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Pioneering Women Engineers in Africa: Breaking Barriers

Women in STEM: An Uphill Battle

Despite making up less than 20% of the STEM workforce in Africa, many women are excelling in engineering and related fields. They face significant barriers, including discrimination and undervaluation. Nonetheless, numerous organizations, both within and outside of Africa, are striving to bridge this gap. These efforts aim to promote gender equality and support women pursuing STEM careers.

Trailblazers in Northern Africa

Northern Africa boasts many remarkable women engineers. For instance, Tyseer Aboulnasr from Egypt has held prestigious academic positions in Canada, and Najla Bouden, a geoscientist from Tunisia, became the first female Prime Minister in the Arab world. Similarly, Akissa Bahri, an agricultural engineer from Tunisia, has contributed significantly to water resource management. These women are redefining engineering in their regions and beyond.

Eastern Africa’s Engineering Leaders

Eastern Africa is home to several influential female engineers. Winnie Byanyima from Uganda, an aeronautical engineer, now leads UNAIDS, while Germaine Kamayirese from Rwanda has played a crucial role in her country’s infrastructure development. These women have not only broken into male-dominated fields but also excelled, driving innovation and progress in their respective countries.

Central and Southern Africa’s Innovators

Central Africa’s Therese Izay-Kirongozi is known for her humanoid traffic robots in the DRC, and Ngalula Mubenga is a leading electrical engineer who has significantly impacted the energy sector. In Southern Africa, Veliswa Boya is a pioneering cloud engineer in South Africa, and Naadiya Moosajee is a civil engineer who co-founded WomHub to support female STEM entrepreneurs. These innovators are transforming their industries and inspiring future generations.

Western Africa’s Visionary Engineers

Western Africa also has its share of pioneering women. Funke Opeke from Nigeria founded MainOne Cable Company, enhancing Africa’s connectivity. Meanwhile, Mary Spio from Ghana has contributed to satellite systems and founded CEEK Virtual Reality. Additionally, Lucy Quist, a Ghanaian-British electrical engineer, has made significant strides in both the corporate world and entrepreneurship, demonstrating the vast potential and impact of women in engineering across the continent.

This concise overview showcases the incredible achievements of African women in engineering. By highlighting their contributions, we can inspire more women to pursue careers in STEM, fostering a more inclusive and innovative future.

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