Women in Tech: A program to close a gender gap in technology in Burundi

The STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related fields are mostly male-dominated. Women In Tech” has decided to join forces with Kit-Hub to fill that gender gap in technology in Burundi as worldwide.

Gender gap is remarkable in the technology sector across the world. According to a research made by the National Centre for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), only 25 percent of women are working in technology field worldwide.
Only 3 percent of black women are part of the technology workforce worldwide. Hence, 75 percent of technology workforce belong to men. In sub-Saharan African countries, men occupy at least 97 percent of tech workforce.
At the executive level, this gap is even wider as women hold only 11 percent of leadership positions in technology related fields.

Though the gap keeps increasing, the history shows the difference. Women are believed to have taken actively part in the revolution of technology.

Ada Lovelace, a British woman, is considered as the first computer programmer. She demonstrated her incredible skills in STEM in the 1840s.

The first idea of creating the modern WI-FI and Bluetooth was also initiated by a woman. Hedy Lamarr developed, in 1942, the idea for a secret communication system aimed at setting radio-guided torpedoes off course, the one taken into account to create the modern WI-FI and Bluetooth.

Besides, Mary Wilkes is the first-ever person to be a home computer user. She initiated, in 1965, the concept of the home office which is so integral to our working lives today. All of those great female figures in technology have truly proven the real place of women in technology back in the day.

To maintain this great place and the role of women in technology, Mrs. AYUMMI, 32, from France, launched the movement of all stakeholders in the domain of women inclusion in technology named “Women In Tech”.
This movement aims at encouraging and supporting women to reembrace this nowadays male-dominated field, she said. To do so, the Women In Tech movement comprises four approaches namely: education, business, social inclusion and advocacy, she added.

Burundi in the “Women In Tech” target

The press conference held at KitHub headquarters , on 01.03.2023, for explaining what « Women in Tech » is about

Though there is no official research conducted to know more about Burundian women in technology, technology is largely a male-dominated domain in Burundi.

Owing to this observation, Kit-hub, a professional and multi-sectoral non-profit center that aims at improving the living standards of the Burundian population, launched #FemDev in 2021. It aims at increasing the rate of women, valuing and highlighting their talents in the digitalization and STEM domains.

After around 2 years of different services to improve the inclusion of Burundian women in technology, Women In Tech has decided to support it.

“Women in tech comes to support activities initiated by Kit-Hub in the technology field for women. We did so many things as Kit-Hub but we realized that we need other people, more experienced ones, to lift up our activities from the current level,” said Chris Clément Igiraneza, the founding CEO at Kit-Hub and Ambassador of “Women In Tech” in Burundi.

“Women in Tech will do its best to equip and empower Burundian women and girls with the necessary skills and confidence to succeed in STEM career fields. This will be an addition to what we already do in #FemDev,” he added.

The program will ensure that even the Burundian rural women and girls will be served through this program via clubs or community centers which already exist or will be built: “We have to approach the target groups we serve to fully achieve our goals.”

According to AYUMMI, many activities to empower women in the technology field and to advocate for their support will be organized in the framework of this #WomenInTech movement.
The “Women In Tech” movement in Burundi will be officially launched on Friday, March 3, 2023, in Bujumbura city.