By Rohita Javangula
In Ghana most girls are expected to go to a decent school, find a well-paying job, then seek out a husband – not many women pursue careers in male-dominated fields like computer science and information technology. Social entrepreneur and winner of an Aspen Institute 2013 New Voices Fellowship, Regina Ayare, hopes to change that. After graduating from Ghana’s Ashesi University at the top of her class, Ayare immediately advanced to a well-paying position at a renowned international bank where she was the only woman in the IT department. Realizing there was more she could do with her skills, Ayare quit her job and founded Soronko Solutions to introduce technology to rural schools in Ghana. Technology shows students at a young age how to be innovative problem solvers, skill sets they’ll need when searching for future jobs. Tech Girls for Change, another initiative Ayare launched, strives to introduce technology to young girls in a fun way, encouraging them to pursue higher education in these fields. a Ayare recently sat down with All Africa’s Rohita Javangula to discuss the impact of technology in rural communities in Ghana and her personal experiences as a woman working in a male-dominated field.
Tell us about Soronko solutions.
Basically we are about using basic math and technology to drive human potential and how we do that is in two forms. The first part is we develop a technology solution for small- and medium-scale enterprises in Ghana and we work with children in the rural community to introduce them to the science and engineering market. So, an example would be we go to the rural areas and we pick a particular problem and the kids work at solving it using the skills they’ve learned in class. Another example is when we went to a school for the deaf and we worked with deaf girls and built apps that would help them communicate.
What difference do you think technology makes in the rural communities?
It allows the children to express their creativity. Normally in Ghana education is based on rote memorization because of a lack of trained teachers, a lack of resources. Education is about…