Yvonne Ogwulu is on a mission to empower next-gen women with Tech Girl Magic 

Yvonne Ogwulu is on a mission to empower next-gen women with Tech Girl Magic 
In recent years, Africa has witnessed a remarkable surge in the engagement and presence of women in the technology sector, a dazzling display of ‘tech girl magic‘. This transformative shift is largely due to the tireless efforts of both local and international nonprofit organizations and communities, steadfast in their commitment to closing the gender gap in tech. These groups have not only provided the tools and training needed to thrive but have also fostered an environment where women are celebrated and empowered to innovate and lead in technology.

Back in the day—think 2010 to 2015, even before the pandemic—phrases like ‘Tech Girl’ or ‘Tech Babe’ weren’t really on everyone’s lips in Nigeria. But fast forward to now, and these aren’t just buzzwords; they’re the real deal. These terms have come to represent the exciting tech journeys of countless young African women. For instance, Rosemary Achebe, a talented UI/UX designer from the TechGirlMagic community, featured in a recent International Women’s Day spotlight, expressed, “Being called a ‘Tech Girl’ is one of my favourite things about working in tech.”

Some of the implications of this shift in increased female participation in technology include reduced literacy among women and the girl child in Nigeria, financial empowerment for more women and their families, increased fulfilment and confidence in women, and quality mentorship and support for younger girls.

Here comes Tech Girl Magic!

One such community contributing to that movement is TechGirlMagic Initiative, a nonprofit initiative founded by Yvonne Ogwulu with a vision to champion women empowerment and development for young girls and women through digital skills and technology, creating opportunities for girls and women to thrive in tech.

Yvonne Ogwulu is on a mission to empower next-gen women with Tech Girl Magic 

Yvonne’s journey into tech began with a small spark of passion, kindled by her childhood fascination with technology and fueled by the hurdles she faced early in her career. She grappled with a scarcity of female mentors and battled with a barely functional laptop for nearly two years while she learned and worked on various projects. These challenges motivated her to create an initiative aimed at supporting aspiring women in tech. Her dedication to helping others realize their tech dreams has affectionately earned her the nickname Tech Fairy Godmother.

Having been a major beneficiary of social impact initiatives herself, Yvonne’s passion for social impact is at the heart of her nonprofit organization. She has been greatly inspired by two initiatives that have influenced the bedrock of her career: Learnable, a life-transforming 8-month intensive tech internship program that combines technical and business knowledge for upcoming and entry-level techies, and BuildUp by Enyata, an annual community-wide reach program that aims to equip 50 talented techies a year with Macbooks for career advancement.

How does the magic happen?

In just under two years, TechGirlMagic has transformed the lives of countless young girls by introducing them to the tech world, helping them ignite a passion for forging lucrative careers in technology and supporting their career development in various ways. Powered by a volunteer-based model, the initiative also offers these volunteers a chance to sharpen their own skills, setting them up for future career success.

The community has grown to encompass over a thousand women through both social and in-house platforms. These women, from diverse backgrounds and facing unique challenges, are the heart and soul behind the programs and projects spearheaded by the Tech Girl Magic initiative. These include:

  • Table4TechBabes: A career development program targeted towards young women in need of ‘big sister’ career advice, tips, and sharing of experiences.
  • Tech4HighSchoolGirls: A pre-career sub-initiative targeted towards pre-tertiary and high school students.
  • Tech4UniGirls: A pre-career sub-initiative targeted toward tertiary and undergraduate students.
  • Project e-GAL: A financial scholarship targeted towards empowering women with digital devices for learning and work.
  • Ready4Tech: This is a career-entry mentorship boot camp for women interested in breaking into tech and starting their careers.

These programs—some ongoing and others in the works—have significantly impacted the lives of its beneficiaries. Extensive reports and testimonials from its beneficiaries can be found here.

In 2022, the organization sponsored 10 young women to kickstart their tech careers in one of the best Tech Hubs in Nigeria, graduating one of our sponsorship beneficiaries as the best product design intern from the program. Some of the Beneficiaries of that scholarship now have full-fledged careers in tech and are empowering other women through their skills. Last year, the organisation, through strategic partnerships, distributed laptops and work tool devices to women, addressing the most recurring struggle that most Nigerian women in tech experience.

This initiative has seen young girls and women go from becoming more interested in technology to struggling to stay afloat in their careers, particularly in the earliest stages, which is primarily due to:

  • Lack of basic digital tools
  • High cost of devices like Laptop
  • Inaccessibility to quality or affordable Internet
  • Low purchasing power of families
  • Economic downturn
  • Lack of funding for communities dedicated to these projects

Out of every 10 girls breaking into tech or building their career in tech, only 3 -5 can comfortably boast of having a functional and decent laptop device, which is extremely crucial to their learning and earning potential.

In contrast to women in other highly developed countries, African women face greater challenges in easily accessing digital devices. This is due to the country’s poverty rate and the high cost of importing these devices.

In places like the United States and the United Kingdom, students from primary through to tertiary education rely on digital devices as essential tools, not luxuries. In contrast, Nigeria mainly uses traditional paper and pen for learning.

Tech Girl Magic are committed to championing more girls and women. By investing in just one girl, we ignite a ripple effect that benefits society, embodying the vision of our initiative’s founder. This belief drives our efforts to transform educational and professional landscapes for women across the board.

Africa’s growing tech girl space

The tech ecosystem is set to undergo a transformative change in the vibrant whirlwind of innovation defining the next five to ten years. Among these promising developments is the anticipated tripling of women in technology across Africa, a surge in talent nurtured by the remarkable efforts of pioneers like Yvonne Ogwulu. Yvonne, through her TechGirlMagic Initiative, exemplifies the dynamic spirit that is increasingly characteristic of Africa’s tech landscape.

Despite the potential, the economic climate in Africa poses significant challenges for these burgeoning talents. Initiatives like TechGirlMagic are crucial, relying on a mosaic of support—grants, fundraising, angel donors, and social investments—to cultivate the African talent pipeline. These efforts span from grass-roots marketing to international grant applications, seeking to forge pathways for young innovators in the tech sector.

Organisations are actively discovering, nurturing, and investing in today’s talents, who form the cornerstone of African tech’s future. These empowered women from our communities are entering the international tech scene and are set to significantly enhance the global economy with their unique perspectives and “tech girl magic.”

We dream of a future where essential tools like laptops are accessible to every Nigerian youth, not as luxuries but as basic tools for innovation. In this future, women will not just be participants but leaders in every tech field, continuously inspiring and empowering the next generation of women to carry forward the baton of empowerment.


  • ChiAmaka Dike

    Chiamaka is the Features Editor at Marie Claire Nigeria. She is a woman who is passionate about God, women, and top-notch storytelling in all formats. Send all feature pitches her way - chiamaka@marieclaire.ng

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