WanaData is a Pan-African network of female data scientists, journalists and technologists working to change the digital landscape by producing and promoting data-driven projects while applying digital technologies in storytelling. WanaData is an initiative by Code for Africa, a Pan-African impact accelerator, and a collaborative federation of civic technology organizations. WanaData aims to turbo boost networks of African women and contribute to their socio-economic empowerment by liberating gender data, amplifying their voices through data journalism, fast-tracking careers and deepening expertise in tech, data science and journalism. Activities include microgrants, mentorships and fellowships as well as training and networking events.
The network was first established in Nigeria in April 2017, under the name of Naija Data Ladies, before expanding to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa. With the expansion came a new name, Wana (Swahili): belonging to, son, daughter or children of and Data: ˈ/deɪtə/ noun facts and statistics collected together for reference and analysis. WanaData translates, loosely, as Daughters of Data in Swahili. It has grown from an initial 6 members in Nigeria to more than 400 women across the continent. In 2020, new chapters were started in Dakar (Senegal) and Yaounde (Cameroon).
WanaData members have collaborated on cross-border reporting projects that incorporate data visualization, artificial intelligence, audience engagement strategies, social videos, drone journalism and other innovative approaches, to enhance news content on the continent. Between 2017 and 2021, WanaData projects were awarded multiple international awards, such as the Best Data Visualization Award at the African Digital Media Awards 2020, run by WAN-IFRA and the award for the top 10 journalism projects that made an impact in 2020.
This website showcases some of the stories produced by the network, as well as news, opportunities, and events by WanaData. African women journalists interested in data, as well as women data scientists and technologists interested in news and digital storytelling are invited to join our network by signing up through the WanaData subscription form.