Farida Bedwei, a software engineer who, despite her Cerebral Palsy condition, rose to become one of the most successful technologists in Africa. Born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1979, Farida Nana Efua Bedwei spent most of her childhood in Dominica, Grenada and the United Kingdom before her family moved home to Ghana when she was nine.
Bedwei was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when she was 10 days old. The disease is a medical condition usually caused by brain damage before or at birth that causes the loss of sensation or control of movement in the arms and legs.
She studied on her own at home until she was 12 years before she was formally enrolled at school. Determined not to let her physical condition constrain her dreams, Bedwei proceeded to acquire two diplomas and a bachelor of science degree in Computer Science.
Bedwei’s computer application, gKudi, is credited with revolutionizing the microfinance industry in Ghana by simplifying the processing and granting of credits to artisans in the country.
Miss Farida Nana Efua Bedwei is a seasoned software engineer with over 16 years experience in building mobile and enterprise applications with extensive knowledge in architecting and deploying mobile VAS services and banking applications for the microfinance industry. Farida begun her working life at Soft Company Ltd (now known as the Softtribe), as a Software Developer and moved from there to Rancard Solutions Ltd. At Rancard Solutions, where she worked from 2001 to 2010, she progressed from the position of Solutions Analyst to Senior Software Architect.
At Rancard Solutions, she was responsible for the development and maintenance of the mobility platform, which connected the mobile networks to the content providers. She has in-depth knowledge about the technical architecture of mobile network messaging gateways and the associated protocols. Part of her achievements at Rancard Solutions include the development of a content management system for the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice and PayBureau, an enterprise web-based payroll application for KPMG Accra to facilitate simultaneous management of payroll services for different companies.
In 2010, Miss Bedwei moved to G-Life Microfinance where she was responsible for designing and implementing new products and services, managing the software solutions as well as vendor relationships.
Since April 2011 to date, Farida is the Co-Founder/Chief Technology Officer of Logiciel Ltd, Accra, Ghana, a technological solutions company, with the primary focus of building mobile and financial software for the West African market. Her key achievement has been the successful implementation of gKudi, a web-based (Cloud) banking software suite for the micro finance industry, designed to be accessible on mobile phones and PDAs as well as on desktop systems used by over 70 Micro Finance Institutions nationwide.
An award winning ICT professional, she was the winner of Legacy & Legacy maiden Ideas Award in 2011, The Government of Ghana’s National Youth Achievers Award, Special Award, 2012 and is the Winner of Most Influential Women in Business and Government in Africa, 2013, from the CEO Magazine South Africa.
She holds an IMIS Diploma, and a Diploma in E-Technology. Miss Bedwei furthered her education with a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Hertfordshire, UK and also has a Project Management Professional Certificate from GIMPA. She is a member of the Ghana Institute of Management.
Farida is a member of The Girls in ICT Committee, a committee setup under the Ministry of Communications to encourage females to pursue careers in Information Technology.
She has won a number of awards, including the 2012 Special Award by President John Mahama of Ghana, the Maiden Award 2011 of the Legacy and Legacy Ideas Award and the 2013 CEO Most Influential Women in Business and Government Award Financial Sector.
Credit: Rising Africa