MEST Talks: Women in Tech
To commemorate Women's History month and Women's International Day in March, the Meltwater Incubator held its March MEST Talks on Women in Tech. The featured speakers were Regina Agyare, Linda Ansong, and Ethel Cofie who are each leaders in Accra's tech industry, pushing the boundaries for women and girls and expanding their opportunities.
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Regina Agyare heads the well recognized software development powerhouse Soronko Solutions and simultaneously drives Soronko's outreach program called, 'Tech Needs Girls'. The organization services under-reached young people with technology such as offering lessons in a mosque in Nima (a slum in Accra) for young Muslim girls and creating apps to allow deaf children better integrate into their communities.
Born out of the efforts of three female Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EIT's) at MEST, STEMbees is an organization with a similar vision for young girls in Ghana. Linda Ansong spoke on her role as president of STEMbees and the need to open the doors of opportunity to girls in Ghana. Ansong addressed the cultural biases of being female in Ghana and her hopes to challenge those views, both through STEMbees and through her role as co-founder at tech startup, Vestracker.
Ethel Cofie tied up the panel and addressed this cultural bias directly, by admitting bias in herself. Cofie challenged the audience to fight this unconscious stereotyping in our everyday lives by following these simple steps: "Detect it, own it, unlearn it, and relearn in a new way." Cofie heads Edel Technologies and Women in Tech Ghana.
MEST Talks are panel discussions at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology Incubator (MINC), held once a month on Friday mornings. These are opportunities for the public to meet knowledgeable members of the local business and technology community, and get introduced to a range of topics and resources in Accra's budding startup ecosystem.
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Due to COVID-19, MEST postpones training program to next year and doubles down on growing portfolio companies
At MEST, we continue to be deeply concerned about COVID-19 and have been closely monitoring developments locally and globally. Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our community and we will continue to follow local authority and health official guidelines.
Due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic and the uncertainty that the future of travel holds, we have been unable to conduct in-person interviews and host recruitment around Africa for our next cohort. For this reason, we have taken the decision to postpone the Training Program to next year.
While these circumstances are indeed unfortunate, we see this as an exciting opportunity at MEST to double down on providing support and mentorship to our existing portfolio companies and the African ecosystem.
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