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The Interim Committee Members

The Interim Steering Committee (ISC) was inaugurated and is constituted of women leaders drawn from the various parts of Africa and the Diaspora and who are innovators in their respective fields. The ISC members elected Prof. Mwang’ombe, University of Nairobi as the Chair to be supported by Prof. Norah Olembo, BioTechnology Trust Africa (BTA) as the Co-Chair. The members resolved to provide governance and steer the operations of the AWFST forum which includes: producing publications and promotional materials on AWFST; creating awareness about women in Science Technology Innovation (STI); fundraising for the activities of AWFST; establishing a resource library and website to enhance women’s access to international journals; developing a Programme of Action (PoA) for the AWFST; and providing the Terms of Reference (TOR), and oversight mechanisms for the inaugural Steering Committee. The AWFST Interim Steering Committee members were drawn from various parts of Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, Lesotho, Tanzania, and Egypt) as well as the Diaspora (UK and USA). They are all influential leaders with a great interest in driving STI in their respective fields of expertise. They all have a common desire to promote and harness the capabilities of women who hold rich tacit technological knowledge but are currently under-represented in STI. Their qualifications and experience are briefly highlighted as follows:
Prof. Agnes Mwang’ ombe East Africa Kenya Academia Chair
Prof. Norah Olembo East Africa Kenya Academia/private sector Co-chair
Ms Bitrina Diyamett East Africa Tanzania Government/Academia Member
Ms Noah Matovu East Africa Uganda Civil Society Member
Prof. Obioma Nwaorgu West Africa Nigeria Academia/Civil Society Member
Ms Ogugua Eboh West Africa Nigeria Academia Member
Mrs. Mamolise Falatsa Southern Africa Lesotho Media Member
Ms Manal Samra North Africa Egypt Civil Society Member
Mrs. Bola Olabisi Diaspora UK Private Sector Member
Dr. Warigia Bowman Diaspora USA Academia Member
Ms . Martha Ugwu Diaspora UK Government Member
Ms. Nicola Jones International UK Private Sector/Civil Society Member
Ms. Deepa pullanikkatil South Africa Lesotho Academia Member
Dr. Rose Kigundu Diaspora USA Academia Member
Dr. Peggy Oti-Boateng West Africa Ghana Academia Member
Dr. Lucy Muchoki Pan-African Organisation Kenya Private Sector Member
Dr. Mamaa Entsua Mensah West Africa Ghana Academia Member
Dr. Afaf MArel North Africa Egypt Civil Society Member
Dr. Yaye Aissetoy Pan African Francophone Academia Member

Interview with Prof. Agnes Mwang’ombe, chairperson

Prof. Agnes Mwang’ombe is a Professor in Plant Pathology, & Principal of the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, at the University of Nairobi “I believe the WE CAN Programme is about how to help women grow and take on more challenging jobs and to become more involved in policy making. Currently, we are having variations in the different sciences. For instance, in hard sciences such as in engineering there is a very low women representation. If you move to biological sciences such as in agriculture there has been an increase with a representation of about 30% to 40% of women in universities. But in masters level the graph becomes skewed towards men and as one moves to even higher levels then it becomes more male dominated. The need for more female representation in all disciplines cannot be overemphasized. For instance if we look at agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa, farmers are mainly women who make up about 60%-80% of small scale farmers. We should therefore endeavor not lose this talent and should have a greater female representation and a greater voice in policy making to influence how resources are allocated. This new program has great potential and needs people of good will to nurture it to grow for the benefit of our own continent’’.