The history of women in technology from Northern Nigeria is a brief one, but now it is rising. For decades, technology has been a man’s world, with few women in leading roles. Today, in Northern Nigeria, the narrative is changing.
In a culture that has a perception of women as not capable of doing technical, rigorous and scientific work, certain women are rising in Northern Nigeria, especially in this brain driven tech-world.
With gender diversity and the conservative culture of Northern Nigeria, women have to constantly prove themselves, and they are so far excelling in the tech world and making their mark in the ICT industry. Due to cultural believes, it is erroneously whispered in Northern Nigeria that successful women are arrogant and never find husbands. Notwithstanding, the great technology enthusiasts of Northern Nigeria are rising, and they are young women, vibrant and fresh with ideas.
Arewa Women in Tech
Generally, women in Northern Nigeria are business oriented right from time immemorial. Right from their homes in a patriarchal system, they utilize the little they have to give back to their family and even the community.
Django Girls Borno is an initiative bent at bringing Information Technology to the Boko Haram ravaged city of Maiduguri, and it is just for women. The brains behind Django Girls Borno believe the IT industry will greatly benefit from bringing more Northern Nigerian women into technology and hope to inspire women to fall in love with programming. To push these young ladies into applying, their workshops are free and even encourage those with challenges of access to funds to apply for travel scholarships to Maiduguri.
Also, early this year, in commemoration of the International Women’s Day, a program tagged ‘ICT Solution for HER’ held in Kano, hosted by a tech space named Blue Hub to empower women in business with techniques and tools offered by digital marketing.
Blue Hub is a Kano based ICT innovation hub developed to mentor, guide and accelerate startups. Maryam Lawan Gwadabe is the CEO of Blue Hub and she went out all the way with relentless optimism to establish a tech hub that provides incubation, workshop, workspaces and ICT consultancy to the teeming population of Kano, one of the largest cities in Africa.
In fact, currently, there are more technology hubs in Northern Nigeria than in the south of the country, showing the coming of age of technology in this part of the region, and so far, women are among the leads.
Aysha Tofa is a co-founder of Startup Kano, an organization aimed towards creating an ecosystem for creative and innovative entrepreneurs, and also later came up with the Women Founder’s Group, a platform for creative and innovative tech and non-tech women entrepreneurs. Using these platforms, the women in technology in Northern Nigeria are empowering women and technology at a time, and the society at large.
Farida Yahya is an entrepreneur and the Editor-In-Chief of Northern Nigeria’s fledging online blog, northernlife.ng. The website is a one of a kind online media platform designed to showcase the diversity of the people of Northern Nigeria away from all the usual stereotypes.
Farida Kabir Hashidu on her own hand is the founder of OTRAC-Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers, a government certified online Ebola training platform. In an age of Information technology, Farida Hashidu used her initiatives as a zoology graduate and her tech passion to develop her revolutionary platform. And she did it foo free, for the betterment of her country Nigeria and its worrisome health indices.
A Mental Game
Technology is a mental game. The women of Northern Nigeria are excelling in this duel, and better still, they are also empowering other women as they move along. It is indeed necessary that the stories of these women be told.
I will no doubt be watching, and so should you, to see how Northern Nigeria will be transformed by this explosive combination of beauty, brains and talents. The women have one dream: to make even better technologies in and for Northern Nigeria.