Since its launch in 2013, the WeTech Seed Fund for Women + Girls in Computer Science in Africa has been a gateway for young African women to begin their careers in Information and Communications Technology, or ICT. With the goal of investing in nascent women’s groups and individual champions already taking impressive steps to support and encourage women and girls in computer science in Africa, WeTech has disbursed a total of 35 grants totaling $330,000 to 33 different groups and individuals in 16 different countries throughout the African continent.
Through two separate funding rounds made possible by the support of Google, WeTech facilitated independent selection committees comprised of regional tech experts to help identify relevant organizations, providing them with small grants ranging from $2,000 to $20,000. These seed funds were used over the following months to either expand existing programming initiatives or develop pilot programs which engage women and girls in ICT in their local communities.
The 33 grantees selected run the gamut in size and project scope, allowing the Fund to have a broad and diverse impact on its beneficiaries. To date, grantees have reported direct impact on over 4,800 beneficiaries and indirect impact on over 4,400.
The array of projects and activities conducted by the grantees is just as diverse as the populations that they engage. Grantees partnered with primary and secondary schools, universities, local governments and each other to teach their beneficiaries skills and techniques to support the next generation of African leaders in Computer Science.
Opportunities were also provided throughout the year for Seed Fund members to participate in professional enrichment activities through virtual meetings with WeTech staff, also giving them the chance to connect and learn from one another. The WeTech Seed Fund network will continue to thrive under the new direction of the newly formed Leadership Council, four stellar grantees that are committed to keeping collaboration and engagement alive amongst grantees.
Through these organizations and individuals, the next generation of innovators and technologists are emerging. WeTech is excited to be a part of ensuring that change is happening not only on the community level, but within the broader landscape of women in tech worldwide.