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iHub By Jessica Colaço / December 3, 2011

Anita Borg Change Agent Award – Judith Owigar


This year Judith Owigar of AkiraChix was a recipient of the Anita Borg Change Agent Award. This was in recognition of her commitment to promoting networking, training and mentorship among technical women in computing. She traveled to Portland, Oregon to receive her award at the Grace Hopper Conference for Women in Technology. She received the award together with Marita Cheng of Robogals, Australia. Previous Kenyan winners of the Anita Borg Change agent award include Dorcas Muthoni, CEO of Open World and founder of LinuxChix Africa and Anne Ikiara General manager of Nairobits Trust.

The Anita Borg Change Agent Awards celebrate the accomplishments of technical women from, and who work in, developing countries. These awards are designed to recognize up-and-coming leaders that impact or advance women’s participation in technology, while also internationally expanding the reach of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference.

In Judith’s words, ‘The Grace Hopper Conference was a great experience. Imagine being with women who are deep into tech, with a career fair and an education fair all squeezed into three days. There was a lot of learning and networking to be done. Meeting ladies who are working on ground breaking research and are at the forefront of applications that we use was an inspiring experience. It encouraged me to continue pursuing knowledge in technology and to pursue something groundbreaking. I came back to Kenya determined to introduce more women into the field of technology.

Another Kenyan award winner was Anne Ikiara (previous Change Agent winner), she was recognized with the Anita Borg Social Impact Award. There was also a panel led by African Women in Technology, @afriwit, discussing the question, “ What if there were more African women in technology?” The Grace Hopper Conference is a great place to inspire women who are in technology, and next year more women from Africa should attend this great conference.

Author : Jessica Colaço

Jessica Colaço is currently the Director of Partnerships at iHub. She was the Founding Manager between 2010 and 2011 at iHub and Research Director between 2011 and 2013 at iHub Research. She is passionate about Innovation, Research, Mobile and Robotics Technology, Mentorship and Entrepreneurship in Kenya as she uses her position at iHub to court local, regional and international stakeholders to adopt Kenyan-made and African-made solutions. As an upcoming angel investor, she courts local and international investors to invest in great tech ideas and companies at idea and concept stage. She is also a Mobile and Robotics Tech Evangelist, Co-Founder of WMIAfrica and AkiraChix, ISOC-Kenya Chapter, Treasurer, ACM-W Nairobi Chapter Chair, TED Global Fellow 2009 and upcoming Guitarist. She was named one of the top 40 women under 40 years in Kenya's business scene by Business Daily on 2009, 2011 and 2012. Her endeavour is to put Kenya and Africa on the map for technology achievements and spur innovation within the country and continent! She blogs at:

  • Moffat Ngacha at 13:32:24PM Saturday, December 3, 2011

    Well done Judith,Congrats for the good work.You are really an inspiration to many

  • joyce Kyengo at 12:27:36PM Monday, December 5, 2011

    congrats Judith

  • Nick Hargreaves at 13:00:45PM Monday, December 5, 2011

    Keep it up Judith.

  • Bedad Mwangi at 10:01:13AM Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Congratulations, this is great work your doing and i wish the mainstream media focused more on such stories.

  • Fiona Nelima Mumoki at 07:49:06AM Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Congratulations Judith! Awesome stuff!


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