A Pioneer in Education and Engineering in Africa

Professor Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua from Nigeria has made history as the first black woman in the world to earn a PhD in Cybernetics in May 2024. A pioneering educator and engineer, she is championing gender in STEM fields in Africa and paving the way for other young African women.

A Passion for Understanding the World

Growing up in a culture that often discouraged girls from pursuing science, she found her passion in understanding how things worked, already at the age of 9 wanting to create a platform to connect the world and foster unity. She strives to make a difference according to her ‘Dreamer-Doer-Changer’ philosophy.

“Every challenge has become fuel for my determination,” said Ekeng-Itua. “I realized that my success would not only open doors for myself but would serve as an example to other women and girls who might otherwise doubt their abilities.”

Cybernetics is an interdisciplinary field that studies control and communication systems, particularly those that are analogous to biological systems. She is interested in how information is transmitted and processed in machines, and how these principles can be applied to understand and improve the functioning of natural systems. A human-centered field, it is this aspect that has won Ekeng-Itua’s heart, who wants to make a positive impact on humanity above all else in her work.

A Role Model for Young African Women

Professor Ekeng-Itua earned her Ph.D. from the University of Reading in the UK under the supervision of her doctoral advisor and mentor, Professor Kevin Warwick, and the world’s first cyborg.

Professor Ekeng-Itua’s accomplishments are an inspiration to young African women who aspire to pursue studies in STEM fields, which are often portrayed as a black beast to dissuade women from venturing into them.

She made history by earning her doctorate in cybernetics despite the challenges she faced as a woman of color in a male-dominated and Western-dominated field, such as gender bias and the lack of readily available role models.

“I hope my story will inspire other young women to follow their dreams and never give up on their goals,” she said.

A Promising Future

Professor Ekeng-Itua is more than determined to use her knowledge and expertise to advance the field of cybernetics and to have a positive impact on society. She is also passionate about mentoring young women and encouraging them to pursue STEM fields.

“I believe that women have the potential to make significant contributions to the field of cybernetics. I encourage young women to follow their dreams and not be afraid to take on challenges,” she said in an interview.

A Source of Pride for the Efik People

Professor Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua’s success is a source of great pride for the African continent in general and the Efik people of southeastern Nigeria in particular. She is a historical role model for younger generations and an inspiration to all who aspire to make a difference in the world, no matter where they come from.

An Award-Winning Engineering Professor, Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua has over 20 years of experience teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the United States, Europe, and Africa. She has played a leading role in the development of innovative STEM programs, her passion for technology having its roots in her childhood in Nigeria.

An Important Message for the Scientific Community

Professor Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua’s success sends an important message to the African and global scientific community. It is essential to promote diversity and inclusion in all areas of research. Women and minorities have a lot to offer to science and technology, and it is vital to give them the opportunity to flourish.

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