Diana Wilson, CEO of Yielding Accomplished African Women (YaaW), has won the award for Female Innovator of the year at the Africa Tech Festival Awards 2021. The festival is the biggest and most influential tech event on the continent.
For 24 years, the festival has informed and connected business leaders, tech experts, policymakers, and investors, all at the forefront of Africa’s digital transformation, uniting tech and talent for socio-economic impact. The awards scheme is to honor individuals and groups making strides on the tech scene in Africa as a whole.
Born to a single Ghanaian immigrant mother in Newark, NJ, Diana’s story is one of tribulation to triumph. Research has shown that the zip-code of your hometown alone can predict the level of wealth, education, and success you’ll attain. Diana’s zip-code showcased that she was more likely to crumble in adversity than to conquer with perseverance. Yet she notes that it was the very limitations of her existence, being raised by a single mother, being a first-generation Ghanaian American, being a low-income student, being a rape survivor that allowed her to perceive and identify with her purpose.
Though high achievement wasn’t necessarily in her environment it is in Diana Wilson’s DNA! She attended the University of Virginia with a full scholarship and earned over a hundred thousand dollars in other scholarships from various organizations.
She was recognized as the ‘Next Black Female Mark Zuckerberg’ by Face2Face Africa. She has gone viral for her achievements via MTV and LinkedIn and is a published author, having been featured in We Will Lead Africa, a compilation of the stories of 32 top African female leaders today.
Through every wound, she grew in resilience. Every setback formulated an environment that obligated her to learn new and inventive ways to thrive. Her trauma became seeds for the vision of this revolution. Her vision is seen through the nonprofit she created called: Yielding Accomplished African Women (Yaa W.), which is on an ambitious mission to invest in the under-invested: Black women.
Yielding Accomplished African Women is on a mission to build the largest talent pipeline and online academy for Black college women in STEM across the diaspora, and the place where hundreds of young women are building their careers. The first of its kind in the world.
In just 2.5 years it has trained 710+ young African women and has a +7k following. She is backed by companies such as Bank of America, Google, IBM, MTN, Corporate Finance Institute (CFI), Educative.io, etc. Diana has raised over $455k in sponsorships at this time as well as led her NGO to be in the United States, United Kingdom and 12 countries in Africa with representation from every region in Africa. Her goal is to reach 30,000 women by 2030.