A Moroccan project to prevent fires in the “argan forest”, presented as part of the “TechWomen” programme to support women in science, won funding from the US State Department in Silicon Valley, California.
This is the first time that a Moroccan team has won this scholarship since the launch in 2011 of the” TechWomen “initiative, which brings together emerging women leaders in science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics from Africa and Asia with their professional counterparts in the United States through a mentoring and exchange program.
The Moroccan team consists of Fatima Zahra Benyaaqoub, Meriem Haddouchi, Aziza Krimaa, Hajar Salamat and Manar Ouaritni.
Called “Afitech”, this project is an innovative initiative that, according to its initiators, aims to preserve “argan” forests from forest fires.
Using sensors installed in the trees along a mesh network, this project will detect a slow-burning fire.
The sensors analyse the data collected through artificial intelligence and set up a notification system to alert local authorities.
Speaking at a recent event to celebrate “TechWomen” ’s tenth anniversary, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised the Moroccan project as “concrete” and “remarkable”.
Blinken announced that the Techwomen program, which partners technology leaders with mentors in US-based technology companies for a five-week mentoring exchange, will expand to new parts of the world.
“As this program enters its second decade, we will expand its reach,” said the US Head of Diplomacy.
This year’s edition saw the participation of 21 countries, who presented their projects to solve global problems by focusing on local life and community challenges.
In January 2022, 3,200 women applied to the TechWomen programme in 21 emerging countries and only 104 were selected to join the autumn programme.