Ms. Geek Rwanda is a competition for women in Rwanda who have put their knowledge and skills in the field of ICTs towards innovative ideas. The winning project, Mobile Cow, is a mobile app that allows farmers to monitor the oestrus cycles of cows.
The competition took place on 8 March, which not-so-coincidentally also marked International Women's Day. 25 women from Rwanda's higher educaton institutions and universities took part, with University of Rwanda student, Nancy Sibo, taking out the top prize for Mobile Cow. Four other projects were also honoured:
- 2nd Place: Christine Bayizere's Wireless Blackbox is a tool to boost traffic safety, monitoring vehicles and send alerts when accidents occur.
- 3rd Place: The Class Attendance System from Josephine Tujyimbere uses fingerprint recognition to observe student progress.
- 4th Place: the Item Locator from Chantal Mukundwa which allows users to search fro items they wish buy and browse nearby shops that stock those items.
- 5th Place: Eline Nyirangirimana's Online Driving System lets people take their driving tests online.
Women in Africa's Tech Scene
Africa's tech scene is developing swiftly with concentrated tech hubs popping up in Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania to name a few. Ms. Geek goes against the outdated (but still globally-prevalent) notion that the ICT sector is a man's world. The competition, held for the first time this year, is a chance for women to demonstrate their expertise in the field, celebrate their contributions in this area and thereby encourage other women to get involved.
The Rwandan government, particularly the Ministry for Youth and ICT, set up the Smart Rwanda Program to create pathways for women, who are sorely underrepresented in science and technology, to join the ICT sector to assist with the country's sustainable development.
The winners of Ms. Geek 2014 will now have the opportunity to work on and further develop their projects at selected research institutes.
Check out the video below where Ms. Sibo explains the idea behind Mobile Cow: