As certain African countries ramp up their efforts to develop information technology markets and communications technology markets that compete with the businesses of other continents, efforts are coinciding to make sure that women are a part of the burgeoning sectors.
Women in Tech Ghana, Women in Tech Zambia, Women in Tech Uganda, and Girls in ICT Rwanda have organized the first ever pan-African Women in Tech meet-up that will take place virtually in August. There will be live viewing events in Uganda, South Africa and Ghana. With the goal of bringing together women working in technology, the virtual meeting will focus on collecting women from all countries involved to try to collaborate on a continent-wide scale.
VISUAL CONTEXT: AFRICA’S INTERNET USAGE
BizTech Africa quotes the organizers of the event:
Some Women in Technology clubs exist already, but to date, no-one has attempted to build a pan-African network, allowing us to compare our challenges, learn from other countries and connect across borders to expand our influence…Working in technology can, at times, be an isolating experience for women, especially in Africa. The impact of this can limit women’s professional growth in the sector. Women need mentors, role-models and a network to share their experiences, challenges and skills.
Another women-focused event in Africa’s tech scene will occur in September: She Leads Africa is launching a competition that seeks to connect individuals to mentors, and encourage business funding as the platform holds a competition across West Africa. Ten female entrepreneurs will be identified and rewarded a mixture of cash prizes and business opportunities.
In the category of awards comes another project from The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and U.N. Women. The groups are launching a new global technology award that recognizes outstanding contributions from women and men in leveraging IT and communication tech (ICT) to promote gender equality.
While there is no shortage of criticism in the U.S. for Silicon Valley’s exclusion and mistreatment of female entrepreneurs and engineers, it looks as though Africa is trying to jump the gun and make sure that both sexes are represented in the next generation of ICT.