The technology industry in Africa remains mostly male-dominated and this can sometimes fail to tap into the wider pool of talent on offer across the continent. To achieve true digital transformation in Africa, we should empower women and girls to be part of the drive. “We cannot achieve the goals of Smart Africa without the input of women and girls” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General of the UN and the Executive Director of UN Women.
Despite having the highest growth in internet penetration across the globe, Africa remains the only continent whose digital gender gap has widened since 2013. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the proportion of women using the internet is a quarter less than the proportion of men using the internet in Africa.
Barriers contributing to the gap on the continent include unaffordable access to technology and threats to access and use, low digital literacy and confidence. Globally, women are in the majority of the world’s poor, but the African woman is disproportionately more affected by poverty. Eighty per cent of the women in Africa live in rural areas where they have less access to such basic needs as health care, education and other public facilities or services.
Africa is going to be the next pillar of technological growth because of its demographics, available natural resources, and because of urbanization. If you think of Africa today, half of the continent is very young. In 20 to 30 years the continent will surpass China and be home to the largest population in the world.
The number of babies born every year in Nigeria alone is more than the whole of western countries births put together.
The young population is fast-growing and urbanizing, coupled with intense entrepreneurial energy throughout the continent.
The mindset of our new rising tech generation will drive the development of the continent on an unprecedented scale
Africa’s vast unmet needs and unfulfilled demand make it a continent ripe for entrepreneurship and innovation at scale. There are over 600 tech hubs and this number is still growing