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WMIAfrica Interim Report

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Date: 26 Mar 2015

Document Type: Community Grant Report

Tags: Women in Tech
, Women in technology


WMIAfrica, is a web­based platform that combines sharing of successful stories and virtual mentoring for young women in STEM through a digital community.

These stories will help to encourage participation and build capacity to develop quality young women through virtual mentoring and stories from role models that can be passed on to the next generation to encourage more women to participate and enroll in STEM field. WMIAfrica also provides, resources such as events, competitions, advertised job opportunities in science related sectors, useful materials/templates for women having innovative projects to use in their startups or individual projects. Our team has been working to build the virtual platform and under the mentorship of the co­founders, design and improve the platform based on the feedback received from our current community of users.

The purpose of the ISOC grant application is to build a digital community of women in STEM in Kenya and then spread across Africa. The goal of this digital community is to create a “network effect”, through the stories and projects shared by the women innovators and entrepreneurs for the young ladies to participate and learn from these role models. WMIAfrica will also actively engage young women in the rural areas to be part of the WMI digital community. This will be achieved through STEM community meetups in a specific country with Kenya as our current pilot. These young women will be trained, guided and coached by the WMIAfrica mentors WMIAfrica will have specific women within the network known as “WMI Ambassadors.” They will reside in their host country and facilitate “WMI camps” to “pass on” and evangelize the platform as role models, to encourage more women to join the virtual network to mentor or be mentored. They will also share their innovative success stories, that will then be passed as inspiration to other women in STEM. This will be achieved through the ‘STEM circles’ component of WMIAfrica platform. This component will showcase registered women in the different STEM categories that will include Technology and Computer Science. Events and programs targeted at a particular circle can then trickle down to other circles to create, share and transfer knowledge across the STEM circles.The local ‘WMI Ambassadors’ will also help in organizing physical events and outreach programs e.g. training sessions on a particular topic or programming language, business skills to compliment their related STEM skills. These outreach avenues will also be used as a platform for women to showcase their work and projects. More so encourage women to participate and join by changing their mindsets. WMIAfrica has also deployed a crowd map that will map where the women and girls in STEM are, to encourage more participation through increase in numbers. Other ways we hope to engage WMIAfrica women and girls in the network is through having frequent Google hangouts. 


1. Ambassador Program for University Students

We commenced with a pilot Ambassador Program which involved 22 university students from University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Technical University of Kenya and Kenyatta University.

The program had two phases:­

The Training

The training was focussed on the following three areas:­

  1. Personal Skills​­ - Self­Knowledge -­ Purpose, Passion, Belief, Critical Thinking, Attitude and personal development, Achieving a healthy work­life balance, Discipline, Image, Etiquette and Ethics
  2. Practical / Communication Skills​ -­ Internal communication, external communicaiton, managing a community and story telling.
  3. Complementary Skills​­ - Mentorship -­ How to make the most of it, Leadership – Principles of leadership, Innovation – Industry cross collaboration, asking the questions, Tech Basics – Social Media, Blogging Tools, Productive tools, Time Management Tools, Tracking Tools, Your Career – Planning, What Next and Success At Work – “Your Work, Your Brand”

At the end to the training, the skills acquired are to help the ambassadors articulate their ideas and present them to any panel clearly and confidently.

Research and Field work

The research and field work involved the ambassadors taking time to conduct a study in their current environment that is school and neighboring communities and challenge themselves in how they can utilize their knowledge and skills to solve an existing problem.

This phase involved

  1. Conducting a research and presenting to a panel of experts in Engineering, Technology and Innovation
  2. Conducting field work which involved designing of questionnaires, engaging with different communities in their day to day activities. The ambassadors visited a children home in Kirinyaga County, a village in Soy, Eldoret and Carwashes in Nairobi county.

This phase of the program was aimed to open their minds and think broadly of how they can be able to put the skills in Engineering, Technology and computer science to practice.

2. The Platform

We built a platform to

Allow women to register as members and engage within the platforms through the in built forum.

  1. Allow WMIAfrica share their stories through the blog
  2. Share stories of women with techpreneurs, reseachers, engineers that they may or may not be familiar with. 



  1. Web Platform that can be used to share stories
  2. A database of women in different areas of STEM who are willing to engage with other university student in order to help build their career in STEM.
  3. Feedback from the pilot ambassador program was very positive, a story of one ambassador can be found here



  1. In order to build a digital community of women in STEM, there needs to be a physical interaction with the women. Having forums that engage the women in university is a crucial part and needs to begin at an early stage. These forums also need to involve a technical activity instead of sharing of stories, advice or debate on a particular topic.
  2. Working with university students needed a lot of ground work to be done as they needed to get exposed to what exists so that they can engage in working in a project which is a key value for WMIAfrica since we want to share the experiences gained from working on a project. This would also make them engage with different stakeholders or already existing people and hence create the “network effect”