The winner of the US $ 5000 prize of DotConnectAfrica (DCA) Trust’s 2015 Miss Africa Women-in Tech Initiative is set to be announced in February 2016.
The program that is gender focused mainly targets female youth in Africa to increase their involvement in early technology adoption and use. The winner will be selected from over 100 applications submitted on November 2015.
The applications drawn from 18 African countries indicate that Nigeria and Kenya lead in number of entries with 23 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
Other participants; Uganda (15%), South Africa and Tanzania (both with 8%), Ghana (6%), Cameroon (5%) and Rwanda with 4 % of the entries. The other countries – that is Ethiopia, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Malawi, Benin and Swaziland – each had one percent of the total entries submitted.
The programme is envisioned as one of the central pillars of DCA’s corporate social responsibility program. It is aimed at attracting more young girls and women to the Internet platform to enable them form a sizable demographic of Internet users in Africa.
DotConnectAfrica therefore is involving them in complementary gender development initiatives that improve the lives of young girls and women.
Ms Sophia Bekele founder and CEO, DCA Trust described part of its initiative as a move to close the digital gap between genders in the developed world.
“The gender gap is more pronounced in the developing world, where according to ITU, 16 per cent fewer women than men use the Internet, compared with only 2 per cent fewer women in developed world. What this means is, if you can create services that can be attractive to serve the gender gap, you can leverage these numbers to make revenue.” Said Ms Bekele
The Miss.Africa Initiative, led by the DCA Academy, announced the Seed Fund in Africa that will provide small grants to support women and girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields to launch or expand their own initiatives that will increase their digital opportunities in IT related training, jobs and leadership roles.
The program is interested in learning about successful activities that are currently supporting women and girls in STEM, and through this effort, we identify how we might support scalability and their impacts.