africa emerged as the second runner up followed by Girls In Tech (GTech) program under Africa ICT Right from Ghana and Abo Coders from Nigeria. Among the countries, Nigeria emerged with the most number of applications at 23% followed by Kenya (20%), Uganda (15%). South Africa and Tanzania tied at 8%, Ghana (6%), Cameroon (5%) and Rwanda with 4 % of the entries.Other which fell under 1% include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Swaziland.
Miss.Africa Seed Fund, announced in July 2015, will be an annual pan-african fund with applicants being selected from entries of interest within the African continent.