Ethel Cofie; the brain behind Women in Tech Africa

In an era where technology is at the forefront of development, it is imperative that individuals having the passion and drive to add value to society through technology are encouraged. Economies have evolved greatly due to the impact of positive technology being harnessed.

In time past, the technology space has been male dominated due to various reasons including the lack of interest on the part of women to venture into the field. This trend, however, is changing in the 21st century due to great strides made by notable women in the tech field like Ethel Cofie.

Ethel is an alumnus of Valley View University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer science. She then furthered her education with a Master’s degree in Distribution systems at Brighton University. She also holds an executive degree in leadership, business, and entrepreneurship from Yale University.

Initiatives

A Ghanaian by birth, Ethel being driven by the desire or passion to harness the interest in technology among women across the world started the ‘Women in tech group ‘, Africa’s largest tech group. She also initiated the ‘Women in tech’ week which is celebrated annually and impacts women globally.

“I have 3 passions: Technology, Female Leadership and Empowerment, and Entrepreneurship”

Ethel Cofie

She has also worked on projects that have been of immense social benefit in Africa such as the Ford Foundation funded election-monitoring project for Nigerian elections and the Bill and Melinda Gates funded mobile technology for health.

The success of the Bill and Melinda Gates funded mobile technology for health has led to its implementation in countries like Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and India.

Additionally, her contribution to the RECIRCULATE project cannot be underestimated. With the aim of driving eco-innovation in Africa, this project sought to build capacity for a safe circular water economy to deliver innovative solutions to pressing problems with water use and safety.

Ethel’s drive for tech entrepreneurs is built on a wealth of experience acquired from the corporate world as her passion is to impact lives of women across the globe.

“I created women in tech Ghana because I wanted to create a girls’ club – if corporate promotions and business has been conducted over the golf club and over beers, then I was going to create a space for women in tech to help each other move up and excel.”

Ethel Cofie

She worked with RDF Solutions as a Business and Systems Analyst and then Vodafone Ghana as the head of Commercial solutions after which she launched Edel consultancy, thus practicalizing her entrepreneurship ambition. Edel Consultancy, an IT consulting firm in West Africa and Europe was recently named IT Consulting Firm of the year by the Telecoms and IT Industry.

At the core of EDEL Technology Consulting is the belief that technology is not just a tool, it’s the strongest enabler an organization can have.

It also serves as a springboard for women in technology through the opportunity it creates for networking.

Ethel Cofie is a pacesetter for women in the technology space. Her story is living proof that women can venture into technology and entrepreneurship and make great impact.

“I was asked why I became an entrepreneur when I had a promising corporate career and I said, I got tired of living someone else’s dream.”

Ethel Cofie

Achievements and Awards

In 2014, Ethel was chosen as a YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative) fellow through which she had the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama through the prestigious Washington Fellowship. This was a new flagship program initiated to train Young African leaders and mentor them thus harnessing their leadership skills among others.

Her impact globally was acknowledged at the highly prestigious United Nations (UN) and International Telecommunications Union(ITU) GEM Tech Awards where she was 1 of 5 shortlisted from over 360 nominations under the category: Promoting WOMEN IN ICT Sector.

In Nov 2016, she was awarded for being Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government for the ICT Category.

Currently, she sits on the Advisory Board for Ghana’s Vice President, helping to design Ghana’s Digital strategy.

REFERENCES

1. Ethelcofie.com

2. Wikipedia

3. www.lionessesofafrica.com

4. www.recirculate.global/2021/07/spotlight

5. West Africa Com

ABOUT AUTHOR

Christiana is one who is passionate about writing. She believes that individuals making impact in society should be encouraged. Having worked in the banking sector for a number of years, she has a well developed skill in both customer service  and client management. 

She has co-founded tech focused projects aimed at digitizing the supply chain processes & smart internet solutions. She currently serves as the Chief Customer Experience Officer for these projects. Christiana is a practicing Christian, married with three kids and loves to impact the lives of toddlers and young adults.

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