Dr. Neema Mduma: The Tanzanian Computer Scientist And Founder Of Computer Literacy For Women And Girls

Computer Literacy presents the opportunity for women and girls to empower themselves and their communities by allowing them to create and immerse themselves in spaces that encourage innovation and development. It is true that when you educate a girl, you educate a village, and our STEMINIST, Dr. Neema Mduma proves this to be undeniably true.

Dr, Neema Mduma is a computer scientist and lecturer at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology who holds a Ph.D. in Information and Communication Sciences and Engineering.

WhatsApp Image 2022 04 21 at 4.28.35 PM

She believes that using technology to solve challenges that we face as a society daily is crucial because most of them can be addressed through computers. For instance; among many other things, computers can be trained to correctly and more accurately diagnose diseases as well as suggest effective treatments.

Tech For Social Good

Part of Dr. Mduma’s career requires her to use data to address different needs in society. This is why during her Ph.D., she developed a machine learning model called “BakiShule” aiming to prevent students from dropping out of school. It identifies truants or dropouts, helping teachers and parents to intervene early and rescue them from quitting school. In this way, she was able to integrate her passion for STEMINISM with her scientific career. Today, the machine learning model has over 2000 active users and has managed to reduce student dropout levels to 8 percent.

In addition to this, she has been actively involved in initiatives aiming to increase the involvement of girls in science, including providing free training and workshops that expose girls to careers in tech. It is, therefore, to no surprise that Dr. Mduma has achieved a lot of recognition and appreciation for her exceptional work. Her most recent award (received in 2020) is the L’Oréal-UNESCO award for Women in Science as 20 Young Talents in Sub-Saharan Africa (2020). Equally, she has been invited to scientific gatherings such as the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing (October 2017) and Data Science Africa (2019).
“Following in the footsteps of other women who excel well in science will help to build confidence and believe that it can be done. My take is you can do better in anything as long as you put your heart and mind into it,” said Dr. Mduma.

Moreover; as a lecturer and researcher, many people expect her to have the answers to everything. This can be a good thing because it pushes her to constantly seek knowledge and think up innovative ideas by working with other researchers and interacting with more information. However, this can get quite overwhelming for her at times; so to unwind, she mostly likes to go for walks or take a nap.

To build confidence and see how science is applied outside of the classroom, Dr. Mduma recommends that girls engage themselves in more scientific events such as exhibitions, conferences, debates, etc. She also believes that the key to encouraging more Tanzanian girls to pursue careers in STEM is to expose them to successful women in the field so that they can see that it can be done.

Finally, she would like to encourage young Tanzanian STEMINISTS to “work hard and stay focused”. She says that “Science is not as hard as everyone thinks. But it takes hard work, discipline, commitment and focus to be a good scientist.”

Source: w64e3daehj.wixsite.

Sallu Kamuskay

Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean activist, storyteller, and blogger. He was born in Sierra Leone but later relocated to Guinea as a refugee because of the war in his country. Sallu Kamuskay uses his phone to engage on social media, under the name ‘’Salone Messenger’. He Co-Founded the Salone Messenger platform after his experience of the war, Ebola, and injustices. According to him, silence was the root cause of war, and of many social injustices, we continue to face as a nation. In 2013, during the Ebola crisis, Sallu Kamuskay took the risk and volunteered to fight Ebola. He spent some months in both safe and unsafe places; helping the victims and telling their sad stories. The election in 2018, left a divided country with communities fighting on tribal lines. This inspired Sallu Kamuskay to serve as the coordinator of the United Sierra Leone peace concert, which was organized in 4 major parts of the country, targeting violent communities and troubled youth. Sallu Kamuskay led a group of entertainers, activists, and organizations across the country on a peace tour, a program supported by the European Union, United Sierra Leone, Africa Union, ECOWAS, and the Messeh Leone Trust. Sallu Kamuakay has also served as a staff writer for the Hidden Voices Magazine. Over the years, Sallu Kamuskay has been using his Techno phone to be able to tell stories, the phone he used to tell the story of Gbessay during Ebola who was admitted at one of the Ebola treatment centers after rumors that she had Ebola when the actual sickness was ulcer, she was almost abandoned at the treatment canter with no medication provided to her. She could have died. Sallu told the story via social media and was able to secure funding from the United Sierra Leone to buy her medication and advocated for her. She was later discharged and taken home, He did the same to a patient that died and was abandoned in the street, Sallu Kamuskay used his phone and shared the message across, the corps was later taken and buried. It could have been more disaster without his voice. The story of late America Stress 3-year-old daughter. The hero’s daughter was abandon after his father's death. He shared her sad story and was able to get a sister who has taken the child as her own and is currently providing her with educational support. The article of America Stress can be read on the link below Sallu Kamuskay feels the stories of Gbessay, America stress and that of many others need to be told. The media house we have cannot better tell these stories, they are better reporters than telling human interest stories. He created the Salone Messenger platform and brought together passionate storytellers to be able to tell these compelling stories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button