Josephine Uwase Ndeze of Democratic Republic of the Congo is the winner of Miss Geek Africa 2019, the third edition of this competition. Ndeze received the award at the closing ceremony of the fifth Transform Africa Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, for the mobile platform she created that enables expectant mothers to monitor their health during pregnancy.
According to The New Times newspaper, the platform is connected to a smart bracelet, which checks the woman’s vital signs and sends them to an emergency service provider in real time. This allows expectant mothers to monitor their progress and check up on symptoms, if any are present. It will also connect them to their healthcare providers should the result necessitate an emergency response.
For her contribution to bringing down maternal mortality, Ndeze will receive Rwf3 million in cash, a certificate and a technical membership in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). As a member she can access essential technical information and networking opportunities globally.
PHOTO: The hype was worth it, the girls delivered #MissGeekAfrica2019
Hon. Minister of information in Ghana on the girls talent, "everyone today is a winner regardless of the proclaimed first place later today." pic.twitter.com/ngAZKLlKDq
— Smart Africa Org (@RealSmartAfrica) May 16, 2019
Other winners included the first runner-up, Gladys Wairimu of Kenya, who received Rwf2 million for her drone surveillance technology that seeks to tackle illegal poaching in game parks, and second runner-up Ndeye Fatou of Senegal, who received Rwf1 million for SOS Sang, a web platform that links healthcare providers with blood banks to ensure that they have efficient access to blood.
Girls in ICT Rwanda, the organiser of the competition, stated on its website that this year’s competition attracted more than 250 applications from 15 countries. It goes on to explain that the top 10 finalists undergo a week-long, intensive training programme to equip them with presentation, speaking and critical thinking skills before competition day.
A big congratulations to #MissGeek2019 contestants for your well-deserved wins. Thank you @GirlsInICTRW for continuously promoting and providing a platform for talented girls in #STEM to showcase their skills. #TAS2019 pic.twitter.com/QV2NifTdeE
— Imbuto Foundation (@Imbuto) May 16, 2019
Ms Geek Africa is selected by a panel of judges and receives a cash prize, a tablet, a laptop and a trip to an international technology conference, among other perks.
Last year’s winner was 23-year-old Salissou Hassane Yari Latifa from Niger. She won for her mobile phone application Saro App, which allows people to alert emergency services and inform them of the itinerary needed to reach their location. It also allows emergency services to send crucial practical first-aid information before they arrive on the scene.
The Miss Geek Africa contest was created to inspire girls in Africa to solve challenges on the continent using technology and to encourage them to pursue careers in technology, science, mathematics and engineering.