I am a young professional in STEM. Specifically, I promote STEM among African youth through my work at Global Minimum Inc. Very often, I meet young people who love science and technology and are eager to create solutions for the challenges they encounter in their communities. I have continually observed that more girls are diving into STEM-related fields and it is exciting for sure.
“Empowering the Girl Child” is currently among the popular topics in Africa. It may seem obvious that more girls are empowered, but we are not there yet. Not until there are no cases of early marriages, Female Genital Mutilation, girls dropping out of school to take care of their families, rape and the list continues. By eliminating the challenges that girls in Africa encounter, we create enabling environments for them to discover their interests and their potential to achieve their goals.
Emerging technologies are rapidly disrupting the job market. Old industries are being replaced constantly and automation is increasing. This calls for the need to acquire relevant skills and mindset for the young to meet the needs of the dynamic job market. Involving girls in STEM increases their chances to emerge among the workforce of the future. There are numerous digital tools that can support collaboration, critical thinking, better communication, and creativity. We need women to remain relevant in science and engineering. We can achieve this by promoting STEM education for girls from different angles, be it material support, moral support and inspiration from women who are in STEM. The main agenda is for them to understand why STEM is essential for their future. For what it is worth, something amazing always happens when women team up to inspire young girls to embrace STEM as a career.
Besides being a means to a great job, STEM education changes people’s perspectives. Girls will be able to understand how science contributes to our everyday lives. With that, they can create solutions for complex problems and in turn promote Africa’s economy.
Above all, as the field of STEM continues to expand, we require leaders who can make smart decisions that will escalate Africa’s development. Young girls who choose stem will, one day, be the women leaders who will inspire change and greatness in our continent.
About the Author: Brenda Nyakoa is an Electrical Engineer who loves technology and knowledge. She enjoys working with teams that foster innovation and digital literacy.