Addis Ababa – More than 3000 women and girls from across Africa are expected to take part in a hybrid (online and in-person) event taking place from 30 November to 11 December 2020, focusing on ICT as an important tool for empowering women.
The 11-day event is jointly organized by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) under the auspices of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and the decade of action to achieve the SDGs. .
“Our goal is to empower women and young girls by developing sustainable inclusive entrepreneurship skills, and to leverage digital technologies to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs in line with the Declaration on the Decade of Sustainable Action and Delivery. , “said Jean- Paul Paul, ECA’s Director of Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management.
More importantly, he added, it is “unacceptable that only 22.6% of African women have access to the internet, compared to 33.8% of men in 2019. We are obliged to bridge the gender digital gap. by accessing digital channels for women and girls and increasing the number of girls participating in the fourth industrial revolution in support of Africa’s growth efforts. ‘
Addressing this gender gap could create important opportunities for the continent. It is estimated that reducing this gender gap in data ownership and data use in low- and middle-income countries alone could generate $ 15 billion in revenue for mobile operators annually.
While Africa still has the largest digital divide, it is the most dynamic continent in terms of ICT adoption, with rapidly changing penetration rates and extraordinary innovations driven by scarcity and lack of access to affordable quality infrastructure, latest technology, devices and applications .
The joint ECA-ITU hybrid camp will bring 124 girls (in person) to the UN Conference Center in Addis Ababa, with thousands more joining online. They will be trained to code using the Scratch program, and will also be exposed to interactions that promote gender equality, mainstream and techniques in trust building and orators.
Various workshops will be held in areas such as robotics and internet of things, artificial intelligence, design thinking, gaming, fashion, animation, gender empowerment, SDGs and human rights. The event will feature a competition where winners will be selected based on functionality (from the applications they develop), innovation, accessibility, commercial potential and overall impact on the African region.
The event is open to the Girls from ITU initiative African Girls Can Code, UN women, AUC women and young girls between 13 and 20 years old in Africa and other age groups of women who have shown an interest in ICTs, including those in innovation hubs. .