Close your eyes and imagine how powerful a woman with basic education is; now triple that power for a woman with technological know-how.
The world is fast changing and technology is the new means to a successful end in many countries. For developing countries, this task may be challenging, but given the right mindset and training, the dream of getting a technological advanced Africa/ Cameroon is very possible. The saying “Educate a woman. Educate a Nation” is the most accurate way to describe the purpose of the two-day boot camp on technology by the Cameroon Women Scholarship Alumni and Girls In Tech Cameroon organization at the British High Commission, Cameroon. It aimed at getting more women involved in new technology in order to explore all the means through which it can improve their life quality.
The two-day program started on the 14th of April and participants were offered a word of Welcome by the British High Commissioner, H.E Brian Olley (who is the simplest and most friendly statesman that I have ever met) and he highlighted the importance of technology to a nation like ours and the expectations of the boot camp.
The President of the Cameroon Women Scholarship Alumni, Ngum Azinwi welcomed the participants and gave a run-down of the program. Then it was time for the real business of the day as Janet Fofang the mega tech woman and brain behind Girls In Tech Cameroon, sensitized the participants on the importance of technology and why women were targeted for the boot camp.
She explained that women are mostly defeated and defined by stereotypes that women cannot thrive in IT and it was time to break that barrier. She demonstrated many ways women could be financially independent through IT via building websites, blogging etc. “Networking is the new currency”, she said as she illustrated the role of creating alliances in successful business ventures.
Then it was time for my favorite Tech Guru Team, the Katamba Technologies Group which was created after the “affaire Monique Kouate” (the lady who died with her twin babies at Laquintinie hospital sometime in March) which inspired these young (and handsome I must add hihihihi) men to start-up a tech group that aims at “using technology to better lives” (Yazz!! With more youths like these , we sure have a better Cameroon to look forward to).
They educated the girls on the difference between the internet and the web, available free web tools like Google Drive for storage, WordPress for blogs and websites, Skype, Twitter amongst others and how to use these web tools to attain desired needs. Coding, the technique of building websites using codes is considered by the lay man as an almost impossible process but with the help of these amazing guys, everyone at the boot camp(including me who had the lowest math result ever registered in my secondary school days) created their first website using code. So you see, you don’t have to be a tech lord to use web tools!
Blogging is a fast growing trend in Cameroon and more often than not, some bloggers do not get it right. It is important to know how to develop good blog content as well as how to get and keep readers attention. To school the baby bloggers (every participant created a blog) and blog toddlers (like Yours Truly, Me) the mega mind blogger and owner of the Bakwa Magazine, Dzekashu Macviban gave a deeper insight on how to create good blog content , make your blog visible on the web, capture readers attention and make money off blogging.
Website building took a professional turn on day two as the Katamba tech team helped each participant build a professional website while Arriele Kitio a PhD student in computer technology gave a different face to social media use. She explained how social media could be used for branding and marketing of oneself or business rather than for all the wrong things people use it for these days.
The boot camp came to a close with a word from Mrs Mirielle Ilouga, Head of Communications at the British High commission and the handing of certificates to participants by H.E Brian Olley.
Oooopps did I just forget the food? I’m a foodie so yes, I must mention the bountiful breakfast and lunch table at the boot camp because when the tummy is fed, the brain works faster right? Good thinking CW Alumni, …. (lol) Swear I cannot learn a thing when I’m hungry. My tummy appreciates!!
There is so much that women can do and become. Our entire existence and the world depend on us to be the best version of ourselves. The stereotypes that limit us are all in small minds that do not know how flexible and strong we are. Who says you can’t be Brain surgeon? Or a pro at creating coded websites? Or run a tech firm someday? Show me that person, and I’ll show you someone whose dream doesn’t scare them because they aren’t big enough. I suck at math and science but sweedie if I can (though it gave me a headache) create a short coded website, then imagine the wonders you can do. When your life is over don’t say you only lived the length of it, live the width of it as well!#ExploreYourFullPotential
Coded website “Expert”,