Tech Women in Uganda

Eng Dr.Dorothy Okello is the Dean, School of Engineering, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT), Makerere University. Also, Senior Lecturer, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering & Researcher with netLabs!UG that seeks to be a leader in collaborative research, development and solutions on innovative telecommunication and networking technologies, strengthening the innovation ecosystem in Uganda and across East Africa. Adjunct Member of Faculty, Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland. Director of Innovation, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) hosted by Makerere University. Supported by USAID, RAN is a multi-disciplinary network of 18 Sub-Saharan African universities that seek to identify, develop and scale innovative solutions to strengthen resilience of African communities. Founder, Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) whose mission is to promote and support the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by women and women organizations in Uganda.

Evelyn Namara is a Ugandan technology entrepreneur with a keen interest in the power Technology has in transforming lives, enabling innovation and entrepreneurship to foster long-term economic development.

She founded Vouch Digital, a fintech start-up working with international aid organizations, governments as well as corporates to help facilitate the distribution of value in form of aid, subsidies, and entitlements to end-users and program participants in a transparent, traceable manner leveraging both digital payments and electronic voucher means.

Currently, she is the Manager, Global SIG and Community Engagement at the Internet Society where she works on defining, managing and coordinating community engagement and mobilization activities across departments to support the Organizational objectives.

Vivian Ddambya: is passionate about what technology can do to transform lives. She is currently the Director Technical Services at the National Information Technology Authority – Uganda (NITA-U). She is responsible for providing technical support and guidance on all matters related to ICT infrastructure, systems and services within Government. Manages the NBI currently at over 2500km across the country connecting over 300 MDA sites and the National Data Centre. Has over a decade experience in taking Government services online.

Suzan Kitariko is a senior executive with more than 15 years’ experience in the Telecom sector in Uganda. Throughout her career she has built a reputation for successfully developing telecom business strategies, incubating new business models and building out customer channel programs for 2 start-up Telecom companies in Uganda; key areas include a passion to driving new data-driven opportunities, products, processes and customer service improvements in a very demanding, complex, multinational and multicultural environment. Suzan’s experience in telco leadership includes heading up a more than 200 employees spanning across R&D, operations as well as Sales & Marketing.

Gloria Tumushabe; Pursuing computer science enables me to stay away from watching existing things remain the same and it gives me the chance to create technology that is applicable in all parts of the world while empowering people of all backgrounds and generations to appreciate the impact of technology in positively impacting all areas of life. This quest for mastery in programming pushed me to join UC Berkeley to pursue my major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. I am currently very comfortable with data structures, algorithms, android app development, mathematical analysis and working large data. I am doing a minor in Theatre, Dance and Peformance Studies to allow myself to use the other side of my brain.

Faridah Ashaba: A Ugandan female pilot, I wanted to be in aviation but initially did not dream of becoming a pilot because I was not aware that Uganda trained pilots. I went to Soroti Flying School to study a diploma in Flight Operations and management but when I saw the pilots, I was excited. There were a few girls and I felt challenged.

President Museveni visited the school and asked to meet the students. He offered state scholarships and I forwarded my name. I finished my course and began looking for a job. It took two years for the scholarship list to come out. Eight students had been accepted and I was the only girl. For more-monitor

Catherine Namara, I come from a village that was not connected to the power grid and had no mobile phones when I was joining secondary school and this motivated me to do electrical engineering in order to leave no one behind. Besides the main stream engineering course, I’ve done a masters in project management but the best class is the work environment. There are so many challenges that present learning opportunities. With changing technology, one must be agile, when you realise you are missing opportunities because of a skill, go out and get it. Technology is fascinating and fast changing. You have to be curious and ready to learn, unlearn and relearn. Its not enough to be brilliant academically, networking in such a way that you identify mentors, coaches and sponsors will help you get ahead.

Angela Mirembe Semwogerere is the General manager of Spidd Africa Ltd. She is also the Founder of Coding In Heels, a Social Enterprise that focuses on inspiring Girls and Women to embrace STEM ( Science, Technology,Engineering and Maths) with her focus on technology. She is also a consultant and a member of Uganda’s National Taskforce on emerging technologies - (Fourth Industrial Revolution- 4IR) and an IVLP (International Visitors Leadership Program) Alumni. With more than ten years experience working in the IT & Telecommunication Industries, She desires to share her knowledge and play a major role in closing the digital gender divide by inspiring more women to join the Tech industry. As a consultant, She also assists companies in the area of Organizational transformation helping them to find the most efficient ways to be productive in this era of “New Normal”.

