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Tech4Dev launches IAmAWomanTechster campaign with art exhibition

Technology for social change and development initiative (Tech4Dev), a non-profit social enterprise working to provide access to decent work for Africans through digital and technology skills empowerment and advocacy, founded in 2016 has launched the #IAmAWomanTechster campaign with an art exhibition on Sunday, 12th of September 2021.

The women techsters initiative in partnership with Microsoft is an initiative of Tech4Dev focused on increasing women’s participation in the technology ecosystem and STEM fields by empowering five million women across Africa to acquire digital and deep technology skills by 2030.

Tech4Dev called for visual artists to share artworks celebrating women and women in technology as well as in the STEM fields to launch the Campaign. Out of 43 entries submitted, 16 finalists were chosen, and three out of them Ifeoluwa Aminu, Yewande Ambeke, and Jessica Ogechi Louis emerged as winners of the competition and went home with $500 each.

“As an organization that is passionate about bridging the digital divide between men and women in the technology ecosystem, we decided the best way to launch the #IAmAWomanTechster campaign was by celebrating Women in tech and STEM fields using various art forms to showcase and support women within the technology ecosystem because representation matters,” Joel Ogunsola, Co-Founder and Director of Partnerships and Sustainability at Tech4Dev said.

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The Women Techsters initiative which is currently being delivered across five African countries, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Egypt is born out of a mission to impact 10,000 women by the end of the year 2021 and five million women across Africa by 2030 with the goal of connecting them to jobs, helping them build technology careers and enterprises.

The art exhibition featured four categories which include Graphic design, Photography, Illustrations and Painting/Digital art to launch the campaign aimed at inspiring more women to pursue careers within the tech space while celebrating women who have built careers in these fields to serve as a model for other women and provide mentorship to the next generation of women through their career journeys.

“This is the first art exhibition and it was chosen to launch this campaign because we felt that using various forms of art media were possible to basically explore the women techster team which is around women empowerment, economic gain for women, among others,” Joel said.

Two of the participating artists explained to BusinessDay the motivation behind their style of artworks presented. “I looked at tech development from a futuristic angle where gender will no longer be a determinant to achieving success in the tech ecosystem. I am looking forward to a time when people will no longer be taken by surprise by how much a woman can achieve in the tech world.” Ayobami Ogunmadeko said.

For Akinola Taoheed, he used the image of his grandmother to voice out the economic situation of Nigeria and hopes that with the inclusion of more women pursuing careers in technology, much more will be given back to the country to improve the economy.

By the end of the art exhibition, a 50 percent sale was recorded and all the proceeds went to the artists. This, according to Joel, was a way of appreciating the artists for all the efforts put into the process.

The I Am a Woman Techsters Campaign will be a yearly campaign advocating for gender inclusion within the technology ecosystem and all conversations around the campaign can be followed with the use of hashtag #IAmAWomanTechster.

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