Intel partners with Rockefeller Foundation to close the digital gender gap in Africa Lilian Mutegi
Intel is partnering with The Rockefeller Foundation to announce their collaboration on Intel ‘She Will Connect’ initiative at the World Economic Forum (WEF), taking place in Nigeria between 7 and 9 May 2014.
The World Economic Forum is an international institution that is committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship and as such, it is the perfect platform to announce this collaboration to boost the Intel She Will Connect program.
According to the latest Women and the Web report, in developing countries, 25% fewer women are online than men, and in sub-Saharan Africa, the gap rises to 43%. As a result of this belief, Intel created the Intel ‘She Will Connect’ program to work with an ecosystem of partners to close this gap globally, beginning in Africa. The initiative strives to halve the digital gender gap in Africa, by empowering five million women through digital literacy programs, with initial pilots in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia.
According to Intel’s Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group General Manager, Intel World Ahead Program, John Davies, who is attending the World Economic Forum on Africa ,“Technology in general and the Internet in particular, has transformed the lives of billions of people. It opens up opportunities and possibilities that never could have been realized before. But women and girls are being left behind – which is why we are investing alongside other organizations to close the gap through Intel She Will Connect.”
The Intel ‘She Will Connect’ program is an innovative combination of digital literacy training, an online peer network, and gender-relevant content. As a result of this effort, these young women will have the opportunity to acquire or improve digital literacy skills and expand their understanding and use of technology so that they can connect to health, government, and educational information, economic opportunities, and gender-specific resources. Consequently, these young women will be able to receive a better education, enhance their political participation, have a stronger voice in their communities, and increase their income by connecting to new economic opportunities.
The partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation will seek to connect those trained through the program to employment opportunities. Mamadou Biteye, Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Regional Office elaborated on the Foundation’s role, “We see great alignment between the Rockefeller Foundation’s Digital Jobs Africa initiative and She Will Connect. We will work together with Intel to connect high potential but disadvantaged young women in our target African countries to online jobs through tools and training that will provide them with best practice guides to assist them in successfully accessing online jobs, earn an income and build their skills and digital work experience. We will seek out more partnerships with pioneering private sector players who have a shared vision around addressing the youth employment challenge,” concludes Biteye.
Digital Jobs Africa is a Rockefeller Foundation initiative launched in 2013 and aims to impact 1million lives by connecting high potential but disadvantaged youth to jobs in the digital economy creation.