Nabulo Vivian: Software Developer, Constantly using technology in form of taking lifts to go the higher floors of the building, using phones etc enticed me to part of the software team that is capable of peoples lives easy. I constantly took personal projects, involved myself in different hackathons, participated in software training programs with different companies. Don't be intimidated. Some women may feel reluctant to enter technology careers because they're afraid they don't have enough technical knowledge. Being determined and forcused, Completing what I started.

Gloria Mercy is a leader of the cranes and crushers area, leading 33 men, most of whom are older than her. Her duties revolve around power supply, distribution and power protection in the plant.

Together with her colleague, Alfred, she is responsible for two substations and the two emergency generator plants. “Electricity without control is dangerous, so, I have embarked on fully understanding automation hence the PLC Trainings and my involvement in plant projects and automation works, Read more

Masawi Jane: Global Sytstems Engineer, studied technology at the university. Its something that i always loved. I had the chance to intern in tech environments and i had a great support system around me that believed in me so they pushed me and are still pushing me to my full potential. Take a leap of faith ,take the high road and bet on yourself.Give yourself a chance to discover how much you can translate your amazing ideas into something biger using technology that can change the world. ...every great thing has a start point. No situation is Permanent...It can only be permanent if you allow it too.

I am not who I was yesterday,Im not yet what i want to be but im on the right track of who i want to be.(baby steps)

Margaret Nambaziira: IT operations Administrator, Throughout my childhood i loved computers and i could associate myself with anyone who had a computer. It was in high school where i got access to computers in a class of more than 80 students on 15 desktops in the computer lab. My advise to every girl/woman out there is to find female mentors who can support you and share their own experience navigating the tech industry as a woman and also involving yourself in tech projects are a great starting point.

Nakato Lynnet: Well, as a child I love to play with computers and I remember a time where technology had no yet grown in africa, I would fight so hard to keep up to date with the different evolutions in technology which exposed me to devices like modems, use of broad band connections ,use of facebook , that instilled a desire to know more of the different trends that could be used to solve problems within the community around me.Some of these technologies are Artificial intelligence which I admired because of how services have been made easier to get thus enhancing efficiency and effectiveness.

Maku Pauline: Freelance Software developer, My first project, third year project. I developed the skills through mentorship and guidance, from the then developers at outbox hub. All you need is a reliable internet connection, a working computer, the right resources and mentorship... Anyone can become a software developer. Learning is a journey, don't try and absorb the whole android (any) documentation in one night. Be patient with yourself and take it one day at a time. Enjoy the whole process. 😄

Joyce Wolayo: IT consultant, Am innovative with many skills in IT. I am able to maintain my innovations that include a digital magazine. Technology is empowering because as a woman, you can create and be innovative by adding to what you know with more training. In the end there is the ability to be economically independent. I tell myself, work,work,work until it's your best.

Tugume Agnes Brenda: Co-founder Code Academy Uganda, First thing is love and passion for tech as it simplifies work, believing in myself plus setting goals on a daily basis, read daily and using my skills to create value and help people. Having a telecommunications engineering background where I first learnt computer programming and my almost most of my classmates hated it, it gave me courage to go and pay for an extra class to learn and be able to solve problems which was always my vision to contribute to society through technology

Nalwadda Dorothy: IT sales & implementation consultant, I had always wanted to be part of the magic that is done by computers. I realized I can do technology after my Secondary education. Aspiring to become an engineer, I applied for software engineering at Makerere university and was given a place. That is where I started my journey of ICT. Despite all the challenges as a woman in ICT, I have developed my skills by being resilient, a life-long learner, looking for a new technology to learn everyday and also building a network with people who have prospered in this field. I have always believed in myself and learnt from my mistakes.

Nagaba Phionah: 4th Year student pursuing Data science, take technology as the first career priority because technology changes every day. System administration and data science is what I am best at. And I have developed these skills through attending cohorts /learning/training for the past years and I am still on the journey of crafting my amazing technology journey.