If you ask me I would say things are changing and so fast, the reason I am able to write this article and have it shared with a global community gives me hope. No doubt Africa is fully embracing this digital revolution.
Over the past few years, there has been an increasing emphasis on girls and information and communication technology in the development sector. Large government donors, NGOs, and the private sector believe girls could play a big role in resolving poverty and making development gains through ICT. Personally, I have transformed a lot connecting with people and resources on the internet, from networking with potential investors to reading about women and girls, healthcare in Africa, politics, poverty, etc. It’s mind blowing the number of opportunities available on the internet today. The location is no longer a barrier and eLearning is a cost effective option that is still underutilized.
Globalization has made it necessary to catch up and keep up to date on technology. Taking advantage of these developments would improve the overall quality of education as well as increase chances of employment in a competitive environment. We need technology for Africa’s development. Innovative programs that are mutually beneficial to stakeholders should be developed to share technology. These could be apprenticeships, internships or even simple mentoring programs for women and girls.
Africa is changing its mentality regarding the education of its girls and the empowerment of its women. There is overwhelming evidence which shows societies that invest in girls’ education are more developed, more democratic and more progressive than those that don’t. Educating girls can transform the society. Potential benefits include lower maternal and infant mortality rates, reduction in poverty, economic growth and better quality of life.
African people are growing up in a world where social media, mobile technology, and online communities are essential to the way they relate, learn and develop. More children and adults in poor, developing African countries now have access to — and have embraced the speed, flexibility, and affordability of — rapidly evolving digital technology. Technology has helped to transform the developing countries and close the gap between the rich and the poor.
I have been on programs and workshops tailored to involve and empower women and girls and I see women getting interested and becoming conscious of getting the right skills to take charge of their futures. Our women and girls are embracing software development skills, entrepreneurial skills, etc. They want to be mentored, they want to learn to code, they want to grab e-learning opportunities, they want to be able to blog and put up their businesses online, indeed times are changing for girls in Africa…
Technology has transcended poverty, race and economic conditions to become a driving force in the lives of women and girls across the world. More people around the world now have access to the internet and mobile phones. As technology expands, the socioeconomic effects will improve the lives of impoverished girls and women in Africa.
Women are better off today but there are evident challenges, a lot still needs to be done to improve the lives of women across Africa. Government agencies, NGOs, Women organizations and the private sector need to rally together to achieve a new reality for women and girls in Africa.
Technology is a powerful enabler and the best investment in the next generation is in the empowerment of its women and girls.
The article was contributed by Ebute Catherine.Q who writes from Nigeria. She is the founder/CEO of SheInnovates Africa, a Nigerian based startup. SheInnovates Africa is a creative social business, training and empowering young girls who do not have the opportunity to develop themselves in software development, digital and entrepreneurial skills, and other basic skills they require to take up entrepreneurial roles.