Who We Are: Anne Ikiara
Winner of the 2011 Anita Borg Social Impact Award – Sponsored By Microsoft
Anne Ikiara, is a versatile development professional with an excellent track record in working with the poor and marginalized women in ICT. Working as CEO of NairoBits, an organization dealing with youth and women empowerment through ICT, Anne has enabled more than 6,000 women and girls from urban poor settlements across the African region to gain ICT skills that have improved their lives economically, socially-culturally and politically. Most notable is the entry of women and girls from disadvantaged communities to the formal ICT economy. NairoBits’ concept has grown in Kenya where eight training centers with a capacity of 120 training computers have been opened. Through the training and exposure of these girls and women to ICT, lives of other women in their localities have significantly improved and positive ripple effects are being felt in these localities. In recognition of this she won the 2009 Anita Borg Change Agent Award. To further spread this successful concept, NairoBits is replicating the concept across te African region giving African women significant stake in the ICT arena. Examples of organizations that have been started as a result of this are Zanzibits, Addisbits, Kampabits and Kilimanjaro Film Institute, a similar organization has been started in Musoma in Tanzania with positive results.
Besides the field of ICT, Anne has made a remarkable contribution in research specific to women. In recognition, Anne has won several international research grant awards competitions, including the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) fellowships and Organization for Social Science in Eastern and Southern Africa(OSSREA) in Gender Issues Research grant competition in 2007. Anne’s contribution in poverty alleviation in youth and women in ICT has been recognized by key organizations both in Kenya and abroad. Under her leadership, NairoBits has won several prestigious national and international awards. Anne holds a Diploma in HRM, BA in Social Work and MA in Gender and Development Studies from University of Nairobi.