Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi
|Organization:||Women's Technology Empowerment Centre - W.TEC|
|Stakeholder Group(s):||Civil Society/Non-Governmental|
Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi is a social entrepreneur with an interest in building a more inclusive technology ecosystem, which includes more women technology users, creators, entrepreneurs and leaders.
Ensuring that women are better represented on the Internet, own and can manage their domains effectively, and understand how to address issues like domain name abuse and cybersecurity challenges is an important aspect of her work. Her work centers on increasing inclusivity in the digital realm for women, ensuring they can use the Internet safely and effectively to enhance their educational, professional and civic activities.
She is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization, the Women's Technology Empowerment Centre - W.TEC, based in Lagos, Nigeria. Through W.TEC, she has worked with 31,000 girls and women (and counting) in a variety of programmers, including technology camps and after-school clubs for girls; as well as training workshops for women entrepreneurs.
Through these programmes, the girls and women have learnt to create technology – including applications, games, websites, short films and other digital content. Many of these girls have been inspired to pursue technology careers. Oreoluwa has also designed and overseen programmes that support women in their use of technology for entrepreneurship, career development, learning and leadership activities.
More recently, Oreoluwa has been exploring how technology can improve learning outcomes and better integrate students with developmental disabilities and special needs, such as Autism and Down’s syndrome.
Oreoluwa has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Essex and a Masters of Science degree in Information Systems from the London School of Economics & Political Science. She also has a certificate in Applied Sciences from Harvard University's Extension School and a certificate in Social Sector Management from the Pan-Atlantic University's Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) in Lagos, Nigeria.
Oreoluwa’s work has also been showcased in the broadcast and print media, including Channels TV Tech Trends, EmagineTV, Seriously Speaking on DSTV, EbonyLife TV, Africa on the Rise, NTA 2 Channel 5, NTA Channel 10, LTV, Guardian, The Nation, Punch, Business Day, Champion, Daily Independent and a documentary called Wiki Loves Women aired on German TV.
2008 - present: Founder / Executive Director, Women's Technology Empowerment Centre - W.TEC (Lagos, Nigeria)
2005 - 2007: Training Coordinator, Lonadek Oil & Gas Consultants (Lagos, Nigeria) Project Coordinator, Youth Empowerment & Restoration Initiative
2003 - 2005: Technology Associate, Suicide Prevention Resource Centre - Education Development Centre, Inc. (Newton, MA, USA)
Internet Governance Participation
2018 - present: Member, ISOC (Women's SIG)
2018 - present: Member, AFRALO
2018 - present: Active Member, Not for Profit Operational Constituency (NPOC), ICANN
2012 - present: Member, ISOC (Nigerian chapter)
2020 - present: Communications Committee Chair, NPOC Executive Committee
2019 - present: Member, NCSG Policy Committee
2018 - 2020: Secretariat, NPOC Executive Committee
2018 - present: Charter Review Committee
2017 - 2018: Mentee, Community Onboarding Programme, ICANN
Public Policy Contributions
2020: Penholder, NCSG Response to Call for Public Comments "ICANN Africa Regional Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025"
2020: Penholder, NSCG Response to Call for Public Comments "Revised Community Travel Support Guidelines"
2020: Member, African Regional At Large Organisation (AFRALO) Operating Principles / Rules of Procedure Working Group of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names & Numbers
2013: Certificate in Social Sector Management, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University (Lagos, Nigeria)
2000 - 2001: Certificate in Applied Sciences, Harvard University's Extension School (USA)
1998 - 1999: Masters of Science degree in Information Systems, London School of Economics & Political Science (UK)
1995 - 1998: Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics, University of Essex (UK)
• Somolu, Oreoluwa (2013). Radio for Women’s Development: Examining the Relationship between Access and Impact (Case Study). Nokoko – Journal of Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Canada’s Institute for African Studies, Vol. 3.
• Somolu, O. and Ajao, O. (2009). Networking for Success. i4d: Information for Development, July - September 2009, Vol. 7:7
• Somolu, Oreoluwa (2007). Telling our own stories: African women blogging for social change. Gender and Development, Vol. 15:3
• Somolu O., Kaser, J., Hanson, K. (2004). Making the Most of Online Learning: An Introduction to Learning on the Internet, Gender, Diversities & Technology Institute, Education Development Center, Inc.
2020 ICANN 67 Fellowship (Deferred)
2019 ICANN 66 Fellowship
2018 Nigeria's 100 Most Inspiring Women in 2018 - from Leading Ladies Africa & YNaija
2017 SME100’s 100 Most Innovative Female-Owned Businesses in Nigeria for 2017
2016 & 2014 YNaija!’s Top 100 Young People in Technology
2014 VVLead Fellowship - from Vital Voices. Awarded to emerging and established women leaders across the world.
2013 Ashoka Fellowship. For the world’s leading social entrepreneurs.
2009 Anita Borg Change Agent Award. For her commitment to supporting women in computing in Nigeria.