Uganda has recently experienced a surge in the force of women in technology. Their reach spreads across industry sectors and is paving the way for future generations. These are the women making things happen on Uganda’s tech scene.
Evelyn Namara is the founder and CEO of Vouch Digital, a technology start-up company using data and digital payments to improve cash-based programs in Uganda and beyond. Her flagship product, the M-Voucher system, is changing the way development agencies and governments are distributing goods and items to beneficiaries. She is a finalist in the 2018 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ms. Namara is also the Policy Outreach Fellow for Internet Society, an Anita Borg ABIE Change Agent Award winner, recognized for her role in empowering women and girls in technology, an Acumen East Africa fellow, as well as an IDEX fellow. Ms. Namara spent six months in India as part of the fellowship program working for an education and technology social enterprise start-up, building a chain of after-school learning centers in Bangalore and Kolkata. She is passionate about human rights, the role of women in tech, and believes in the power of the Internet to change lives.
Isabel Odida is a data planning engineer and the first female and Ugandan Internet Society (ISOC) fellow to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). She is also a trainer for the African Network Operators Group (AfNOG), where she teaches the Scalable Internet Services course. Ms. Odida is an avid supporter of free and open-source software (FOSS) and bases all her training on these platforms. She is a technology evangelist and very passionate about knowledge-sharing and empowering the talented minds involved in the African tech community.
Joanitah Nalubega is an industrial chemist and passionate technologist with specific interest in using technology to bring about health equity. She believes that health is the backbone of a society and the access to affordable healthcare services we’ve come to treat as a luxury can and should be a basic human right, and not a reserve for middle- and high-income earners.
Ms. Nalubega is a co-founder of DrugDash, a mobile and web system to facilitate better decision-making in the drug supply chain, by creating complete visibility of the need, stocking and utilization of drugs in real time, to highlight surplus, stock-outs and prevent expiry of drugs in health centers. When this 2017-2019 Next Einstein Forum Ambassador to Uganda isn’t cooking up a social enterprise, she’s travelling and discovering food.
Sherifah Tumusiime is the CEO and co-founder of Zimba Women, an IT solutions provider specializing in the provision of technical and software solutions for small and medium enterprises. Ms. Tumusiime is also a founder of the Baby Store, the first specialty retail e-commerce website for baby products and apparel in Uganda. She has received training from the International Trade Centre (ITC) on cross-border IT and ITES. She is a member of the Cherie Blair Foundation mentorship program and a Mandela Washington Fellow.
Peace Kuteesa is the Chief of Operations for Zimba Women’s tech products, manager of Zimba Mart‘s online portal business, ensuring the security of online transactions, and a computer engineer at the United Nations in the Communications Department. Through her work, her goal is to inspire future generation of women to pursue more STEM-based careers.
Maureen Agena is a founder and Executive Director of Tune Communications LTD, which focuses on development communication in the thematic areas of agriculture and health. She is interested in using technology for social change and has consulted for a wide range of both local and international agencies, from NGOs to the UN and the World Bank Group in both Kenya and Uganda. She is a member of several technology innovation review panels and committees, both locally and internationally, and a trainer in ICT4D with over eight years experience.
Philippa Makobore is the Department Head of the Instrumentation Division at the Uganda Industrial Research Institute. She received a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alberta, Canada in 2008 and a Professional Certificate in Embedded Systems Engineering from the University of California, Irvine in 2016. Her core expertise is the design of electronic applications and embedded systems for low resource settings. Her team has designed award-winning medical devices that include a diagnostic tool for pneumonia and an automated infusion set.
In 2016, the division secured a first place Innovation Award from the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, California, USA and in 2017 the second place Innovation Prize for Africa for the design of the automated infusion set. Ms. Makobore is a member of the African Biomedical Engineering Consortium (ABEC), the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) and the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society (CMBES) among others.