Oladiwura (’Diwura) Oladepo, the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative (Tech4Dev), is a remarkable leader with a profound impact on the technology landscape in Africa. Her journey is a testament to her unwavering commitment to creating access to decent work, entrepreneurship opportunities, and gender equality on the African continent through digital skills empowerment and advocacy. Let’s delve deeper into her inspiring story and the transformative initiatives she has pioneered.
Empowering through Digital Skills
At the heart of Oladiwura’s mission is the belief that technology can be a powerful force for positive change. She recognized that, to uplift underserved communities and promote gender parity, it was essential to equip individuals with the digital skills needed to thrive in the 21st century. Tech4Dev was born out of this vision.
Under Oladiwura’s leadership, Tech4Dev has directly impacted the lives of over 120,298 beneficiaries in more than 30 African countries. Through various programs and initiatives, the organization has provided crucial training and resources, enabling young Africans to access better economic opportunities and improved livelihoods.
Championing Gender Parity in STEM
Oladiwura’s passion for gender equality and her vision for a brighter future led her to champion the cause of advocating for more women in STEM fields. Her drive culminated in the creation of the Women Techsters Initiative, a groundbreaking program that aims to bridge the digital technology knowledge gap between men and women in low-income communities across Africa.
This initiative has grown to become Africa’s largest women-in-tech tuition-free program. It focuses on not only empowering women with essential digital skills but also ensuring that women have equal access to the opportunities that technology can provide. As a result, countless women have been given the tools they need to succeed in the tech industry, furthering the cause of gender equality in the digital age.
Educational and Professional Excellence
Oladiwura’s educational background is as impressive as her achievements. She holds a Master of Advanced Management from Yale School of Management, a testament to her commitment to continuous learning and her desire to be at the forefront of change. Her MBA from Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University, equips her with the business acumen necessary to lead and innovate.
Oladiwura’s exceptional work hasn’t gone unnoticed on the global stage. She was named a United Nations Solutions Summit Solution Maker in 2019, reflecting her significant impact in driving social change through technology. As a member of the Forbes Non-profit Council and a Social Entrepreneur Fellow of Jacobs Foundation, her influence extends far and wide.
She has also served on the Executive Board of the Lagos Business School Alumni Association, showcasing her dedication to both education and community development.
Awards and Accolades
In 2022, Oladiwura received a series of prestigious awards, further highlighting her status as a pioneering leader in the tech and social change sectors. She was named the winner of the Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award and awarded Female Innovator of the Year at the 2022 Africa Tech Festival Awards, underscoring her significant contributions to the tech industry and her dedication to empowering others.
In addition, she was acknowledged as one of the 10 most outstanding young persons in Nigeria by the Junior Chambers International Nigeria (JCIN). Her efforts were also recognized as a finalist in the Global Citizen Prize: Cisco Youth Leadership Award, and she secured the position of first runner-up for the BudgIT Active Citizen’s Women Advocacy Award.
Oladiwura (’Diwura) Oladepo’s journey is a testament to her dedication to empowerment, leadership, and gender equality in the tech world. Her work at Tech4Dev and the Women Techsters Initiative continues to break down barriers and provide opportunities to countless individuals across the African continent. She is a shining example of how one person’s vision and dedication can make a profound difference in the lives of many, underscoring the importance of striving for a more inclusive and technologically advanced future for all.