Mariéme Jamme, The story behind the story: Supporting African girls with the new empowerment code

Mariéme Jamme is a Senegalese-born British businesswoman in technology. At TEDxAmsterdamWomen 2016 she unveiled her new venture of launching IAMTHECODE – an African-led global movement aimed at supporting girls through creative learning and code training in STEAMD: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Design.

In her opening statement she unraveled her powerful message “I am here for all the girls and women in the world”, beginning her story of how her love for numbers, hardship during her youth and her tenacity, led her to her current goal: 1 million young girls & women to become coders by 2030. Technology as an enabler and empathy as a connector.

Businesswoman in Technology

Mariéme’s consultancy company Spotone Global Solutions helps technology companies to get a foothold in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. She has supported many organizations such as Google, EY, HSBC Private Banking, The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown, The Africa Progress Panel chaired by Kofi Annan, The Obama Administration, and multiple African governments through their STEM policies. Often called the diplomat of technology, Mariéme was named one of the 100 most influential Africans by the African Business Magazine and 20 youngest powerful women in Africa by Forbes.

From personal hardship towards devotion to African development

During her talk at TEDxAmsterdamWomen, Mariéme zoomed in on her experiences and the support she provides for women in Africa. Her own road was long and hard. Mariéme grew up in rural Senegal, from an oligarch mother who gave her away at an early-age, and later was raised in various foster houses including in an orphanage and then trafficked as a young prostitute to Paris. She did not have a formative education until the age of 16 years old, when she taught herself how to read and write. Mariéme is an autodidact, coder, blogger, tech and education activist who now devotes herself to African development in all aspects. She work tirelessly to empower her fellow Africans through education, empowerment, mentoring, leadership and economic development.

Launching a new movement

Mariéme’s latest venture includes the launch of IAMTHECODE, a new movement aiming at mobilizing governments, businesses and investors to support girls and young women in STEAMD (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Design). In effect, the World Economic Forum honored her as a Young Global Leader for her activism work in empowering and investing in young girls and women in Africa. Mariéme talked about the new empowerment code where she bridges technology and empathy, leaving the audience at the conference in a standing ovation.

Text by: Nico Dingemans