WanaData is a Pan-African network of female data scientists, journalists and technologists working to change the digital media landscape by producing and promoting data-driven news while applying digital technologies in storytelling. It is an initiative of the Pan-African organisation Code for Africa which is an impact accelerator, and a collaborative federation of civic technology organizations. WanaData aims to turbo boost networks of women, by deepening their expertise in tech, data science and journalism, amplifying their voices and fast-tracking careers.
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 80 women across the continent. In 2020, new chapters were started in Dakar (Senegal) and Yaounde (Cameroon).
WanaData members work with national news outlets, community media, and as freelancers, producing quality data stories with a solutions journalism focus. Through Code for Africa and support from our partners, the members of WanaData receive training on data journalism, cybersecurity and information design, as well as technology assistance and micro-grants to support in-depth reporting projects. They also receive professional mentorship and career guidance skills.
WanaData members have collaborated on cross border reporting projects that incorporate data visualization, audience engagement strategies, social videos, drone journalism and other innovative approaches, to enhance news content on the continent.
This website showcases some of the stories produced by the network, as well as news and events on 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.
The vision of WanaData revolves around the idea that connecting women in tech, data science and journalism and civic technology will maximise their impact. Women will turn into thought leaders, peer mentors and trainers in their own organisations and enabled to leverage resources such as the academy.Africa, introduce other people to learn the skills needed to make it in the 21st Century newsroom, and turbo boost their careers.