Africa Women in Science and Technology (AWiST)

AWiST seeks to provide STEM opportunities for female students and professionals in Kenya. AWiST enables girls and women to build connections in the STEM field through discussions, field-work, and mentoring. These efforts not only add value to each individual’s career, but the STEM projects undertaken also contribute to the alleviation of poverty.
2013Kenya

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Location Data

Africa Women in Science and Technology (AWiST) is a program specifically for young women in the field of Science and Technology. This includes students and young professionals. The program is implemented by STEM Africa which aims to provide young people in Africa with opportunities and an enabling environment to pursue rich and fulfilling careers and enterprises in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths.

Working with students: AWisT seeks to raise engagement and increase the profile of Science and Technology among young girls as well as university students. AWiST visits girls schools across Kenya to create awareness of and interest in STEM careers, aiming to increase the number of women taking up careers in STEM. At universities they speak at STEM events and encourage female enrollment.

Working with young professionals: In addition to working with students, AWiST supports young professionals, aiming to enable more female scientists and engineers to develop their full potential as STEM professionals, obtain leadership positions, and start their own enterprises. AWiST forums bring together young female scientists and engineers to learn from more experienced female professionals in the sector.

Mentoring and Business Development in low-income areas: Quarterly mentoring sessions are provided for young female scientists and engineers. As part of the mentoring program, the mentees select women's groups in slums and peri-urban areas to work with. AWiST mentees develop self-sustaining projects with these women's groups, using appropriate technology in the areas of briquette making, solar energy, brick making, and recycling of plastics. The goal of this project is to transform the lives of women in slums and peri- urban dwellings, restore their dignity, and help them develop self-sufficiency and financial independence. 

The AWiST mentees are trained in business planning before they develop the projects with women's groups. Groups focusing on solar technology undergo training on the subject. The projects build on the skills acquired in the AWiST mentoring program and provide a platform for the mentees to develop skills in entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, appropriate technology, and sustainable development. 

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