The Woman in Tech; Ethel Cofie Gives Insights On YALI and Why Matrix is Her Favorite Movie.
I first met Ethel Cofie during one of the #TechRepublic meetups at Republic Bar & Grill. We didn't speak much that night but the second time we did. Here was a woman who had some deep insights on technology and business strategy, and as she went on and on about how online payments and banks in Ghana could do a better job than they are now, I knew one of these days I had to feature her, then she told me about being selected as a candidate for YALI. That did it.
OQ- Who is Ethel Cofie?
Now thats a tough question to answer , i am little quirky very driven with a history of working passiontely on what i believe in which are Technology, Women and Entreprenuersip.
Professionally i have done quite a lot ....
I am an IT and Strategy Consultant with over 10 years’ experience working with Innovative and transformational Systems/Products in different capacities including Product/Solutions Management, Business Analysis, Software Development, Service Management, Strategy development and Implementation.
I have worked on projects like the Bill and Melinda Gates Funded Mobile Technology for Health and Ford Foundation funded election-monitoring project for Nigerian Elections and previously headed the Commercial Solutions Department at Vodafone Ghana.
Ethel’s passion is supporting businesses in their efforts to provide customers with great products , excellent customer service and increasing market share by providing excellent and appropriate technology solutions.
After Vodafone, I started my own Company Edel Consultancy which is the vehicle for driving my technology passion whilst also running a monthly meet up 'Women in Technology' Series, an informal networking group focused on education and enhancing women’s careers by sharing experiences and lessons learned in members’ career development.
OQ- Fascinating! What at all is YALI and how did you get to be one of the chosen?
The Washington Fellowship is the new flagship program of the President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). This program will bring over 500 young leaders to the United States for leadership training, academic coursework, and mentoring, and will create unique opportunities in Africa to put those new skills to practical use .
I beleive they were looking for passionate and proactive people and i was lucky to have applied when i did .
OQ- This must be exciting!! What would be your first question to Obama when you run into him? (Do get me an autograph)
Yes i am definitely getting you that autograph . My question to him is simple , he wrote a book titled the audacity of hope , I would love to to explain why he used the particular words . I am intrigued on how audacity and hope work together .Then i would ask for a selfie :-)
OQ- Share with us, other works you have done in technology.
A lot a lot but i will tell you the one i am most proud of the Bill and Melinda Gates Funded Mobile Technology for Health project where we built mobile applications to help Ghana Health Service store pregnant mother data and help pregnant mothers with relevant information to avoid child mortality . It was so successful to date it has being implemented in Ghana,Uganda,Tanzania and India. Our Use of technology saved lives.
The #TechRepublic team. Ethel Cofie on my next left.
OQ- Is it me or most Ghanaians are a tad hesitant about technology. What's holding us back from creating more hardware to solve social issues?
Knowledge and experience i believe and we all need to work on this, start with your home/office and let it spread.
OQ- Let's get more personal; what's your favourite movie scene?
Matrix , when Neo realises what he can do and starts to dodge the bullets, now i wish i could do that.
OQ- Who did you support, Bukom Banku or Ayitey Powers?
Bukom Banku of course , Noooo Contest
OQ- Finally, how will you share your YALI journey to we the unlucky-yet-maybe-next-time Ghanaians?
I have started a blog http://yali.ethelcofie.com and a youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6a7tkYDNHnLkXwTj8fe2gQ , I hope it becomes a useful resource.
That was an inspirational insight into the life of one of Ghana's leading women in technology. You can share in her YALI experience on the links provided above! :-)