On November 13, 2015, in an effort to tell Africa’s story to the rest of the world, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Africa journalists, James Fletcher and Akwasi Sarpong, Focus on Africa Reporter visited Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) for an interaction with a team of female innovators with a passion for coding to provide lasting solutions to communities’ challenges using technology.
An interactive mini- exhibition was held at the RAN Innovation Lab where young ladies from Gayaza Secondary School, Makerere University and Busitema University all in Uganda shared about their innovative projects, how and where they learnt coding, their inspirations, and future prospects.
Lorna Maria a student Innovator of Busitema University, a Fistula Ambassador working on a project titled Fistula Awareness Application shared that “Women are care takers and know the needs of an everyday person which would intern impact society if they were to be part of development”.
Margaret Nanyombi an innovator working on a Bacterial Vaginosis Kit application (BV-Kit) which will enable women to perform a self-test even outside the hospital added that in order to make people aware of such technology and adapt to it, medical outreach programs will be adopted and used.
Olivia Koburongo, one of the innovators working on the MAMA-OPE project shared that this innovation is designed to help mothers detect pneumonia in their infants so that it is treated at an early stage to mitigate and reduce child deaths.
A team from Gayaza High School working on an application (FarmCorp). This application provides a social interaction platform for agriculturalists with adequate information about agricultural produce as well as a language translation feature for easy communication.
The team behind the Agro Market Day application which features details of agricultural markets, market days, farmers and products sold in different markets in different parts of Uganda was also able to join in this interaction.
Team AfriGal Tech a life-saving app, mDex whichdetects sickle cell anemia through a mobile phone! As software engineering students, with this project, they wanted to combine their love for technology with affordable medical solutions.
James Fletcher encouraged the female innovators to see their innovations to the end and even create many more. He also emphasized that the innovators should aim at documenting and publicizing their innovations so as to better inform but also transform the whole world.
On the other hand, Akwasi Sarpong found the applications that the innovators showcased fascinating and said, “they are the future of our continent and Uganda, if our future is in their hands, then we have so much to look forward to.” He further added that the innovators have brilliant ideas and all they needed was backing investment support from the private business sector, mentors and people who are already established in technology speed. Great solutions start with ideas.
The BBC visit at RAN created a great opportunity for all the participants to put their female empowerment causes on the table and later in-front of the camera. It also enabled RAN to display the work it is doing in relation to supporting females, technology, development and provision of solutions through innovation in addition to the collaboration with Technovation Challenge.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the public service broadcaster of the United Kingdom and also the largest broadcaster in the world at large.