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Spotlight: 5 Cameroonian Female Techies

Female tech entrepreneurs are usually missing from most conversations about Africa’s IT sector. Such an observation can mislead one into thinking that they are absent. The fact that they are not talked about enough, shadows the fact that they are entrepreneurs who are working hard and making breakthroughs in the IT sector.  A look at the Google group Women Techmakers shows the undisputed contributions women are making in the tech industry, and it is in this light that this article profiles five female techies from Cameroon.

Rebecca Enonchong

Rebecca Enonchong started by selling newspaper subscriptions door-to-door at 15 after she arrived in the US. Today she is a successful business woman who has been featured on Forbes Africa and is the CEO of AppsTech, a company which was founded in 1999 and now has clients in more than 40 countries on three continents. The company has had a footprint in Cameroon and Africa for over 10 years. According to Forbes Africa, the company, which is an Oracle Platinum partner, “offers a diverse range of enterprise software products and services including implementation, training and application management services for large and medium-sized companies.”

Before founding the company, Enonchong worked for the Oracle Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank (IaDB) and had held senior positions with the Washington Business Group and Hyatt Hotels. Enonchong has received multiple awards for her work and accomplishments, some of which include: The 2001 African Entrepreneurship Award; she was named a Global Leader for Tomorrow in 2002 by the World Economic Forum of Davos, Switzerland; has been featured in prestigious journals and papers like the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Fortune Magazine.

Braunhilda Ngum Atangeur 

Braunhilda Ngum Atangeur is a Computer Network & Security Expert who has worked at ITG Store Consulting and is the founder of Voreitter Consulting. This firm provides consulting services, IT training, software development and security audits and it mentors young girls in Bamenda. A Polytechnic alumni, she was part of a group of women who represented Cameroon at  Techwomen 2013 where she was the only woman who worked with the POC Lab team to test the functionalities of the Juniper MX104 (a Service Provider Internet Router).

Daisy Aatse Nkweteyim

Daisy Aatse Nkweteyim is a tech enthusiast who is mentored by Churchill Nanje of Njorku. She is a STEM leader for the University of Buea (the WAAW foundation’s STEM cell outreach program seeks to bridge the secondary school-to-university continuous sequence for STEM in Africa, and ultimately increase the pipeline of African girls entering STEM careers). In 2014, she participated in Cameroon Google Summer of Code, a Google organized event which tries to get students involved in open source software like Glass and APIs among others.

She is also an organizer of Google Developer Group Buea. Google Developer Groups (GDGs) are made up of developers who are interested in Google's developer technology; everything from the AndroidChromeDrive, and Google Cloud platforms, to products APIs like the Cast API, Maps API, and YouTube API. The seven GDGs in Cameroon are found in Bamenda, Bandjoun, Buea, Douala, DschangNgaoundéré and Yaoundé.

Danielle Akini

Danielle Akini is the director of SII (Solutions et Ingénieuries Informatique), a platform based in Douala which provides eMarketing, maintenance and software among other services to its clients. In 2013, she started an NGO called Africa IT Women, which supports female techies by providing coaching opportunities, online classes, orientation as well as networking. Though Africa IT Women is based in Cameroon, it has members from several African countries, notably, Kenya, Morocco, Senegal, Burkina Fasso and Tunisia. Akini is a member of GDG Douala and regularly participates in various BarCamp events.

Stella Joyce Bulu

Stella Joyce Bulu works with AppsTech as an Oracle Application Database Administrator, where she mostly creates, implements and administers databases as well as carries out maintenance on Oracle applications. She has recently launched the Blu Project, a think-tank aimed at providing solutions to problems in the IT sector through networking.

 

Earlier this year, on March 8, AppsTech and Google hosted a daylong Women TechMakers event in Douala, in honour of International Women’s Day. According to ActivSpaces, the Douala Women TechMakers facilitated an exchange between participants around topics such as furthering the role of women in IT-related fields, career-building, promoting self-confidence and developing job interviewing.

Even though Cameroonian female techies don’t get the exposure and media attention that their male counterparts have, this in no way downplays their ambition. In fact, it rather pushes them to work harder so that they can become household names.

 

Dzekashu MacViban is a freelance journalist and has written for the Ann Arbor Review of Books, Fashizblack, Goethe.de, and PalaPala among others

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Dzekashu MacViban

Dzekashu MacViban is a freelance journalist and has written for the Ann Arbor Review of Books, Fashizblack, Goethe.de, and PalaPala among others.

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