We want to be a role model for girls and for women in tech. They think it’s just for men.
Awa Caba (Jjiguen Tech Hub co-founder).
All too often conversations on the digital scene in Africa look to the East – Rwanda and Kenya in particular.
When they do go West, Nigeria takes precedence because of the country’s population, size, and economy. The remarkable progress made by (Francophone) Senegal is not fully acknowledged in both the dominant regional and international technology press that is written in English.
In Senegal, 83% of the population has a mobile telephone with 40% of these being smartphones that allow users to access the Internet. In 2013, 20.90% of the population was using the Internet, compared to 1.9% in Ethiopia or 12.30% in Ghana.
There have been high investments in the ICT education sector as well, with the country getting gongs as a key provider of ICT Senegal.
A further step in this direction is the West African nation’s ambitious project to create Africa’s version of Silicon Valley, located about 40km from the capital Dakar. Work has already begun on the $120million “Diamniadio Technology Park”, funded by the government and the African Development Bank (AfDB), which will feature data and higher education centers.
ICT developments efforts are increasingly being recognized. Technology hub Bantalabs have established offices in Dakar – the company provides open source web development, consulting and training. They also organize workshops and community events in Europe and West Africa.
CTIC Dakar, one of the leading technology business incubators in sub-Saharan Africa, was also launched in the country in 2011. The company, currently focused on supporting high-growth tech companies and startups, has since supported more than 60 companies, generating around $5 million in revenue.
Jjiguen Tech Hub is a tech learning center for women of all ages and education levels in Dakar, Senegal. Jjiguentech have just moved into their new offices in Dakar and soon their entrepreneurs will be experienced enough to start projects that begin to generate income. In this video, by the World Bank, Binta explains her goals behind the hub and how she feels when she gets closer to attaining her goals.
Marieme Jamme – Helping African entrepreneurs enter the global market
Marieme JammeMariéme Jamme was born in Senegal and she is currently based in London. She is a renowned blogger, CEO, technologist and social entrepreneurs with a prolific commitment to empowering fellow Africans achieve their full potential through good leadership, education, economic development and social entrepreneurship.
As the CEO of SpotOne Global Solutions she helps technology startups companies develop their businesses, enter foreign new markets, find business partners in new business territories and win new profitable ventures abroad. Her company mainly focuses on the technology market and using her vast knowledge in the technology field, she helps startups tech-companies accelerate their growth in new business territories.
Her company’s operations are based on a motto they say, “We use the right skill achieve the right results by targeting the right people with the right messages”. A business ‘mantra’ that can be said to have been very effective for her company.
Before joining SpotOne Global Solutions, Mariéme was an asset manager for JP Morgan, Lloyds TSB and Citibank. She also worked for the big names in software companies like Microsoft, Primavera INC (now Oracle), CA and Osiatis. Part of her current job description in Britain entails advising the UK Home Office on various ways of helping African Diaspora in transferring their knowledge and skills back to their home countries.
This article first appeared in the africanentrepreneurshipaward.com