The Miss.Africa Digital Program is a gender-focused initiative targeted mainly at female youth audiences in Africa to increase their personal involvement in early technology use and adoption with a view to improving their digital self-awareness and empowerment, and bridging the economic divide through employment and/or entrepreneurship.
It is envisioned as one of the central pillars of DotConnectAfrica Trust’s corporate social responsibility program, to attract a sizable women and girls demographic of Internet users in Africa in complementary gender development initiatives that improve the lives through digital inclusion.
Led by the DCA Academy, the Miss.Africa Digital also announced the annual Seed Fund program in Africa that provides grants to support women and girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields to launch or expand their own initiatives that will increase their digital opportunities in IoTs, Mobile Internet, E-Commerce, Digital Marketing and leadership roles. The Seed Fund program is interested in learning about successful activities that are currently supporting women and girls in STEM, and through this effort, we identify how we might support scalability and their impacts.
To enlighten ladies about the technology industry through mentorship programs, outreach enhancement initiatives, leadership engagement opportunities and technology centered learning to create an all-rounded lady for the African market place.
Opening the technological world to African women
How this will be achieved:
- Having a curriculum in which the ladies will follow
- Networking with different people working in the ICT sector around Africa via the FemPower online portal and FemPower Social Media platforms
- Outreach community Initiatives (going to different schools and marginalized areas to educate other young people about technology and the internet)
- Mentoring programs where those in the industry get to mentor the ladies
- Partnerships with different like-minded organizations and companies
The program was first launched and publicized by the Yes2dotAfrica Campaign during the ICANN 41 meeting in Singapore in June 2011, by Ms. Sophia Bekele, and it received much support at the conference.
Miss.Africa then later added volunteers to the program who, as a result, were able to attend and participate in the ICANN Dakar Public Forum. This gave the volunteers an opportunity to network, learnt more about domains and also about other pertinent issues at the center of Internet governance and policy deliberations.
After the forum in Dakar, the Miss.Africa program was moved to its current location in Nairobi and continues to grow by connecting more ladies from other countries in Africa to technology.