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Having More Women in Tech Industry Demands Collective Effort- Chinwe Onuorah



*Chinwe Onuorah, Managing Partner, BVC Consulting

A number of experts have argued that it is important for more women to embrace careers in technology in order to ensure diversity. Across the world, the number of women in technology is increasing, but not as fast as proponents would expect.

The case may be worse in Africa, particularly, in Nigeria, as a significant number of women still regard technical roles as somewhat, more masculine.

According to Intel’s report, Women and Web, nearly 25% women have access to the internet and the gender gap, 45% in Africa. I recently had a chat with Chinwe Onuorah, managing partner, BVC Consulting, an IT-based company in Lagos, Nigeria and she shared her thoughts on how to encourage more women to embrace careers in technology.

Chinwe stated that she started out her journey in the IT world as an Intern in an IT organisation that has its major focus on training.

“At the time, I started out as Front Desk/Receptionist and my role was, typically, to counsel students, who wanted to start and build a career in technology and I picked it up from there”, she stated. Incidentally, Chinwe did not study Computer Science in school, but Mass Communication.

She believed that, Mass Communication is a course that can sync with any field of study, hence, she maximised her skills and knowledge of Mass Communication, garnered over the period to blend in her role of talking to the students interested in taking up IT careers.

On how she has been able to cope, in a country where certification is taken seriously, Chinwe, explained that, because of her love for learning, she took some IT Certification courses along the way, through her career path in the IT field.

She stated that she got trained in all those courses because, she was interested in the field of technology and it worked for her.

She stressed that, even though, she started out as an Intern, somewhere along the line, her boss realised that she was being under-utilised, by putting her on at the Front office, so, he moved her to the Business Development Desk, where she grew through the ranks. “Of course, if you are going to talk to a customer about the organisation’s services and products, I have to learn it. I had to know what I was going to talk to the customer about”, she stated.

Chinwe stated that, it has been challenging for her, operating in a male-dominated IT industry, but not impossible because, she is a self-driven person.

She opined that her love for technology also keeps her going within the industry. She explained that she also had a good mentor in her first boss, who really held her through the mill of the IT field.

She advised women already in the tech industry to mentor other women who are interested in having a career in technology, so, we can have more women in the industry as this will make a lot of difference.

Chinwe explained that, from the results of a research she conducted on why there are few women in tech, she noticed that girls, from birth, through primary,secondary school, assimilate Maths differently from how boys do and this is not because she believes that females have low IQ than the males.

“I belief that women have IQ, however, we need to find creative ways to communicate Maths to women, so that, they can understand “, she stressed.

She went on to say that, one of the reasons why she had to struggle with Maths was that, when she is told that 1+12, she wants to be told why it is so. “In telling me the why, I will be able to understand that, so, when next I see face that same situation, I would know that, oh, it is because of this, that is why it’s this and not just coming up with a formula like the Almighty Formula”, she explained.

Maths, she noted, should be taught from the from the high point of understanding and not cramming.

In Chinwe’s opinion, she believes that it will be difficult for someone who is struggling with Mths to be able to code because, coding requires a lot of brain work. She also stated that ladies need more role models at the top of the It industry to kindle the interest of the female gender in the industry.

Apart from IT Consulting and Training, Chinwe stated that her outfit also does implementation around big data analytics. She stressed that all businesses, whether big, small, medium and Startups, need the services in big data.

On a final note, Chinwe is of the view that, the solution to the issue of encouraging more women to take up careers in IT, should be a collective effort of the parents, government, private sector etc.

“From the government perspectives, build communities, support systems for women in technology”, she advised.

Likewise, stressed that the corporate world too should have support systems for women in technology and parents should encourage their female children to take up the STEM subjects in school, so, they can fit in well in the IT world.


Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Vodacom Trains the Next Generation on Internet of Things



L-R: Olumide Idowu, Senior Manager, Customer Support Operation Centre, Vodacom; Iwalehin Oluwakemi and Azubile Godwin both Teachers from SS. Peter and Paul Nursery and Primary School; Abu Etu, Senior Manager: Product Portfolio, Vodacom Business Nigeria with pupils from SS. Peter and Paul Nursery and Primary School, Ikate Elegushi, Lekki Lagos during a one day Information and Communication Technology Field Trip to Vodacom Facility in Lagos recently..

In order to further technological development in the education sector and among the next generation, Vodacom Business Nigeria has organised a robotics training session for thirty-six young students from the S.S. Peter & Paul Nursery and Primary School.

Loving Gaze, an independent non-profit organisation that serves the underprivileged communities in Lagos State, runs the school.

