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Tech and innovation challenge for girls launched in Ethiopia


To encourage the participation of girls in tech entrepreneurship, a technology and innovation competition for girls was launched in Addis Ababa by Technovation, an organization that offers opportunities to girls so they can acquire the right skills to get into the fields of technology.

“Technovation was established to address the dearth of women in technology through offering young women the opportunity to become high-tech Entrepreneurs early in their careers. Since 2010, more than 10,000 girls from 78 countries have participated in Technovation and this year our country Ethiopia will be on the map,” stated Temechegn Engida (PhD), Program Officer of ICT Use and STEM Education, UNESCO.

Though this competition, girls aged 10 to 18 learn to identify a problem in their community and create a mobile app solution to address that problem, and then learn how to communicate these ideas and translate them into a fully launched business.

“The Technovation program takes students through 4 stages of launching a mobile app startup, inspired by the principles of design thinking: ideation; identify a problem in the community, technology; develop a mobile app solution, entrepreneurship; build a business plan to launch the app and pitch; take the business to market all in 3 months,” stated Sara Tabit, Regional Ambassador for Technovation.

Through this competition, the girls are expected to develop skills and competences including critical thinking, creativity, grit, collaboration, initiative, problem solving, communication, curiosity, persistency and adaptability.

“This year, Technovation partnered with Google and UN Women will center the 2017 challenge around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of: poverty, environment, peace, equality, education, and health. UNESCO-IICBA is committed to supporting this initiative which aims to empower young women with technology and entrepreneurship,” said Temechegn.

The National Pitch Event winning team will receive 50,000 ETB and will qualify for the global quarterfinals. If the team qualifies to the global semifinal, the team will travel to Los Angeles, USA, all costs covered, to participate in the global competition. According to the organizers, the global Technovation winning team will receive USD 15,000 followed by USD 10,000 for finalist teams and USD 5,000 for runner up teams.