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Women in ICT: TechChix Tanzania

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Screen Shot 2016 09 08 at 11.38.08Continuing with our series on Africa's Women in ICT, we find out more about the recently formed TechChix of Tanzania. Vymala Thuron, AFRINIC's Head of External Relations, met with these inspiring ladies in Tanzania and asked them to tell us about their non-profit organisation.

 

 

 

 

What is TechChix? And tell me more about your asprirations?

TechChix is an acronym for Technology Ladies, established in 2016, by a group of ladies in different fields of engineering and technology to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Being an organization run by ladies, we seek to inspire not only young women to join fields in technology but to also pursue technology related careers with an aim to bridge the gender-gap in technology.

Why do you think that your mission is important?

TechChix vision is to inspire the technology way so that tomorrow's leaders include women on the forefront of the Africa's technology industry. Our goal is to have effective ICT skills embraced at lower educational levels and women as part and parcel of technology development, research, innovations and implementation.

 Our Objectives are:

  • To increase STEM awareness knowledge
  • To promote girls in STEM related fields and increase the number of women working in these fields by ensuring they attain high standards and deliver quality services.
  • To inspire more young girls to join STEM related fields to remove the perception that it is a male dominated career path.
  • To form and train TechChix clubs in higher learning institutions, which help to motivate and encourage girls as well as hold events and exhibitions of projects.
  • To seek out internships for girls in STEM related fields in first class technology industries and companies to broaden their experience.

Where have you been operating so far?

Currently we are operating within the regions of Arusha and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, but our aim is to gain more coverage depending on finances and response from the community. We hope to be able to cover all areas of Tanzania, East Africa and eventually all of Africa.

Mentoring at Canal land secondary school Arusha 2

TechChix at Canal Land Girls' Secondary School

 

What would you consider as the most important milestones for TechChix in 2016?

We had our inaugural meeting in February 2016 and since then we've been working hard to establish ourselves and ramp up our activities:

February: First meeting of the founders and the birth of TechChix-Tanzania.

March: STEM Mentoring/Career workshop at Canal Land Secondary School in Arusha.

April: TechChix presents and participates at the Tanzania National Youth Assembly. STEM Mentoring/career workshop at St. Joseph Girls Secondary school in Arusha

May: STEM awareness day with girl guides/scouts from nine schools at Arusha Secondary School.

June: World environment week fruit tree planting with Arusha Municipal Schools. World environment day dubbed “Technology Go Green” at Kiranyi water source in collaboration with the Regional Commissioner’s office.

July: Science, Technology and Innovation policy seminar at Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST).

July-August: TechChix organized an online training on Linux administration to women ICT professionals with the help of the internet society organization (ISOC).

August: STEM Mentoring/Career workshop at Edmund rise Secondary School in Arusha. TechChix organized and acquired sponsorship from ISOC for women Network engineers to attend TZNOG training to in Dar-es-salaam. STEM mentoring at St. Joseph Cathedral High School in Dar-es-salaam. STEM mentoring at Loyola High School in Dar-es-salaam.

August - September: TechChix participates in the 7th annual African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) in Dar es Salaam. 

Techchix at Afrinic booth

TechChix meet with AFRINIC staff at the AfPIF 2016

21- 31 October: TechChix will offer ICT training and assistance during the AIDS training program run by the Rotary Club at New Arusha Hotel.

Before closing this interview, tell us more about how we can get involved?

If you'd like to get involved with the TechChix or would like to find out more about our work, please get in touch with us. You can keep up to date with all our activities on our website, our Facebook page and our Twitter feed.

We would also like to thank, among others, Mr Erik Rowberg from Habari Node, Mr. Michuki Mwangi & Mr Kevin Chege from ISOC and Mr Noah Mukhangu from SEACOM and our friends and family, for the great support!  

Thank you Ladies and I wish you all the best! 

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