Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi, Founder / Executive Director
Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC).
Prior to this, she was Project Manager of Youth Empowerment & Restoration Initiative, an organisation working to increase local content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry by raising awareness of Oil and Gas careers among students.
Oreoluwa worked for several years in the United States at an educational non-for-profit organisation on a number of projects, which explored the interplay between gender and technology and which sought to attract more girls and women to study and work in science and technology-related fields.
She has a Bachelors degree in Economics from Essex University, U.K. a Masters degree in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems from the London School of Economics & Political Science, a Certificate in Applied Sciences from Harvard University’s Extension School and a Certificate in Social Sector Management from Pan African University’s Enterprise Development Centre. Her interests are the applications of technology in improving lifelong learning and also to raise the economic and social conditions of people (especially women and children) in the developing world.
Oreoluwa also has research experience, which includes working on the Gender Equity in Math and Science (GEMS) project, while working at the Education Development Center (www.edc.org) in MA, U.S.A from 2001 to 2003. More recently, she coordinated a research project at W.TEC, which explored radio’s value for women’s development from 2010 to 2012.
Her publications include ‘Radio for Women’s Development: Examining the Relationship Between Access and Impact’ (Nokoko: Journal of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University – Canada, 2013), ‘Networking for Success’ (i4d: Information for Development Online Journal, 2009), ‘Telling Our Own Stories: African Women Blogging for Social Change’ (Gender & Development Journal, 2006) and ‘Making the Most of On-line Learning: An Introduction to Learning on the Internet’ (Education Development Center, 2004).
Oreoluwa’s work has been showcased in the media, including Seriously Speaking with Adesuwa Onyenokwe – May 2015, Moments with Mo – May 2013 and Close Flow with Fola Martins – September 2013.
She is a 2014 Vital Voices Lead Fellow (awarded to emerging and established women leaders across the world), 2013 Ashoka fellow (a network of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs) and a recipient of the Anita Borg Change Agent Award (for her commitment to supporting women in computing in Nigeria). She was recognized with a 2014 ‘Chosen Youth’ Leadership Award from LaRoche Foundation and as one ofYNaija!’s Top 100 Young People in Technology of 2014.