The young students, aged between 8 and 10, through a practical course on robotics, were given the opportunity to learn about the integration of the Internet of things (IoT) in robotics and its growing relevance in various areas of modern life.

The students were taught how to build, program and control robots, drones and other artificial intelligence.

This demonstrated the essential nature of technology in various aspects of everyday life, including securing lives and property. As a practical demonstration of this, students were shown how drones could be used for a wide range of services in today’s world.

This includes the delivery of medication and lifesaving supplies to remote locations in emergency situations, which is already happening in some locations around the world.

They were also given a tour of the company’s facilities, exposing them to the importance of connectivity and telecommunications technology in today’s digital world.

Abu Etu, Senior Manager: Product Portfolio, Vodacom Business Nigeria said, “ As part of our commitment to empower the next generation in Nigeria through ICT, Vodacom believes that it is important to promote training for students at the primary level of education.

This will prepare them from the early stages of their lives for the post – digital age which will demand technical knowledge and skills”.

The General Manager of Loving Gaze, Barbara Pepoli, said; “We are excited that our students had the opportunity to learn new things beyond the walls of the classroom.

Getting children interested in technology has been very important for our school and this field trip is a great way to make technology come to life for our students”.

Vodacom Business Nigeria constantly uses industrial tours and field trips to educate students from primary, secondary and tertiary schools on new telecommunications technologies that are driving the economy.

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Opeke Highlights Data Centre Hosting, Cloud investment @ TMT Finance Africa



Funke Opeke, Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, has highlighted the opportunity for increased investment in shared fiber network infrastructure and data center and cloud computing infrastructure in Africa. This, she said was key to further unlocking the gains in the digital transformation of the continent.

She spoke at the 2018 TMT Finance Africa Conference, a forum driving investment for telecoms, media and technology sector across Africa, held in Cape Town, South Africa last week.

Ms. Opeke joined panelists from DLA Piper, Teraco, PAIX and Rack Center to discuss the need for continued investment and growth within the telecom sector and data center market in order to realize the vision for increased ICT adoption in Africa.

She highlighted that MainOne, through its subsidiary, MDXi Data Centre has recently invested an additional N12billion in its Lekki data centre in order to grow its capacity from 300 to 600 racks as the leading data centre in West Africa.

She stated that this investment is a part of MainOne’s plan to invest additional $300 million to enhance communication infrastructure across West Africa over ten years.

“MainOne intends to remain at the forefront of the broadband initiative in West Africa with investments in fiber infrastructure and data centres across the region to advance broadband activities.

In 8 years, we have established a reputation as the preferred provider of connectivity and data center services to West African businesses and have facilitated global content providers seeking direct access to subscribers on the sub-continent.

The company has continued to extend its network reach and is currently providing services in eight West African countries including Nigeria and Ghana,” she added.

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After Konga, Owners Mull Sale of Jumia



There are plans to sell Africa’s leading e-commerce firm, Jumia, owned by Rocket Internet, a German start-up investor.


The move is coming as Zinox Group, an integrated Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions conglomerate and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), recently acquired Konga, e-commerce giant.


Reports,  yesterday, suggested that Rocket Internet, is also considering listing Jumia either in Frankfurt or London stock exchange.


This is expected to take place this or next year, but according to Reuters, Rocket Internet is expected to “shortly mandate banks for an initial public offering of Jumia.”


Rocket Internet helped set up Jumia in 2012, but the firm has been operating with loss for years despite conquering the market space.


But the owners are seeking a way out from the consumer electronics and fashion retailer, in line with its strategy of selling or listing established internet firms.


Reuters said Berenberg, which has a track record of working with Rocket on capital market transactions, is seen to be in a good position to win a mandate, the people said.


A listing of shares, in a volume of under €200 million ($245.7 million) is expected to be floated, but no information on Jumia’s valuation was immediately available.

Last year, Rocket Internet floated online food groups, Delivery Hero and HelloFresh, while the investor is currently also preparing a flotation of its online furniture retailer Home24.


1.2 billion consumers and 15 million small and medium-sized firms. It also features services such as an online hotel booking and a food delivery platform.


Jumia said in January that it had 1 billion visits on its pages across Africa in 2017. It has 50,000 merchants in its ecosystem, where five million products, hotels, restaurants and other services are listed.


According to a presentation from Rocket Internet, Jumia saw its adjusted loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization widen to €80.7 million in the first nine months of 2017. Revenues edged up to €57.3 million.

Only recently, Zinox Group acquired Konga in a move that is expected to raise the profile of e-commerce in Nigeria.


The acquisition has been viewed by industry watchers as a major development that could see e-commerce in Nigeria finally unlock the massive revenue potential in the global multi-billion-dollar industry.




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