Omobola Johnson, 200 others also scheduled to speak
By Joseph Ojumu
MainOne’s Funke Opeke and Angelique Weeks, Chairperson of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority, are among hundreds of leaders scheduled to star in the forthcoming Inaugural Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology, holding from 13-14 September at the Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana
A statement from the organisers outlines that several African policymakers and technology leaders – including some of the continent’s most prominent women – will meet to determine the policy steps needed to close Africa’s growing digital gender gap, which is the largest in the world.
The event will feature high-level panels and lightning talks that will focus on issues around affordable broadband, digital skills and entrepreneurship, and women’s rights online.
In all, over 200 of Africa’s leading technology innovators are scheduled to gather September 13-14 in Accra, Ghana at the Labadi Beach Hotel for the inaugural event.
The two-day event will feature lightning talks from young African female technologists, as well as high-level discussions with many of Africa’s most prominent ICT policymakers and technology leaders today, including:
Other scheduled speakers at the event include Dr. Omobola Johnson, the immediate past Nigerian Minister of Communication Technology,Anne Githuku Shongwe, Founder and CEO of Afroes Interactive Learning and Nnenna Nwakanma of the World Wide Web Foundation
Sessions will highlight the need for gender-responsive ICT policy in Africa, and will aim to design the solutions needed to enable millions of African women and girls to benefit from greater access to technology, and to use their skills to build a better Africa for all.
The 2016 Summit will also feature the launch of a new framework from the Web Foundation to audit the digital gender gap, along with 10 country-specific assessments that analyse the policy efforts and progress made across these countries toward reducing barriers to women’s online access and use.
The Inaugural Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology is a collaboration between the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), The World Wide Web Foundation, The Ghana-India Kofi Annan Center of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE), The African Development Bank, and UN Women.
The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) is the world’s broadest technology sector coalition. Initiated by the World Wide Web Foundation in 2013, the Alliance today comprises over 80 member organisations from across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. These diverse actors have come together to advance the shared aim of affordable, universal access to both mobile and fixed-line Internet in developing countries, primarily through policy and regulatory change. A4AI’s global sponsors include Google, USAID and SIDA.
On its part, the World Wide Web Foundation was established by the inventor of the Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and seeks to establish the open Web as a global public good and a basic right, creating a world where everyone, everywhere can use the Web to communicate, collaborate and innovate freely. Represented by more than a dozen nationalities working from hubs in London, Washington DC and Cape Town, the World Wide Web Foundation operates at the confluence of technology and human rights, targeting three key areas: Access, Voice and Participation.
The third partner, the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE), Ghana’s first Advanced Information Technology Institute works to stimulate the growth of the ICT Sector in the ECOWAS area. Established in 2003, through a partnership between the Government of Ghana and the Government of India, this state-of-the-art facility provides a dynamic environment for innovation, teaching and learning as well as practical research on the application of ICT4D in Africa.