Development & Engagement Track

The power of tech in conflict affected countries

A lot of the discussion about the growth of the tech sector, women in tech and successful startups focuses on the western narrative. Yet there are growing ecosystems in places recovering from conflict where technology is playing a huge role in changing lives. The communities that grow around this digital movement sees a higher number of women involvement than Silicon Valley. I'll be discussing the ecosystems in Gaza and Iraq and the unique challenges faced by developers, startups and women in tech breaking cultural norms and habits to strive towards success.

Zahra Shah

Zahra has been working in startups and emerging markets for over 7 years, with a focus on growing tech ecosystems in conflict-affected regions. Merging her passion for technology and development, she has spent the last two years leading Re:Coded's operations in Iraq, and working for Gaza Sky Geeks before that. Both organisations upskill youth through coding and entrepreneurship with a focus on employment. Zahra has now launched her own non-profit venture, Iraqi Innovators, which works on creating quality content to change the narrative surrounding the country and providing specialised events and trainings to startups and techies in the south of Iraq. Ask her anything about Iraq, PlayStation games, politics and tech for good.

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