2nd Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology opens in Accra
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
Over 250 of Africa’s leading technology innovators are meeting in Ghana’s capital city, Accra for the second Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology.
The Summit which comes at a crucial point in time when the world is set to reach 50% connectivity — aims to design solutions that will enable millions of African women and girls to benefit from access to technology and use their skills to build a better Africa for all.
The three-day event will be featuring lightning talks from young African female technologists, as well as high-level discussions with many of Africa’s most prominent ICT policymakers and technology leaders today, including: Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications, Ghana; Dr Omobola Johnson, former Nigerian Minister of Communication Technology; Bitilokho Ndiaye, Gender Technical Advisor at Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications, Posts and Digital Economy, Senegal; and many others.
This year’s Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology which is a collaboration between the World Wide Web Foundation, Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), Ghana Ministry of Communications, African Development Bank, Open Society Initiative for West Africa, Internet Society, Facebook, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (Germany), Google, Swedish International Development Agency and UN Women will explore a range of relevant topic areas, with a focus on developing policy to advance: Access to affordable broadband, Women's rights online, Digital education and skills, Digital entrepreneurship
According the organizers World Wide Web Foundation, bridging the digital gender gap is a critical step toward the vision of a thriving Africa — yet research has shown that women in some communities are up to 50% less likely than men to be online. In Africa, where nearly 75% of the population remains offline, this problem is particularly acute.
To ensure the full participation of women on the African continent provisions have also been made for those unable to attend in person to follow the event online through the hashtag #TechWomenAfrica.
The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) is the world’s broadest technology sector coalition. Initiated by the World Wide Web Foundation in 2013, the Alliance today comprises over 80 member organisations from across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. These diverse actors have come together to advance the shared aim of affordable, universal access to both mobile and fixed-line Internet in developing countries, primarily through policy and regulatory change. A4AI’s global sponsors include Google, USAID and SIDA.