Lending Our Voice at the UN General Assembly

Njideka Harry Highlights 3D Africa as a solution to accelerate innovation through women and girls


Pictured: Girls enrolled in YTF programming in Eastern Nigeria

YTF President and CEO Njideka Harry is in New York this week, contributing insights on accelerating innovation for sustainable development at the 71st session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Harry will participate on a panel titled, “Accelerating Innovation: Empowering Women & Girls” at a breakfast event organized by the governments of Finland and Tanzania, UN-Women and UNICEF.

This opportunity will shed light on YTF’s 3D Africa program, which helps girls gain valuable skills and employment pathways. In addition to providing software development and mobile application training, 3D Africa teaches unemployed youth engineers to use 3D modeling software and hardware tools and at the same time provides them with entrepreneurial skills to competitively monetize their talent in the global marketplace.

On the panel, Harry will cover why educating a new generation of women is a critical part of a sustainable future. She will describe the main pathway for this goal as building gender-transformative entrepreneurial ecosystems that create opportunities to actually challenge gender norms and promote positions of social and political influence for women in communities.

“We see economic empowerment and education as two key drivers of innovation, as well as advancement for both girls and women,” said Harry. “Innovation and shifts in gender roles are each catalytic processes that drive change. With that in mind, YTF engages girls and women in technology through making, creating and inventing. We believe this is an effective pathway to attract under-represented groups, like girls, to STEM fields.”

Fellow panelists in the panel discussion include: Marianne Vikkula, CEO of SLUSH; Doreen Kessy, COO of Ubongo Kids; and Wanjiru Waweru Waithaka, Founder and CEO of Funkidz. The event will be moderated by Chris Fabian of UNICEF.

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