With attention this week on the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pennsylvania, 37 of Africa’s brightest minds will contend for the $75 000 prize. Representing the continent are students from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt. ISEF runs from 10 to 15 May and will see 1 700 students from around the world showcasing the best innovations in science and engineering across 20 categories.What is inspiring is that 11 young women will be representing the continent alongside 26 young men.
Although work will need to be done in supporting young women on the continent in the fields of science and engineering, the Intel team believe this is an encouraging step in the right direction. They encourage organisations working in Africa to do more to promote and support this developing segment of the population.
Further to this point: out of the 78 countries participating, 19 countries have a higher representation of women vs. men with six countries entering the same number of male and female students. Although the shift is positive, 17 countries still do not have female representation indicating that the fields of science and engineering need to do more to attract the interest of female students.
On Friday 15 May. the Intel ISEF Grand Awards Ceremony will be held
The African finalists include: from Kenya: Dulari Varsani, Jaspreet Matharu, Siddeeq Parpia, Jamladin Mohammed; from Nigeria: Oluwanifemi Bolawole, Oliwafisayomi Fatoye, Emmanuel Adegbile, Abiola Omosowon, Umar Bala, Ahmad Auwal, Omogbolahan Bruce, Desola Damola Okesiji and Omotayo Akinola; from South Africa: Armand Duvenhage, Nishka Ramkhelawan, Siyabongo Nkosi, Tyrique Byroo, Fritz Keyzer, Josiah Senior, Bernard Smit, Istelle van den Heever, Anna Midgley and Avuyile Mbangatha.