Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) have been described as one of the most empowering and creative fields that one could invest a career in and it is in line with this that some African women are leading the way in these fields.
These women are excelling in their various STEM careers and are serving as role models to other young girls aspiring to take careers in these fields.
For some time women are being encouraged to lay down their fears and open up to careers in STEM as it has become a sector with the most sought-after jobs all over the world.
A new report from Burning Glass, a job market analytics firm, found that there were as many as 7 million job openings in 2015 in occupations that required coding skills. They also found that programming jobs overall are growing 12% faster than the market average.
Below are five African women excelling in STEM careers in Africa.
Ethel Coffie is a Ghanaian ICT entrepreneur and the founder of Women in Tech Africa which has over 30 members in African countries and the diaspora. She also founded EDEL Technology Consulting and initiated the first Pan-African Women in ICT meeting. With her wealth of technical and commercial skills acquired through her work, she has been supporting women in ICT (Information Communication Technology). Ethel is named as part of top five women making an impact in IT in Africa.
Blessing Kwomo is a Nigerian entrepreneur and engineer but was motivated to go into healthcare having witnessed illnesses that people in her community face due to their poor living conditions. She then established De Roroboth therapeutic studio delivering home based healthcare for low income families. She uses an approach that addresses the main cause of the illnesses with regards to the surroundings. Blessing is an Anizisha fellow and has also been featured by CNN and How We Made It In Africa.
Regina Honu is a Ghanaian software developer and one of the few women making strides in technology in Africa. She founded Soronko Academy, the first coding and human-centred design school for children and young adults in West Africa. She was named by CNN as one of 12 inspirational women who promote STEM. She was also named one of the six women making an impact in tech in Africa. She is raising the next generation of women coders in Africa through her numerous tech initiatives. Her success story has been featured on international media platforms such as the BBC, Aljazeera and Deutsche Welle.
Funke Opeke is a Nigerian engineer who after her education and work in the United States as an executive director of a division in Verizon Communication, joined MTN Nigeria. Struck by the low Internet connectivity in Nigeria, she founded MainOne. MainOne is described as West Africa’s leading communications services and network solutions provider.
Sparked by her keen interest in study medicine at a younger age, Tolu Oni has researched the interaction between chronic infections and non-infectious diseases and the impact of the environment on the health of individuals. Her work has earned her many leadership positions such as election to the South Africa Young Academy of Science in 2013. She is establishing the Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity (RICHE), a research programme for urban health research in Africa.