I see Port Harcourt as that fast growing African city – Ngowari Diminas Cofounder, CAFEW (Connecting All Female Engineers Worldwide)
Hello, My name is Ngowari Diminas and I am the founder of CAFEW which is the acronym for Connecting All Female Engineers Worldwide and that is a platform for female engineers who are willing to connect, to learn and to inspire other female engineers. You can follow us on Twitter or Instagram or on Facebook you can just, you know be a member of facebook and participate in everything we do you share training, conferences or topics that are similar to what we all experience, challenges in such a way that you know other mentors or mentees or people can actually see and connect with people who are experiencing the same thing.
So basically my first degree is in chemical engineering and my Masters is in Oil and gas engineering, and all my life as a Rivers woman, my mind has been in the on the oil and the gas and I think that mindset needs to change, so for the past three years I have evolved a lot on making my, my thinking you know not just in that engineering box thinking in the business, on the business side of things, understanding why people go into business is why people going into the tech industry what is really changing how we do things in a smarter way and why we happier when we have all these mobile apps, phones, devices and all of those, so I’ve been quite interested and that is the reason why I went in to do my MBA program and it is still ongoing basically I’m just getting what I’m getting out of the program is understanding business , effective business models that can enable me compete globally have a business whether or not it is within Nigeria or in another country or just being able to have the skills the right skills set and understanding all the legal aspect of it, knowing what to do when I have to go to a place to actually sit down with people and negotiate tactfully.
So I sparked up the program, the MBA program we’re required to actually go to a country or city or place where you need to understand what the cultural differences are and not just go in there with your perception. Just be able to go there based on research understanding how the people do their things, their way of life in order for you to have that right social interaction to progress if you want to have businesses done, so what caught my attention the most is when I went to Santiago Chile.
I don’t know if you’ve heard about startup Chile, but we’ve heard about startup Chile you will be excited, going to Santiago and I got on the, I got on the plane and I was like wow, this is for real and once I got into the town the people are very very friendly to tourists , they want to have conversations with you. They want to understand you, know why you’re here and I was really very excited about that.
I had the opportunity to go to some companies including The Microsoft Office down in and right out in there in Santiago and what I didn’t notice was that most of these companies has the support from the government they had the right legal framework to have investors come in to stay there sustainably and Chile is one of the Latin American countries that has been, you know progressing really fast. In the 90s, I think 19 thereabout 1989 or so the poverty rate was about 47 percent and now it is approximately 9 percent so how did these people go from the darkest experience they had under tyrant leadership’s just going to the museum, The Memorial Museum I was very emotional, seeing their history, seeing the way they presented it made me understand that the people have to have the right mindset.
Like I tell myself and I tell other people to nurture your mindset beautifully because the state of your mindset will either hinder you or progress you. So what I have seen in Chile is that people have the right mindset, they put their feet on the ground and saying you know what, we have got to come together and work hard to make our country better and what we have seen is a fast-growing economy, they are doing a lot of things, entertaining, like being able to accommodate investors, so startup Chile, the way I look at startup Port Harcourt in a couple of years we should be able to compare Startup Port Harcourt to Startup Chile.
I see Port Harcourt as that fast-growing African City where all the tech companies would like to come into, like to invest more, would like to have their company presence there. I’ve been to Silicon Valley. I told her on FaceBook. I saw the closing knit community both in working conditions like the perks associated with it, the the hiring of multinationals, having people walk remotely within the company and also even making sure that they accommodated females like that is where I’m really in like being able to have like a pregnant mother have her parking close to where she’s actually working to like a very short distance, having nursing mothers actually coming with their babies and colleagues don’t mind and they support them so well there are little things, basic things that make people excited these tech companies actually bring jobs that will actually encourage our small business.
We have a lot of talented people in Nigeria and in Rivers state so how do we get all these investors coming to stay sustainably. I see that with we are also working so hard with Startup Port Harcourt and I know that we will achieve that and I know that we are already doing so much and you feel part of the movement, you will understand the importance and how things are gonna change with technology in the agricultural sector and I love that area because I have a lot of family, friends and aunties, relatives who farm and they have large farms there’s cassava processing like how do we want to make sure they have buyers quickly get access to them at accessibility, you say buy online, order pay systems effective pay systems, so that they can get their money, they do not have to be sitting under the sun going to the market you know sitting on the street side trying to sell. We should be able to have the technology companies have that ability to save them time to save them stress and they will be happy so we have the educational system. How do we make sure that all this, all the cake curriculums are removed from the system.
We should have that right curriculum set to focus on technology, we should be catching up with all these countries in the western world so to me all I can say for now is we are doing our best and we should keep doing our best and for me, I have traveled around. I have seen so many cities, so many towns change because of technology and I know that Port Harcourt is going to be that new Silicon Valley in terms of tech and it is also going to be that Santiago that we can in the future compare with Startup Chile.
Thank you so much for listening and I am hoping that as we move forward with startup Port Harcourt we will achieve great things and we are already achieving great things but we need greater things.
Have a good day and stay blessed.