Ms. Simi Olusola , Founder of The Abocoders which won the 2016/2017 Miss.Africa Seed Funding narrates how the seed fund enhanced their activities of supporting women and girls with digital Literacy and computer programming skills in the Northern part of Nigeria.

Simi Olusola, Founder The AboCoders

Q1: Highlight your general experience with the 2016/17 Miss.Africa Seed Funding Awards

Simi: I had a smooth experience with the Awards, the application process was not at all belaborous and I like the fact that we got to engage with the team during the interview.

We applied for the 2015/16 edition of the Awards and while we were finalists, we did not make the top 3.

Therefore, the fact that, the second time around, we grabbed the first position vividly meant that the Miss.Africa Seed Funding team was carefully observing and tracking our work and could see that we had made progress.

Q2: How did the Miss.Africa Seed Fund enhance AboCoders’ initiatives and activities of supporting girls in STEM?

Simi: Greatly! First, we could buy more computers which meant that each girl could now have a laptop to herself during classes instead of pairing as we had to do before.

Second, we got to make our centre more aesthetically pleasing and convenient, we also tried to give it a look that would always get the girls excited whenever they stepped in.

Finally, we were able to get the girls further access to resources and events that boosted their exposure and skill base. As a bonus, our operations became smoother.

Q3: Give us a successful instance at AboCoders when the Women in STEM flag was flown high.

Simi: Err, every time? We are all about Women in STEM all the time so we are constantly flying the flag high.

Every time we hit a milestone with the girls, participate in events etc, we are flying the flag. We have not had any massive public moment yet asides the time last year at the Girls in ICT day competition in Abuja where the AboCoders team came second.

Q4: Outline your take on the future of women technology in Africa/Globally? And a message to other girls who would want to venture into ICT Careers.

Simi: The future is literally in our hands, no one can stop us except ourselves.

Thankfully, there are lots of initiatives now helping to groom other women and I look forward to the crop of women in tech we will have a couple of years down the line. The possibilities of what we can achieve and how we can change the world are endless! We need to be ready to put in the work for the long haul.

For the girl who wants to venture into ICT, I ask “Do you have a functional brain?”, “Do you want to change the world?”, “Are you eloquent?”. If your answers to all 3 is yes, then what are you waiting for?

Venture into and fall in love with tech today. We need you!

Miss.Africa Voices is a regular online journal that presents women in tech experiences, opinions and observations. These stories come from DotConnectAfrica Internship Alumni and other Women who are leading the tech-preneurship fronts in their own ecosystems. The Miss.Africa Voices also serves to encourage more girls & women to get involved in STEM careers through our Miss.Africa Digital Program.

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