Rwandan information and telecommunication technology entrepreneur and guru, Violette Uwamutara has scooped the prestigious ABIE Change Agent Award in the US.
Uwamutara, country director of Digital Opportunity Trust (Dot), was awarded by the Anita Borg Institute (ABIE), a US-based organisation committed to promoting women in ICT, last Friday in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US, during the 2013 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.
Uwamutara was rewarded for being a leading role model who is advancing the participation of Rwandan women in technology and introducing them to new opportunities and careers in the field of technology and entrepreneurship.
“The ABIE awards are an important component of the Anita Borg Institute’s year-round mission to promote the advancement and contributions of women technologists,” said Telle Whitney, ABI’s president and chief executive.
“We value the women who are making significant research contributions, and working on the ground. These contributions help build a movement, and year after year, we look forward to acknowledging their achievements at our Grace Hopper Celebration, which represents the largest gathering of technical women in the world.”
In her acceptance speech, Uwamutara thanked the Government of Rwanda for establishing an enabling environment for ICT and women empowerment.
“Rwanda’s government has always prioritised women and ICT issues and this keeps making my work not only possible but also easier,” she said.
Winning ICT model
Uwamutara leads a unique Dot youth-led model that sends confident, young role models to train and coach their out-of-school and out-of-work peers and neighbours to become productive users of ICT as they take charge of their personal development and livelihoods.
Harnessing the power of youth, Dot Rwanda transforms young people (“Dot Interns”) to become agents of change as they deliver ICT training in their own communities.
The Dot Interns, who facilitate programmes, are young graduates from Rwandan universities who act as trainers, mentors, and coaches in their own communities.
Dot Rwanda has impacted on more than 30,000 youth (50 per cent women) residing in remote areas, by introducing them to the potential of technology to drive new opportunities.
The Anita Borg Institute works to advance women in computer science and engineering roles globally.
The ABIE Change Agent Award is sponsored by Google and celebrates the accomplishments of three technical women from, and who work in, developing countries.