AkiraChix Women’s Conference: Gearing up!

We’re just about 3 days away from our very first Women in Tech conference happening at Panari Sky Hotel, and are uber excited about it! We’ve got a solid program of activities planned out for the day. Have a look!

We’ve also got a great set of speakers lined up such as:-

  • Juliana Rotich, Executive Director of Ushahidi, who will be our keynote speaker of the day
  • Nivi Murkhejee, co-founder and CEO, e-Limu
  • Shikoh Gitau, User Innovator with the Social Innovation team at Mercy Corps
  • Gladys Muhunyo, Director of Strategy and Business Development at Tangazoletu Limited
  • Monica Nthiga, Programme Officer, Africa – MAVC
  • Nanjira Sambuli, Research Manager at iHub
  • Brenda Wambui, founder/CEO of BrandAvenue and co-founder of Brainstorm
  • Njeri Wangari, multi talented published Kenyan Poet, Art & Lifestyle blogger and the founder of AfroKidz
  • Willow Brugh, co-founder and executive director of the NGO Geeks Without Bounds

Attendees will also get to meet and listen to finalists from our #IncYOUbateIT competition and vote for their idea of choice. These votes will weigh into the decision of who of the seven finalists will get to win incubation in the recently launched South to South Lab by the Making All Voices Count team.

What do you need to attend the conference?

Please carry your ticket confirmation information to the registration desk on 1st November 2014. For those of you on the waiting list should, we will communicate confirmation of your attendance by COB Friday 31st October 2014.

Other than that, come with your brains charged for an amazing day of learning!

Looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday!

Ushahidi Partnership Days 2014: Day 1

[Guestpost by Arushi Jain, Development Intern on Ushahidi Platform]

We all have multiple identities. We are citizens of various countries, and residents of many others; lovers of certain cultures, and supporters of all others; experts in a few fields, and disciplines of all the curiosities the world has to offer. In the Bishop Magua building here in Nairobi, we add another clause to this complex and indefinite definition of identity – we are locals of nowhere, and by being citizens of the internet, we are locals of everywhere.

Today marks the first day of the Partnership Day held in Kenya by the communities involved in Ushahidi, BRCK, iHub and Akirachix. It is an attempt to take a step back, and engage our community in a discussion that applauds the successes, understands the failures, and asks each individuals the question – what has led to the impact we have had, and how do we multiply this impact?

In her opening address at the local Pete’s coffee shop, as partners, team members and community leaders shared hopes over a cup of coffee, Juliana Rotich challenged our minds with the hopes of the ecosystem for its future.

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“It’s 2014 and we need to stand up for human rights”, she said.

Ushahidi, since its conception after the post-election violence in Kenya, has considered this not just a necessity, but a duty. Piece by piece, it has helped setup, support and establish the a community of other game changers who have adopted this purpose of empowering locals everywhere to solve their own problems, and stand up for their own rights. With BRCK soon bringing connectivity along with computation, Akirachix fighting gender norms by spreading the infectious confidence that comes with learning, and iHub giving anyone who wants to make a change the space to do so, the ecosystem that slowly brews is solving real problems.

The day was centred around exposing our partners first hand to the exponential impact created by the ecosystem. For the first field visit, the participants travelled to a local school to see how BRCK was bolstering education, and directly making better futures a bigger possibility. Increasing the circle of access, the BRCK setup in the the headmasters room allowed students sitting in classes to access the internet on the tablets donated to the school1 by Ileemu, another child of the Bishop Magua family.

An application that digitizes the school curriculum, aids understanding with extra content and games, and also trains teachers to become more comfortable teaching with technology, Ileemu has been successful in increasing participation in school. It the future, it hopes to learn more from the information it is collecting and make learning by itself the easiest skill to learn. A pilot program, this sparked off a lot of discussion on how to package this in a model that could easily expand to other less connected parts of the country. This revealed the extensibility of the BRCK design, which was being built for resiliency.

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Having established the leaps in innovation that this ecosystem has created for itself and others, there was an obvious imminent need to set the stage bigger. Later in the day, the group toured various prospects for where this community might call home in the future. With the explosion of new organizations that were exponentially in impact, an opportunity to expand the innovation hub is on the horizon. We asked each other, what if there was a space in the centre of Nairobi that could become the go-to campus for locals to learn about technology, empower themselves to become citizens of the internet, and as a consequence agents of change.

The response turned out to be an image of the future where individuals were encouraged to open the door for others.

#IncYOUbateIT Competition in conjunction with Making All Voices Count

As you have probably heard, AkiraChix is hosting it’s first annual Women in Technology Conference(Sign up, limited spaces available) on November 1st 2014, celebrating african women in computing and discussing some key issues around women’s participation and contribution to the tech field in Africa. In honor of this event, AkiraChix and the Making All Voices Count initiative have launched #IncYOUbateIT – a competition open to applicants from Kenya with inspiring ideas, either proven or to be developed around gender equality themes.

The themes for which you can submit your idea are listed below. They relate to the Making All Voices Count  programme’s overarching goal; better governance, transparency and accountability.

+ “Our spaces. Our 
rights” – Securing women’s online spaces:

How does your idea target, track and/or address protection issues that women face such as harassment, sexism and violence? Does your idea enable more women to access online spaces more securely and reduce barriers for women and girls to participate in various forums online?

+ “Tech for Change” – Tech to address community/society/country governance issues:

How does your idea address a problem(s) faced by women and girls in the community, society and/or country? Does it encourage women and girls to access positions of leadership and potentially influence governance structures, policy or legislation?

AWARDS

  • Finalists will have be given ‘idea booths’ during conference day (November 1st 2014) to engage with present their ideas and engage with participants in strengthening their ideas
  • 1 – 2 winners of #IncYOUbateIT will get incubation support for their ideas from Making All Voices Count, with expert mentorship. Incubation will include preparation for potential innovation grants down the line, depending on (i) the development of a proposal strong enough to warrant a grant and (ii) demonstration of their capacity to successfully implement.
  • Winners will also have access to the South to South Lab space with internet.

KEY DATES

  • Applications close on October 20, 2014 at 23:59 GMT;
  • Finalists announced on October 24, 2014
  • Conference day and ‘idea booths’ on November 1, 2014
  • Pitching sessions and selection of winners on November 8, 2014

Ready to enter the #IncYOUbateIT competition? Submit An Idea!

Want to host a session at the conference? Submit a Proposal

Want to be part of the conference organising team? Sign up as a volunteer!

AkiraChix Women’s Conference: 1st November, 2014

AkiraChix is looking to host it’s inaugural Pan African Women in technology conference in Nairobi, on 1st November 2014(Venue to be announced). The overall theme of this event is to celebrate women in computing in Africa.

This event is set to target:-

  • Undergrad students
  • Women working in or seeking careers in the tech industry
  • Women in leadership

The aim of this event is to connect women from all walks of life, and provide a platform for them to discuss and tackle challenges facing women in the tech industry, as well as allow them to showcase interesting work they are involved in currently.

Activities of the day will include:-

  • Keynote presentations
  • Practical training and Break out sessions around the following themes
    • Programming
    • Design
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Security
    • Career development
    • Hardware
  • Two panel discussions featuring women in technology

How can you get involved?

Interested in being a sponsor for the event? Have any questions for us? Please get in touch with us via info@akirachix.com

Stay tuned for more details on speakers, venue and program of events in the coming weeks on our twitter, facebook page, blog and mailing list!

Have a great day ahead!