Monday, 23 February 2009
Njideka Ugwuegbu-Harry is the founder of the Youth for Technology Foundation. Through cooperation with major international ICT companies the Foundation has managed to benefit over 4.000 youth since its establishment in 2000. It has also pioneered a digital village movement in and for Nigeria.
In 2000, she got support from Microsoft and the World Bank to establish the Owerri Digital Village – the first community technology centre of its kind in West Africa. She also launched a non-profit organization, Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF), to operate the Owerri centre and to coordinate other Nigeria-based activities.
Four years later, Njideka launched YTF project, SpokesYouth. A program which spills children out from the community technology centers into nearby villages, armed with audio-enabled PDAs and perhaps with digital cameras.
The SpokesYouth idea was perfected during Njideka’s time at Stanford. She credits the other fellows and her faculty advisor, electrical engineering professor Bruce Lusignan, with helping her to make steady progress toward the prototype’s launch. Stu Gannes, director of the Digital Vision Program, provided useful coaching, as well.
Njideka is a former senior product manager in the financial strategy, planning and analysis group at Microsoft. She has received several non-profit leadership awards honoring individuals who have displayed, through example, a commitment and excellence to philanthropy and service. Njideka Harry graduated Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she studied Finance and International Business. She has a diploma in International Business from the Haarlem Business School, Netherlands. In 2004, she completed her graduate studies at Stanford University.