Grace Hopper Annual Conference Schedule


The TechKobwa Project: Empowering Rwandan Women to Help Rwanda Realize Its Vision for Becoming the Information Technology Hub of Africa

October 15 10:30 am-11:30 am
340 A Level Three GRBCC
TRACK: Best Of
Presentation / Lightning Talk
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Twenty-one years after genocide, Rwanda is forging ahead aggressively on Rwanda Vision 2020—a plan to transform an economy dominated by subsistence farming into one driven by information and communications technology. This presentation describes a project that aims to empower Rwandan women to play a key role in their country’s ICT revolution. A collaboration between the US Peace Corps, Michigan State University, IBM, and the Rwanda Ministry of Youth and ICT, the TechKobwa Project offers ICT-teacher training and residential technology camps for female students. In three summers, TechKobwa camps have provided more than 150 female students and 30 rural ICT teachers access to computers together with instruction developing their skills, confidence and creativity using digital technology. This presentation will describe goals of the project, how it was launched and funded, the camp curriculum, outcomes from camp evaluations, and challenges and lessons learned. (“Kobwa,” pronounced “kobga,” is the Kinyarwanda word for “girl.”)