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Meet Dr. Unoma Ndili Okorafor, The Chief Executive Officer at Herbal Papaya and Radicube Technologies

Unoma Ndili Okorafor born 1974 is a Nigerian computer scientist and entrepreneur. Okorafor founded Working to Advance African Women, a program which supports African women in technology, in 2007. She is the Chief Executive Officer at Herbal Papaya and Radicube Technologies. 2018 – One of OkayAfrica’s Top 100 Women in 2018.

Okorafor was born in Nigeria. She studied computer and electrical at the University of Lagos, graduating in 2008. She moved to Texas for her graduate studies, earning a Master’s degree at Rice University in 2001 and a PhD from Texas A&M University in 2008. At Texas A&M University she was a Sloan Foundation Scholar. In 2016 – ITU and UN Women GEM Tech Award.

Okorafor got married to Ekpe Okorafor and had two children whilst a graduate student. Her PhD, Secure Integrated Routing and Localization in Wireless Optical Sensor Networks, was supervised by Deepa Kundur. She then joined Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she completed a Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship. She also completed the Social Entrepreneurship program at INSEAD. In 2013 – Anita Borg Social Change Agent Award.

Okorafor has worked at Intel, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. In 2007, whilst completing her PhD, Okorafor founded Working to Advance African Women (WAAW). WAAW is a 501(c) not-for-profit which promotes STEM education to African women. She launched the program with savings she made as a graduate student. WAAW runs 13 programs in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Malawi, Togo, Nigeria and South Africa. They have over one hundred volunteer university fellows and have reach several thousand girls a year. Alongside educating young women, Okorafor works with communities and families to ensure that no one tries to stop girls choosing STEM subjects. In 2010 – Crans Montana Leaders Forum “Future World leader.”

Okorafor is a Visiting Professor at the African University of Science and Technology, where she teaches courses on computer science. She is the Chief Executive Officer at Herbal Papaya and Radicube Technologies.


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