Farida Bedwei is a software developer, software engineer and computer scientist. In her over 15 years of working in the development and implementation of mobile and enterprise software, Farida has made her name as one of Africa’s brightest and most successful technological minds. She has developed multiple mobility platforms and content management systems. Farida has also worked in the telecom software industry, developing mobile gateways and services for mobile networks and content providers and is known particularly for her expertise in software architecture.
Farida was born in Lagos, Nigeria to Ghanaian parents and spent her early childhood living between Dominica, Grenada and the U.K until her family moved to Ghana when she was 9 years old. When she was 10, Farida was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, an incurable neurological disorder that affects body movement and muscle coordination.
As a child, Farida developed an interest in computers, an interest her parents noticed and encouraged by enrolling her in a one-year computer course at the St. Michael Information Technology Center when she was only 15, making her one of the youngest students in the class. She holds an IMIS Diploma and a Diploma in E-Technology. She also has a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Hertfordshire, UK and a Project Management Professional Certificate from GIMPA. She is a member of the Ghana Institute of Management.
Throughout her life, Farida has not her disability stand in her way or even slow her down. In 2011, she co-founded Logiciel, a Ghana-based Fintech company that develops banking systems for the microfinance industry and provides technology solutions which promote financial inclusion for the unbanked. She serves as the Chief Technological Officer of Logiciel, where one of her many roles includes evaluating the banking industry and coming up with practical solutions which are easy for people with no formal banking training to use. In 2015, she led the creation and successful implementation of gKudi, a web-based banking software suite for the micro-finance industry which is currently used by 130 micro-finance institutions in Ghana.
Farida is also an author and a disability-rights advocate, and has been featured on many media platforms; notable amongst them is CNN’s African Voices in February 2015. She has also won a number of local and international awards, most recently at the World Youth Forum in 2018 where she was awarded for her remarkable achievements in technology in Africa. Her book, The Definition of a Miracle, is a fictional account of experiences she had as a child growing up with cerebral palsy in Ghana.”
She is also creator Karmzah, the world’s first superheroine with a disability. Farida explained that she created the heroine because “Persons with disabilities are usually portrayed as being feeble and asking for handouts, in the media. I want to change that perception. We have weaknesses and strengths like everybody else and it’s about time the focus moved from what we can’t do to what we CAN do.”
She has been named the most influential woman in business and governance for her work in computerizing the microfinance industry. She currently serves on the Board of the National Communication Authority and Sharecare Ghana (an NGO which raises awareness for persons with autoimmune and neurological conditions).
#TechHer loves her because she is a role model to everyone- male or female, disabled or not. Farida promotes platforms that encourage more women to study technology related courses. She is a member of the Girls in ICT Committee – a group established to encourage more women to pursue IT careers.
Farida is living proof that disability doesn’t mean disadvantage!