Akaliza Keza Gara.
Ce jour là je devais photographier une jeune femme. Quelques clichés en intérieur et en extérieur. Je savais juste que c’était une rwandaise qui officiait dans les TIC. Je lui prendrais simplement des photos et on n’en reparlerait plus. Seulement, il s’est avéré qu’elle était plus qu’une jeune rwandaise qui officie dans les TIC. Pendant toute la séance-photo, Akaliza s’est découverte naturelle et sympathique. Contacts échangés, contacts gardés! 

L’interview est en anglais. Je ne l’ai pas traduit. Ça ferait « too much » pour un seul billet. (Oui je fais mon anglophone). Et je pense que c’est pas si mal d’avoir un article en anglais. L’Afrique est anglophone, francophone, lusophone…
J’aurais aimé pouvoir parcourir cette Afrique pour mieux vous en faire un témoignage. Mais en attendant je le fais de mon fauteuil en Côte d’ivoire, un matin banal du 13 avril. Vous jouerez à faire la traduction de cette interview, et ça vous fera de l’exercice. Ce sont les anglophones qui pour la première fois ne seront pas oubliés sur ce blog. J’espère parvenir un jour à un blog bilingue qui réunirait encore plus d’Afrikaners. Here we go!

Akaliza, You were in Abidjan in February. Why?

In February this year, I was officially inducted into the Microsoft 4Afrika Youth Council. The event was held in Abidjan.

Tell us about yourself – your personality, your job, your hobby, your activities. Who is Akaliza?

My name is Akaliza Keza Gara. I’m a multimedia consultant and the founder of Shaking Sun Ltd. My dream, which is now becoming a reality is to create cartoons specifically targetting children in Africa – but that can be enjoyed around the world.
For fun, I love to read or sketch or paint. I am quite reserved but I’ve learnt to be more social over the years.
Akaliza shake the sun.

Why did you choose to specialise in ICT?

There are a lot of opportunities in the ICT sector – especially in Rwanda. Not only is there a lot of promotion from the government, but in Rwanda, because the industry is still quite young, you have the incredible opportunity to be the first to do something. It’s a tremendous honour to feel a part of the development of your country.

Is it possible to have a simple private life when you get all this responsibilities?

I do enjoy my work – especially of late – so sometimes I forget to take a break. I have been making more of an effort of late to meet up with my friends.

You come from Rwanda – what projects are you working on in your country?

I am a member of Girls In ICT Rwanda we recently organised an ICT competition for female university students called, Ms. Geek Rwanda, which was very successful. Next on our agenda is Girls In ICT Day which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every April – this year on 24 April. We hope to have an event where we can engage with secondary school students.

What were your impressions of internet access and the ICT industry in general in Cote D’Ivoire?

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to meet with Ivorian ICT professionals while I was there – I mainly interacted with Microsoft staff who had travelled in from all over Africa. The only comment I can make is that the internet connection at our hotel was very shaky – but I don’t know if that is a reflection of services around the country.
Rêveuse active.

What did you love the most about in Abidjan?

Abidjan is incredible. I only wish I could have had more time. It seems to have everything – a solid infrastructure, a neverending beach, beautiful people, good food – especially the chocolate!

Will you come back soon?

I really hope so! I would love to have more time to explore the city – and the country.

What is your last word for the young African people, and for the women in Africa?

I really encourage young African people to share their stories. Write blogs or books. Paint. Make videos. If not, our stories will be – and are – written for us by others.
To women in Africa, don’t let the world convince you that you are victims. We don’t have to beg and we don’t have hide when we succeed. Like anyone else, we have great potential to be change agents in our communities.
To sum up, I’d like to share one of my favourite quotes from a woman called Marianne Williamson: “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.”
Thank you for your consideration and good luck for the future!

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