A 15-year-old Nigerian teen is making waves in the tech industry with the creation of an app. Tomisin Ogunnubi’s My Locator app—which is designed to find children who are lost—has introduced a new level of innovation to the technology sector in Nigeria, BBC reported.
Ogunnubi began coding at the age of 12 and later conceptualized the idea for the app, the news outlet writes. The app—which she unveiled in 2016—utilizes the Google Maps feature to help individuals track those who are lost. There is also a functionality that allows users to add telephone numbers to the app so that they can easily share their location if an emergency were to occur. Since the launch of the app, it has been downloaded over 1,000 times.
Ogunnubi says she was inspired to create My Locator because the security of children is something that is extremely important to her. “I was very conscious about security, thinking… there are different dangerous people, so I guess the idea of being able to go out safely might have been what triggered the idea for the app,” she told the news outlet. “But it was me then as my 12-year-old self-thinking, ‘Oh I’ve just learned how to create applications. How about I use what I have learned to create something that can be useful to me and other people?'”
Leaders in the tech industry believe that Ogunnubi’s creation speaks volumes about the importance of racial representation in tech. Google Program Manager Aniedi Udo-Obong says Ogunnubi’s journey will encourage other Black children to follow in her footsteps. “I’m impressed with Tomisin’s app for two reasons. I prefer to see products in whatever state they are than to hear about the most brilliant idea. I like the fact that someone hatched an idea in their head and was able to bring it to fruition and complete it,” he said. He also added that there is a need for more STEM education initiatives in Nigeria stating that the country is “going to be left behind if we don’t get our own children learning at the same rate with the same tools and technologies that their contemporaries in other countries have.”
Many educational institutions and non-profits are putting the focus on STEM education. Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating career pathways for young women of color in the tech industry, announced the development of a technology exploration lab in New York City.