There is a saying that ” we can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough”.
Such is the story of Ghanaian Social Techpreneur, Regina Honu who despite the various gender discriminations against her, stood her ground and has risen to lend her voice and knowledge to efforts aimed at bridging the gender gap in technology to give more girls and women the opportunities to thrive.
The story of Regina Honu is one whose rising was hinged on the challenges she encountered early in life.
Recognized as one of Ghana’s first ‘Social Techpreneurs’, Regina is a software developer and a social entrepreneur with a vision to effect change through technology.
She founded a software development company, Soronko Solutions with its services primarily for Non- Governmental Organisations, NGOs, and small and medium-sized enterprises in Ghana while profits from the company go into funding the Soronko Foundation, which also targets increasing the skills of the young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
As a strong force in Ghana’s tech industry, she focuses on empowering girls and women with tech skills to drive her strong belief in the need for female perspectives in technology and digitalization.
Armed with her belief in the female folk, Regina opened the Soronko Academy, the first coding and Human-centered design school for children and young adults in West Africa.
The Academy among other things connects students to jobs and internship opportunities as its strength lies in linking each girl’s achievements to her community’s pride and prosperity.
Soronko is strategically placed for teaching girls how to code and offers training to girls from age 5 to adults in the University and as many girls and women who desire to get practical technical skills and knowledge.
Through the Soronko Academy, she has launched the ” Tech Needs Girls program” to teach girls from underprivileged communities coding skills as well as critical thinking and problem-solving skills to make meaningful impacts in contemporary society.
Since its establishment, Tech Needs Girls has trained over 10, 000 girls in technology across Ghana and Burkina Faso.
Another project Regina uses to galvanize women is the “Women in Digital Skills” project which trains women from the informal sector and disadvantaged communities on how to use digital tools and pursue careers in technology.
These programmes have had multiplier effects on various communities as some of the beneficiaries have become self-sufficient and also own their online businesses and foundations while some others have proceeded for further studies at the University through scholarships.
Her passion for bridging the gender gap in technology has won her several recognitions both at home and abroad.
In 2017, she won the Northwestern University Buffet Institute for Emerging Global Leaders Award and also got awarded as one of the big six and a leader in technology at the Coca-Cola young achievers award.
She was recognized as Startup Entrepreneur of the year and Soronko Solutions won Social Start-up of the year for 2016 at the Ghana Startup Awards.
She was also unveiled as the 2016 Vlisco Brand Ambassador.
Regina was featured on CNN as one of the 12 inspirational women who rock STEM. she was also named as one of the six women making an impact in Tech in Africa and one of 10 female entrepreneurs to watch in emerging economies.
She was awarded a Women of Courage Award for Technology and Tech Needs Girls was awarded in the Ghana CSR Diary Awards.
Regina was awarded Young Entrepreneur of the year by the GPA Awards from Africa 2.0 and JCI Ghana Outstanding Young Person award for scientific and technological advancement.
She was a finalist for the ITU African Digital Woman of the Year. Regina belongs to Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa and is also a Mandela Washington Fellow.
She is an Ashoka Fellow, Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow, GOOD Fellow, Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, Vital Voices Fellow, and a Change Leader with Tigo Reach For Change.
She was part of the advisory board on a project to amend the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to include e Digital rights of a child and served as a member of the Young Africa Works project to connect 2.1 million Ghanaian women to dignified and fulfilling work
Due to her passion for mentoring young girls, she has over the years been invited to mentor the younger ones in over 15 countries across the world as well as speak to them at different programs like the Camfed master card scholars program, University Events, Symposiums at Harvard University and Oxford University.