TechWomen 2022: A Moroccan project wins a seed fund granted by the US State Department

A Moroccan project to prevent fires in the argan forest, presented within the framework of the TechWomen program intended to support women in science, has won, in Silicon Valley in California, a seed fund granted by the Department of American state.

This is the first time that a Moroccan team has won this scholarship since the 2011 launch of the TechWomen initiative, which brings together emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics from Africa and Asia with their professional counterparts. in the United States as part of a mentorship and exchange program.

The Moroccan team is made up of Fatima Zahra Benyaaqoub, Meriem Haddouchi, Aziza Krimaa, Hajar Salamat and Manar Ouaritni.

Baptized Afitech, this project is an innovative initiative which aims, according to its initiators, to preserve the forests of argan trees from forest fires.

Thanks to sensors installed in the trees along a mesh network, this project will make it possible to detect a fire in the slow combustion phase.

The sensors analyze the data collected using artificial intelligence and set up a notification system to alert local authorities.

Speaking at a recent event to celebrate TechWomen’s tenth anniversary, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised the Moroccan project, calling it “concrete” and “remarkable”.

Blinken announced that the Techwomen program, which pairs technology leaders with mentors at U.S.-based technology companies for a five-week mentoring exchange, will expand to new regions around the world.

“As this program enters its second decade, we will broaden its reach,” said the head of the diplomacy of the United States.

This year’s edition saw the participation of 21 countries, who presented their projects to solve global problems by focusing on local life and community challenges.

In January 2022, 3,200 women applied to the TechWomen program from 21 emerging countries and only 104 were selected to join the fall program.

Initiated in 2011 by the US State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, TechWomen is said to aim to empower, connect and support the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, of Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by providing them with access and opportunity to advance their careers and become role models for women and girls in their communities.

It thus provides participants with access to networks, resources and knowledge to enable them to reach their full potential.

Participants engage in project-based mentorships at leading companies, attend professional development workshops and networking events, and travel to Washington, DC. for targeted meetings and special events to wrap up the program.

In the decade since 2011, TechWomen has hosted nearly 1,000 women from 21 countries, including Morocco.

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TechWomen 2022: A Moroccan project wins a seed fund granted by the US State Department

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