YTF became a member of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), initiative of the World Wide Web Foundation. YTF is on the A4AI Advisory Council and has made a 2017 commitment to meet A4AI’s gender equity #TechWomenAfrica goals.
#TechWomenAfrica calls for a gender-responsive policy to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Leaders representing nearly 30 countries gathered in Accra on September 13-14 for the inaugural Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology. The summit explored policy solutions to address the digital gender gap in Africa, with specific focus on four areas: affordable broadband, women’s rights online, digital education and skills, and digital entrepreneurship.
YTF made the following commitments after the summit.
Commitment to Digital Skills and Education
Finding: For women who were not online, not knowing how to use the Internet was the most commonly-cited barrier. Yet, the countries assessed are making painfully slow progress on providing digital literacy training and Internet access in public schools.
- Train 250 local African teachers on how to use the Internet, how to use the Internet for instructional purposes, and how to increase students’ ICT skills.
- Train 1,500 African women entrepreneurs how to use the Internet and how to use the Internet for business-building purposes, including access to/use of mobile financial services.
- Train 500 female employees of women entrepreneurs how to use the Internet for online communication and marketing purposes to support the development of the women entrepreneurs’ business and to gain greater employable skills of their own, including access to/use of mobile financial services.
- Follow-up with SMS messaging to encourage trainee use of the Internet.
Commitment to Relevant Content and Services
Finding: Ensure what women find online is relevant and empowering. Two key areas identified were (1) reproductive and sexual health and (2) access to mobile financial services.
- Train 1,500 women entrepreneurs and 500 of their female employees how to use mobile value added services to grow their businesses.
- Follow-up with SMS education/business messaging to encourage trainee’s use of the Internet.
Starting at 1:32 in this video, Njideka shares her views on changing the paradigm from technology users to innovators.