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SWE in Africa Pt. 2: East Africa Region

In 2020, SWE launched the Africa Task Force to develop a roadmap for growth and engagement of women engineers and technologists across the continent. Learn about the activities and leaders in the East Africa Region in part 2 of this 4-part series.
SWE in Africa Pt. 2: East Africa Region - SWE Africa Task Force

To read more about the history of SWE in Africa and the work of the SWE Africa Task Force, please see Part 1 of this series

The East Africa region comprises 11 countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Madagascar. Currently, the SWE Affiliate in the region is in Nairobi, Kenya, however, additional affiliates are being organized in Tanzania and Uganda. The region is represented by SWE members, Umi Kerre and Stella Uzochukwu Denis on the Task Force.  

“SWE East Africa is excited on being part of SWE Africa and the larger SWE community. It has been an awesome experience so far and we are looking forward to see what the future holds.” – Umi Kerre 

Learn more below about activities that have been done in the region. 

1. Mentorship Program at the Technical University of Mombasa 

This was SWE Nairobi’s first event, held in collaboration with the James Ogunbor Education Foundation. The foundation’s president, Florence Ogunbor is a member of the SWE Lagos Affiliate.  

The event was held at the Technical University of Mombasa and hosted by their Engineering Students Association. It was aimed at empowering young female engineers by equipping them on how to traverse the challenges encountered in the workplace. Two members from SWE Nairobi were speakers at the event.   

SWE in East Africa, Part 2 of the SWE Africa Series -

 2. International Women’s Day Webinar  

The event themed Women Leading in Engineering in a Covid-19 World was held to mark International Women’s Day 2021. The webinar, which attracted more than 300 participants from across Africa, was organized by SWE Nairobi in partnership with the Institution of Engineers of Kenya – Women’s Chapter, STEM Wahandisi La Femme, Association of African Engineers Italy (AIA) and Women in Energy Africa.  

SWE in East Africa, Part 2 of the SWE Africa Series -


3. Monthly Webinar Series 

  • Navigating Careers Webinar Series 
    • SWE Nairobi has conducted this webinar at the following universities: Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Strathmore University, and University of Eldoret. The series was launched in partnership with FESTO Didactic, IEEE Kenya, Michelle Boit Foundation, BEE the Engineer, and STEM Wahandisi la Femme. 
  • Professional Development Webinar Series 
    • This series recently launched and the first webinar covered the topic of professional integrity and engineering ethics. Future topics to be explored include engineering design thinking, intellectual property, employability in engineering and managing/engineering your finances. 
  • Industry-Based Webinar Series 
    • This series takes into consideration the diversity of the engineering industry, from energy to aviation and space and many more.

4. Outreach Activities

  • Career Day at Nova Pioneer Girls High School 
    • This interactive event gave students an understanding of the different career options available to them in the future, with an emphasis on the various subjects concerning prospective future careers. SWE Nairobi aimed to inspire the girls to work effectively towards achieving their goals and encourage them to consider taking up careers in STEM. All the Form 2 students were in attendance. This event was held in partnership with Safaricom 47/47 and the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS). 

SWE in East Africa, Part 2 of the SWE Africa Series -

  • STEM Workshop at Nova Pioneer Girls High School 
    • The workshop themed ‘Transform the Future’ aimed to enlighten participants on the current challenges in society while stirring up their abilities to transform change and solve problems through science and engineering. The 40 girls present participated in the following activities: 
      • “I am Remarkable” session, an empowering interactive self-reflection session 
      • Design thinking training 
      • “Imagine it, build it” Challenge, an interactive session of solving societal challenges through science and engineering. 

SWE in East Africa, Part 2 of the SWE Africa Series -

The group is interested in forming a SWENext Club. This event was held in partnership with WomEng Kenya Safaricom 47/47 and Women In Energy Africa. 

5. Webinar held by the SWE Tanzania team

This webinar was organized by local leaders and was the first SWE event to be held in Tanzania. The theme of the webinar was “Women Advancing Engineering, Technology and Innovation in Tanzania”. SWE will continue to grow in the region and expects to soon start an affiliate in Tanzania.  

SWE in East Africa, Part 2 of the SWE Africa Series -

To learn more about SWE in East Africa, follow SWE Nairobi on Twitter @NairobiSwe and Instagram @swe_nairobi


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