The summit will bring together students and university faculties across Africa with leading tech professionals with the goal of exposing the students to career opportunities in both the African and global tech ecosystems, providing them hands-on training on relevant tools and skills for thriving in the tech world of the future, and building a pipeline for connecting the students with world leading tech employers on the African continent.
The 5-day event is the first ever career summit focused on empowering Africa’s teeming student population for technology opportunities of the AI era.
Mekka serves as Engineering Director for Growth on Google Play, one of the largest digital marketplaces on earth. Prior to Google, he was at Amazon, where he led the Appstore Developer Services organization. Mekka is passionate about building diverse and inclusive teams. His organization is one of the most inclusive engineering teams at Google. He serves as executive sponsor of several initiatives, including Project Lifesaver, Tech Exchange, and Computer Science Summer Institute. Outside of Google, Mekka has served on the board of several non-profits. He is a frequent speaker, consultant, and mentor sharing his expertise with leaders on inclusivity in the workplace, diversity in tech, and successful team building.
Ndubuisi who hails from Ovim, Abia State, south east Nigeria, is a world renowned tech guru, inventor, engineer, author and entrepreneur. He co-designed iPhone and iPad’s XL Sensor. A first-class graduate of Federal University of Technology (FUTO) Owerri, Ndubuisi is the founder of First Atlantic Semiconductors and Microelectronics, Africa’s top systems company. Prof. Ekekwe is a key player in the American tech company with a specialty in Medical robots; a Johns Hopkins fellow. He has served in the United States National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center E&D Committee. Ndubuisi is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review where he writes on innovation, technology, and business with focus on Africa.
As the founder of African Institution of Technology, he facilitates the provision of practical education support, encourages enactment of technology policies and facilitates the bottom-up creativity technology emanating from African economies. The South African press called him “a doctor of innovation” for helping organizations on the mechanics of business innovation, strategy, and growth. In 2020, Ndubuisi was named by The Guardian (Nigeria) as one of 60 Nigerians In 60 Years Making “Nigerian Lives Matter.”
Jason leads the AI for Weather and Climate teams in Google Research. His work focuses on bringing innovation to the weather and climate enterprise, including AI methods that improve model accuracy and predictive power, data assimilation methods that enhance the use of satellite and environmental observations, platforms that are broadly open and accessible, and services that deliver actionable information to save lives and support prosperity. Dr. Hickey is also a founding member of the NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography (AI2ES), focusing on developing trustworthy AI methods to improve understanding of and prediction of high-impact atmospheric science and ocean science phenomena, and create new educational pathways to develop a more diverse AI and environmental science workforce. Prior to Google, Dr. Hickey was assistant professor of Computer Science at the California Institute of Technology.
Ugo is an engineer, automobile enthusiast, and software developer. He began programming in Sinclair BASIC and Zeus Zilog Z80 Assembler with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K, and in Turbo C, Borland C++, and Java afterwards. He grew up in a family of Christians and in the world of an Artist with roots in the Nsibidi and Ikenga in the Igbo tradition, which has heavily influenced his dual approach to research and scientific knowledge. Ugo is the author of the book, Python and the Rainmaker, which explores how to build more innovative products and technologies by harvesting ideas from outside of conventional zones and by embracing pluriversal paradigms such as African cosmology.
Ugo lives in Enugu, Nigeria. He is a part-time househusband of three children, a public speaker, and provides technical support in Mathematics and Programming Techniques to his local Google Developers Group.
Valerie is a technical program manager at Google. She is also the co-founder of PETGA Initiative, a nonprofit organization that promotes engineering and tech education to young girls in Nigeria. Valerie grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to the United States at the age of 14. She graduated top of her class with a Bachelors in Computer Science at Frostburg State University. She also holds a Masters degree in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. As a student, her leadership across campus was evident in various organizations including being the Academic Excellence chair for the National Society of Black Engineers. Valerie then began her professional career in the aerospace industry for Northrop Grumman. Now, she leads various programs for Google’s ML Systems & Cloud AI team, and is a lead for the Africans employee resource groups in New York City. During her formative years in Nigeria, Valerie saw a clear gender divide with access to STEM fields. To bridge that gap, Valerie co-founded PETGA to expose young girls in underserved communities to Technology and Engineering concepts, classes, and role models, showing them that it is a doable, interesting and viable field they can pursue as their careers.
Ernest is the President and Co-founder of CodeHouse, a US-based nonprofit organization that provides mentorship from professionals of color to high school and college students of color. He is currently a Software Engineer and a Technical Program Manager at Google, having previously completed three internships at Google. Ernest is a graduate of Morehouse College, a Historically Black College for men in Atlanta, United States, and one of six Sayreville War Memorial High School alumni named to the school's 2023 Hall of Fame inductee class. Along along with the other co-founders of CodeHouse, his sister Jaycee Holmes and Tavis Thompson, Ernest was awarded the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for 2023.