Africode Mentorship: Rachel and Faith

Faith Oviawe.JPG

Faith Oviawe: Mentee

What do you currently do? I am currently a sophomore, Civil and Environmental Engineering major at Howard University.

What are some of your interests/hobbies? I love anime, love to design and sketch random things in my free time, like to plan future trips around the world, dance to worship music and I love immersing myself in other cultures through books and movies!

What first got you interested in tech? My dad really encouraged me to be in this line of study because he believed that I was capable of thinking outside the box. He also believes that a person has to be the change they want to see in the world and that is what truly inspired me; I saw a need for change in infrastructure and technology in Nigeria.

Have you built anything (product/project) interesting? In my Introduction to Engineering class, I worked with a Raspberry Pi and successfully programmed a Pandora box (a music radio) with Python.

What value have you derived from being a member of the Africode community? I met an amazing mentor, Rachel! 

How would you like to use your skills to contribute to Africa development? Once I have garnered enough experience in structural and sustainability engineering, I would like to go into heavy construction that is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly (since I have a strong passion for the environment).

Rachel Agyemang: Mentor

What do you currently do? I enable companies that are using Microsoft's managed Hadoop (big data analytics service) to be increasingly successful.

What are some of your interests/hobbies? When I'm off work I read fiction (most recently 'The Kingkiller Chronicles' was great), watch basketball, and (lately) scroll through interior decor photos on Pinterest.

What first got you interested in tech? Hmm very first. My dad always said if you want to solve problems, study engineering. So I did. 

Have you built anything (product/project) interesting? I took a class that was right at the intersection of my major, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (you could tell because CS-focused students hated it as much as EE-focused students). Building a lamp, controlling a robot arm, creating a calculator - designing these systems from the wire, resistor, capacitor level, to coding (and debugging!) low level assembly was both incredibly frustrating and rewarding.

What value have you derived from being a member of the Africode community? I met Faith :)

How would you like to use your skills to contribute to Africa development? That's still a work in progress, thinking through that. (I also expect that it will evolve over time.) Currently I'm curious about the potential tech has to create accountability and improve efficiency in government and the public sector.

Are there any African tech developments/news that you find exciting/interesting? The Flint - it's a new online magazine that's democratizing tech; it's not aimed at tech startups, but any regular business in Africa that's wondering what can I even do with this stuff. I've always loved words, so when I see words further tech, or the other way around, that's exciting.