TechInAfrica — Women from across Africa have gathered for Women In Tech Africa held annually. Women In Tech Africa is a network of 5,000 women in 30 African countries to drive conversations about the importance of women in technology and leadership positions.
This NGO hopes to bring more women into the tech industry and fight inequalities in technology use and access, especially for economic empowerment.
Francesca Opoku recalled that she had to send workers physically to deliver messages or documents when she started her small social enterprises in Ghana ten years ago. But today, she manages to keep up-to-date with fast-developing technology to grow her business in natural beauty products. She also trains other women she works with, in financial literacy such as using simple mobile technology.
“As a small African business, as you are growing and as you aspire to grow globally and your tentacles are widening, the world is just going techy,” Opoku explained. “Business in the world is going techy. It’s especially relevant in small businesses. It’s the best way to make what you are doing known out there.”
Opoku was at the launching of Women In Tech Africa in Accra with events in six other countries such as German, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. She said that she wants to learn more about how she can use technology to grow her business and to ensure that she is not left behind in technology.
Women In Tech Africa was found by Ethel Cofie in 2015. Cofie said that addressing the digital gap is vital. Her network of women from across Africa is encouraging technology and leadership in women.
“There is a huge gender gap, and that is part of the conversation,” Cofie said in a statement. “When we are out here showing the world we actually exist, are doing things, what it does is, it provides avenues for us to support other women. One of the things Women in Tech has done is work with the Ghanaian Beauticians Association and Ghana traders associations. Even though these women are not necessarily educated, they also need to be able to use tech to build their businesses.”
Cofie also says that this digital gap between men and women in Africa is a consequence of poverty and economic disparities. It is usual for men to have higher incomes and better access to mobile phones and the internet.
At the G-7 summit this year, members are committed to working with developing countries to promote inclusion, equity and access for girls and women to quality education, including Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).