Tech girl


An after-school club at the Southfields Primary School, Coventry, England, has appointed a Nigerian pupil, Emmanuella Mayaki, to teach following the discovery of her rare talent.

The 10-year-old is reported to be have been proficient in all main Microsoft programs by the age of seven and has even launched a website of her own.

Martin Benbeidge, one of the instructors at the school, said Emmanuella is not only the school’s star, but has superior skill and passion for sharing knowledge, Vanguard reported.

Despite what she has been able to achieve at such tender age, the 10-year-old is not slowing down as she hopes to learn more programming languages like Prolong and Lisp as soon as possible. She has shown what is possible with the right education and guidance and her story is something she wishes other kids, especially in Nigeria, get to share.

The young girl said she wants the Nigerian government to put up infrastructure that would allow kids in the country to learn some computer skills and be able to code too.

“I want to become a machine learning engineer because I have experience in programming and my job is to program a machine to perform specific tasks,” she said when describing what she does.

“My knowledge of modern software such as Eclipse, which I use to program Java applications, is also part of the reasons I want to be a machine learning engineer,” she added.

She further noted that she wanted to teach children because she believes technology is the future, saying technology learning at a tender age will create a better society.

“In the code club, I am teaching HTML and CSS, also graphics because if you build a website you need some graphics to add on to the page,’ she said.

“In the club, there are currently about nine pupils. Hopefully, the club will increase its members in September,” she added.

She also advised all children that it is not too early to start, noting it is wrong for parents to keep computers away from their six or seven year olds fearing that they may spoil them.

“Today, my Academy App among others is already on Google play store where I pass on knowledge of coding and graphics. I remember at age seven, I set a target to become a professional web designer and analyst at age nine, and I have accomplished it,” she said.


Credit: Tuko.co.ke

Funke Opeke is a Nigerian electrical engineer, founder of Main Street Technologies and Chief Executive Officer of Main One Cable Company, a communications services company based in Lagos State, south-western Nigeria.

She obtained a Bachelor and master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University and Columbia University respectively. After she graduated from Columbia University, she followed with a career in ICT in the United States as an executive director with the wholesale division of Verizon Communications in New York City. In 2005, she joined Mtn Nigeria as chief technical officer (CTO). She served as adviser at Transcorp and chief operating officer of Nitel for a brief period.

After moving back to Nigeria, Funke Opeke started MainOne in 2008 when she noticed the low internet connectivity in Nigeria. MainOne is West Africa’s leading communication services and network solutions provider. The company built West Africa’s first privately owned, open access 7,000-kilometer undersea high capacity cable submarine stretching from Portugal to South Africa with landings along the route in Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria.

Betelhem Dessie is a 19 years old Ethiopian that is at the forefront of Tech in Ethiopia. She runs five projects and works at Ethiopia’s first Artificial Intelligence lab, iCog Lab. 

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics research is part of the services rendered by iCog Labs. In July this year, Ethiopia was one of the few countries to host Sophia, “one of the world’s most advanced and perhaps most famous artificial intelligence (AI) humanoid robot.” Sophia was at the Information and Communication Technology International Expo in Addis Ababa. Parts of Sophia were assembled in Ethiopia.

Within Ethiopia’s expanding tech industry, 19-year-old Betelhem Dessie has quickly risen and the young pioneer’s star keeps shining bright. Dessie is a project manager at iCog and is “interested in solving people’s problems by using simple yet effective tools.” Dessie started coding when she was ten years old. She said, “I learned informally because I wasn’t able to get classes in coding where I was raised in Harar.”

Sophia speaking at the AI for GOOD Global Summit, International Telecommunication Union, Geneva in June 2017. Photo: Wiki commons

In Harar, her father’s computer served as part of her training ground for who she is today. She got into video editing, computer maintenance and installing software for mobile phones. Gradually she updated her computer skills and knowledge. Part of Dessie’s mission is to implement projects that play a key role in the development of the community. She focused on the training aspect of coding in order to get more Ethiopian women engaged in such activities. Her foray in tech led her to work on a project with the US embassy called Girls Can Code. Forty girls were trained and created their own projects that could help their communities.

At her young age, Dessie is running five projects and has obtained seven patents; four of the patents are privately owned by her, while the remaining three are in collaboration with other organisations. One of Dessie’s project, Anyone Can Code (ACC) is in collaboration with iCog Labs. It aims to teach high school students about robotics and coding.

iCog Labs has its mission to advance science and technology for the good of all humanity, with a focus on advanced AI and on the use of cutting-edge technology to help leapfrog Africa into the future.


Culled from thisisafrica.me