2018 Anita Borg Systers Pass It On Award Winner
Project Title: ENERCATE HER
Deborah is an engineer, social entrepreneur, and founder of Sisters Impact Africa, a network of women promoting STEM, civic leadership, and Sustainability. She is also the founder of The Enercate Initiative (www.enercate.org), which reaches over 400 people annually and is designed to teach focus groups about SDGs, Social Entrepreneurship, IT, and Sustainable Energy. She has worked and collaborated with public, private, and social stakeholders such as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, and the Energy Commission of Nigeria.
Deborah served as an energy consultant to the Office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She is currently an energy analyst at the Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria. Her work promotes the adoption of Sustainable energy in the power sector as a means of mitigating climate change and ensuring energy access to vulnerable, underserved rural areas. She is driven by her commitment to sustainable development and creating equal opportunities for women. She is also an impact poet and an Abuja Literary Society Poetry Slam champion.
ENERCATE HER stems from ENERgy education, and is a two-year project aimed at equipping 1,000 young women with physical computing, data analytics, and software development skills, all of which are needed to drive the adaptation of clean energy and sustainable development. Over the past year, the project has trained 175 students — 60% of whom were female — across two cities in Nigeria on understanding renewable energy. The project also builds on the previous training of 120 university students on physical computing. These trainings were organized in the last quarter of 2017 in Nigeria through PHYCOM STUDIO by TECHHIVE.
Through this project, 60 women will be trained within three months through a series of practical exercises on basic electronics, the Internet of things, design methods, basic app development, and how to build sensors. The project will also expose these women sustainable development goals and how they can harness the power of technology to develop solutions towards addressing the goals that interest them. “Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy” and “Goal 4: Quality Education” will be strongly highlighted, and at the end of this training, participants will create their own solutions towards speeding up the implementation and adaptation of clean energy for development. The outcome of this project will be a group product and a comic book series centered on the experiences of these women during the three-month training, their newly developed skills and interests, and developments in the STEM field.
ENERCATE HER also seeks to create 10 knowledge transfer “ENERCATE HER” clubs with 50 students each in 10 secondary schools across Nigeria. These clubs will be run by the graduates of the ENERCATE training for a period of three months, reaching a total of 500 female students each year. The students will receive a comic book, be trained on basic physical computing and app development, and will also get to work on a group project centered on either “Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy” or “Goal 4: Quality Education.”
The overall outcome of this project within a two year period will be two four-part comic series, training of 1,120 women on physical computing and related STEM topics, two product/project/service ideas related to either SDG 7 or SDG 4, a two-part documentary series of the entire project, and two online courses available on the Enercate website on “Technology for Clean Energy and Sustainability,” developed by the 1,120 women who participated in the program.