By Guest Author | Posted - Apr 16th, 2024

 

 

 

 

SheTech Interns Interview Davina Kamikazi

Catalyzing Development: Davina Kamikazi’s International Journey in Digitizing Agriculture  

By Isabelle, with assistance from Alli,

April 16, 2024, Ogden, Utah

We recently had the opportunity to interview Davina Kamikazi, a Student Pathway Recipient at the 2023 Women Tech Council Awards. Kamikazi is an international student from Rwanda majoring in computer science at Weber State University. She serves as an inspiration to the young women of her country and women around the world through her educational journey.

Starting her journey in her home country of Rwanda, Kamikazi’s love of technology and problem-solving began with fixing things like wifi and cables. Her interest flourished into a passion after participating in the One Laptop per Child program, an initiative launched in 2005 by non-profit OLPC, later rebranded as Laptop.org. The purpose of the program was to both bring down the costs of laptops to more affordable levels and to make them available to school children in developing countries.

Kamikazi was one of those school children who received a laptop. She used it to create a coding game, which she taught her peers to play and to generate feedback. The intersection between fixing problems through coding and mathematics led her to pursue computer engineering as a career focus. When the opportunity arose to study in the United States at Weber State University, she accepted the opportunity to expand her technology knowledge in a place known for its hub of big technology companies.

When asked about the challenges of studying abroad, Kamikazi commented that this experience pushed her out of her comfort zone with imposter syndrome. While overcoming a language barrier, she went to classes and engaged herself with the other students.

One of the key reasons for her success is how she would “reach out to others and let them know when she was having a hard time.” This practice of reaching out to a support group, along with being open to joining clubs and activities, allowed her to work on overcoming imposter syndrome and being successful in her higher education.

As well as dealing with imposter syndrome in a foreign country, Kamikazi also faced unique challenges as a woman of color going into technology. Historically, women of color have been under-represented in the technology field due to historical disparities, culture, and lack of equal opportunities. To combat this issue, Kamikazi sought out mentors and inspiring leaders to look up to. Kamikazi was inspired by Faith Keza, a former CEO of Irembo (Kigali, Rwanda), who created IremboGov, a government services platform that developed digital products to save time and resources. Keza’s use of technology to improve services inspired Kamikazi to use technology to make a difference.

Kamikazi’s ultimate goal is to learn useful technology applications and bring them back to her home country to benefit their technological development and quality of life. She aims to work on applications to digitize agriculture and its tools, as agriculture is a significant part of Rwanda’s economy. She hopes to use her higher education to digitize agriculture to increase economic productivity and public health.

To current high school girls, she encourages them to never give up when faced with challenges. She states, “The journey might not get easier, but throughout the experience, you will become tougher, stronger, and you will be able to overcome it.”

The most important thing is to never give up because “everything is going to work out at the end of the day,” especially if “you devote your time and efforts to your work.”

 

Isabelle (middle in photo) and Alli are SheTech-TechBuzz media interns. They attend DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts in Ogden, Utah. Isabelle is a SheTech Student Board member and is the author of the above article. Alli participates in SheTech events, including Explorer Day, and the interview with Davina Kamikazi.

As part of the media internship, Isabelle and Alli interview women tech leaders in Utah, including 2023 Women Tech Award finalists and awardees. SheTech media intern articles are published on TechBuzz News and active in the Silicon Slopes Community, SheTech Media Intern’s Instagram, and other social media channels.

 
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Guest Author - TechBuzz welcomes well-informed guest authors and talented writers from Utah's vibrant startup and tech community who share news items, insights and wisdom to the Utah business ecosystem.

 

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