When 10% of girls go to school, a country’s GDP rises by 3%, this is data by UNESCO stating the case for a need to get women and girls empowered in ICTs. Intel and partners Kenya ICT Authority, USAID, Safari Connect and Rockefella Foundation on Tuesday announced a project dubbed “Intel She Will Connect” that aims to do just that, reduce the gender and technology gap.
The gender and technology gap in the world is generally low with women taking up the minority of Internet users. Sub-Saharan Africa takes the lead with a 43% gender gap between men and women, South Asia has 33%, Middle East and North Africa at 34%, Europe and Central Asia at 29%, East Asia and Pacific at 20% while Latin America and the Caribbean has lowest gap with 10%. This data points now guides Intel with where to start from and the pilot project which will be done in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Africa has 12% Internet penetration, a data point from end of 2012 which translates to 110 people online and 30 million of these women. There is
The program has already started with the training of trainers, 35 of them in the pasha centres according to Wamuyu Mahinda, founder and CEO of The Youth Banner and this will be the platform to be used in 18 counties for two months to get women online. The women will be reached out in the Pasha Centres where they will be taken through the course to get them learn how to use computers and make them useful in their industry. These are basic courses to increase the digital literacy through multiple devices and tough points. Measure of success for the project according to Suraj Shah, Intel Programs Manager Africa, is the number of women who go online and stay online. Lavinnia from Intel adds that success will also be measured by the number or percentage of involved women who become entrepreneurs as a result of the project.
Starting 12th October there will be 30 activations in the selected counties of implementation for the duration of 2 months starting October 12th. Intel is eager to get more like minded partners on board to help realize this goal of opening up potential that lies unutilized among women and youth in technology. In Kenya and many countries, technology literacy has been a preserve of the urban and this is going to change should the project hit the expected levels of success and we start seeing women either becoming entrepreneurs or expanding their markets due to access and use of technology. Suraj mentioned that the intent is to get these women connected and have them stay connected. Which is quite a good target that is in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030 of increasing technology use in business.