Ruth Njeri Waiganjo is the 2017 Miss Geek Africa, the first continental edition of its kind.
The University of Nairobi in Kenya student beat four other competitors in the final held on the sidelines of Transform Africa Summit 2017, to win the maiden edition of the continent’s Miss Geek competition.
Miss Geek Africa is a continental competition designed to inspire African girls to be part of solving the continent’s challenges using technology and encourage them to choose a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Waiganjo, from Kenya, walked away with a Rwf3 million cash prize that was presented to her by First Lady Jeannette Kagame on the sidelines of the Transform Africa summit, which concluded yesterday at the Kigali Convention Centre.
Waiganjo developed a mobile phone application called Safe Drive, the most intelligent way to protect road users. It is an innovative solution to respond to transport problems like frequent accidents.
Her technology solution collects data through a mobile app and sensors, analyses it and the output is the profile of the driver. In other words, the system is able to determine the behaviours of the drivers.
All the others winners were Rwandans.
Leah Akimana was the first runner-up of the competition and was given Rwf2 million.
She developed a digital mobile application called ‘Bus System Simulator’ aimed at improving public transport in the country, in particular Kigali, where more than two million people use buses in their daily lives.
Delphine Micyomyiza was the second runner-up and was awarded Rwf1 million. She developed a solution, Water Track, which seeks to eliminate water theft in Kigali city by fixing sensor-enabled water metres to taps.
The top three girls were also awarded with certificates and other assorted prizes, including laptops and modems.
Both Waiganjo and Akimana were awarded with a trip to attend the upcoming ITU Telecom World 2017 meet in Busan, South Korea.
Taking Miss Geek continental
This year, Girls in ICT Rwanda, in partnership with Smart Africa Secretariat, decided to scale the competition to the continental level to provide more opportunities to innovative women across the African continent.
However, the competition has been running since 2014.
Girls in ICT Rwanda is a group of women professionals in STEM, who have come together to be role models for Rwandan girls and encourage them consider careers in STEM fields.
Miss Geek has given girls a platform to express themselves openly; they are given opportunities to step out of their comfort zone, and explore what STEM field has to offer with hope that they become role models for the younger generations.
Earlier, Waiganjo had explained that when an accident happens, an insurance company doesn’t have real time information showing when, how, who and where the incident occurred. They rely on the Police inspection reports that are sometimes not accurate, she said.
“When a driver wants to get the insurance, they don’t have the data showing the behaviour of this driver on the road. All they rely on are personal details. Isn’t this a risk they are insuring? Technically they should be knowing the behaviour of the driver,” she said.
Waiganjo argued that intelligent cities are created by learning through previous data, and that her data will not only be used in driver profiling, but also analyse the data on the road and can alert the driver of traffic congestion on a route.