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This 26-Year-Old is the 1st African Woman to Win the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Innovation!

This 26-Year-Old is the 1st African Woman to Win the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Innovation!

Charlette N'Guessan

Put your hands together for the first African woman to win the Africa Prize for Innovation by Royal Academy of EngineeringCharlette N’Guessan!

N’Guessan is the CEO & Co-Founder of Ghana-based software company – BACE Group. She and her team won the £25,000 award (about $33,000) for BACE API – a digital verification system that uses Artificial Intelligence & facial recognition to verify the identities of African remotely and in real-time. According to Charlette N’Guessan, The system works by matching the live photo of the individual the photo in their documents like passports, ID card etc. “For the person trying to submit their application, we ask them to switch on their camera to make sure the person behind the camera is real, and not a robot.” “We are able to capture the face of the person live and match their image with the one on the existing document the person submitted.

Charlette N'Guessan

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Speaking on being an African woman in tech, N’Guessan said her interest in technology started from a tender age. She grew up in Ivory Coast, West Africa, and got a lot of encouragement to invest her time in science & technology from her father who was a Mathematics Professor. “He inspired my choice for studying STEM. I was actually really good in science-related courses. After high school, I went on to study software engineering at university.” she said.
Charlette N'Guessan BACE API
Johann Botha Photographer | Source:
In an interview with CNN, she declared how winning the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation has helped to boost her confidence as a CEO leading a technical team of men. N’Guessan also told CNN that her recent achievement will encourage more women to give careers in tech a chance. “I will be happy if people are inspired by my story, being the first woman to win the Africa Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation and by my work as a woman in tech,” she said.

About the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Innovation

The Academy was founded in 1976 and has been running the award to reward engineering innovation in Africa since 2014.
Globally, the technology industry is growing, but women-led startups are in short supply with only 22% founded by at least one woman, according to a report in Disrupt Africa.

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