AkiraChix to host rebranded Geek Girl Festival

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Kenyan non-profit tech women’s network AkiraChix will on April 25 hold the Geek Girl Festival, aimed at connecting high school girls with industry experts.

The free event, which will take place at the AkiraChix offices at the Bishop Magua Centre on Ngong Road from 9am until 5pm, was previously known as the Girls in ICT Day.

In spite of the rebranding, the theme of the event remains the same, with the goal being to host a one-day event full of fun and brainstorming around career opportunities for girls in high school and university.

Angela Oduor, who heads up community building and communications at AkiraChix, told Disrupt Africa the rebranding had take place as the organisation was looking to build a solid brand that clearly communicates its mission and vision while injecting the personality it aims to bring to its various activities and programmes.

She said AkiraChix was targeting an attendance of around 300 high school students and university students, with speakers to be confirmed at a later date.

“We plan on hosting a speed geeking session, a number of breakout sessions around technology and design, and a few panel discussions from women working in the tech industry,” Oduor said.

“The idea behind this event is to provide opportunities for our audience to engage with women already working in the industry, for guidance on career choices and opportunities available. We’re hoping that our attendees will be exposed to a much wider range of options in technology when choosing their careers.”

She said the Kenyan tech industry is largely male dominated, and though a lot of great solutions are emerging it is important to maintain diversity and inclusiveness.

“We need to see more women building solutions for their communities and themselves,” she said.

Disrupt Africa reported last month AkiraChix co-founder Judith Owigar said four-fifths of the original founding team of the non-profit had gone on to found other initiatives and businesses since the organisation launched in 2010.

“That is a high number of female technology entrepreneurs from any group,” she said, adding AkiraChix was having a similar impact on the young women taking part in its training programmes.

“60 per cent of the young female technologists that we trained in 2014 in mobile development, web development and entrepreneurship have reported a job or internship placement within three months of their graduation,” Owigar said.

“We are also seeing more women in technology initiatives coming up all over Africa, and we are happy to support and work with women and men who share our vision of nurturing generations of women to create solutions using technology.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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