Women in Technology: Focus on Africa Panel at S&P


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Presentation deck from the Women in Technology: Focus on Africa panel organized and moderated by Liz Ngonzi, and hosted by McGraw Hill Financial's (MHFI) BEAM, LEAD and WINS diversity employee groups on Monday, September 16th at S&P in New York City. The panelists included Lisa Meadowcroft, Executive Director of AMREF, USA and Amber Fowler, Partner and Chief of Staff of EchoVC. The focus of the panel was on the various ways technology is being used to improve African women's lives along with the ways in which they themselves have leveraged technology to start business and improve existing entrepreneurial endeavors. Ultimately, the panelists aimed to identify potential investment / collaboration areas for MHFI to consider in the high-growth continent of Africa.

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  • Good afternoon, my name is Liz Ngonzi and I’m your moderator and panel organizer today. Thank you for McGraw Hill Financial, BEAM, LEAD, and the WINS Network for providing us with this opportunity to share our views about how technology is changing the face of women in developing countries, with a particular emphasis on those in Africa. As a woman who was born in Africa, specifically in the East African nation of Uganda, I’m particularly proud to have this opportunity, along with my esteemed colleagues, to present you with a more balanced picture about women on the continent, the effect that technology is having on their lives and to potentially highlight opportunities for those of you or even your clients, looking for growth opportunities. For those of you tweeting about this event, please feel free to use the hashtagMHFIWiT along with the twitter handles provided at the bottom of the slide.
  • In 1992 when I graduated from Syracuse University as a member of the second class of its information systems program, I did so during a recession when many graduates from other programs were unable to secure employment in their respective fields. Fortunately for me, I received a number of offers and chose to move to Massachusetts to work for what was at the time, the number 2 computer manufacturer, Digital Equipment Corporation – better known as DEC. I subsequently worked in various corporate environments until 2002 which leveraged my understanding of how to leverage information systems to generate new business and improve efficiencies. Following that corporate experience and my masters degree at Cornell I started my own business in 2001 and in 2004, chose to consult to nonprofit organizations assisting them with them to grow and become more efficient by doing the same as I had previously done for corporations – leveraging information systems. In 2009, realizing the impact of the economic downturn on the US nonprofit sector, I began to seek opportunities in Africa…a continent that had been less affected by the credit crunch given that the majority of its countries had predominantly cash economies. Through my research that year, I also found that many of the local nonprofits that had previously been funded by the European Union were now having to find new funding sources abroad and locally…leading them to have to take their brand online and identify how to leverage the growing use of mobile phones to do so. Why this matters is because in my opinion, it represented a shift that Thomas L. Friedman noted in the World is Flat – that the internet democratized access and opportunities for those who previously had very limited ways of accessing the global economy.
  • Women in Technology: Focus on Africa Panel at S&P

    1. 1. Source: standardchartered.com