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UNIFEM’S DIGITAL DIASPORA INITIATIVE. FOSTERING E-QUALITY IN AFRICA Address by Laketch Dirasse, Chief, UNIFEM Africa, at the World Bank Gender and Digital Divide Seminar Series, Washington D.C. May 21, 2002. CONTEXT. AFRICA

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unifem s digital diaspora initiative
UNIFEM’S DIGITAL DIASPORA INITIATIVE

FOSTERING E-QUALITY IN AFRICA

Address by Laketch Dirasse, Chief, UNIFEM Africa, at the World Bank

Gender and Digital Divide Seminar Series, Washington D.C.

May 21, 2002

context
CONTEXT
  • AFRICA
  • VAST CONTINENT OF IMMENSE DIVERSITY:larger than combined land mass of China, USA, India, Europe, Argentina and New Zealand- 30.34 mil. sq. mi. vs. 30.24 mil.sq.mi. Population- 748 mil. Vs 3.2 bil.).
  • SEEMINGLY INTRACTABLE DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS:overall decline in economic investment; deepening poverty (feminised poverty); conflicts and wars; HIV/AIDS pandemic.
  • GREAT POTENTIAL AND REMARKABLE OPPORTUNITIES PARTICULARLY, THROUGH WOMEN:over 50% of population; more than ¾ of agricultural producers; 55-65% of informal sector business owners and operators.
african diaspora
African Diaspora
  • Many successful Africans in the Diaspora interested in and committed to contributing to the development of the continent.
  • Many examples of Diaspora ICT Executives who have successfully invested in their countries.
  • Africa’s Brain Drain potentially a Brain Gain in the new economy.
unifem strategy and business plan 2000 2003
UNIFEM STRATEGY AND BUSINESS PLAN 2000-2003
  • Recognizes importance of ICTto increase options and opportunities for women’s economic and political empowerment.
  • Emphasizes the need for innovative uses of new technologies, partnerships and constituencies for gender equality initiatives.
fostering e quality in africa

Sub-Objective 2:

Create an enabling environment for African women to influence all aspects of ICT use and policy at national, regional and international levels

Sub-Objective 1:

Influence macro-economic and trade policy-making and monitoring to focus on feminized poverty and African women's access to and control over assets and resources

Sub-Objective 3:

Within an economic rights framework, promote African women producers’ access to and influence over technology, finance and markets and ensure that their experiences inform and shape macro-level policies and globalisation instruments

Fostering E-QUALITY In Africa

OBJECTIVE

Empower African women to realize their economic rights and security in the context of globalization and new technologies

slide6

Building an

operational

knowledge

base to influence

mainstreaming

Building the

capacity and

leadership of

women’s

organizations

THE GOAL:

Systemic change to increase

options and opportunities

for women’s economic and

political empowerment and

bring about gender equality

Advocacy to

leverage political

and financial

support

Forging new

synergies and

partnerships

Piloting new

and innovative

approaches

UNIFEM’s Five Strategies:Supporting an innovative and catalytic approach

unifem s digital diaspora initiative1
UNIFEM’s DIGITAL DIASPORA INITIATIVE
  • Mobilize and harness the IT and business expertise and financial resources of Africans in the Diaspora to promote women’s economic security.
  • Provide possibilities for African IT Entrepreneurs in the Diaspora to benefit from new markets while participating in socially responsible economic development for women and Africa.
  • Expand options and opportunities offered by ICT for securing better livelihoods for African women by identifying business opportunities, providing training, creating new business partnerships, providing access to finance, and building the knowledge-base on ICT for poverty alleviation.
slide8

The Global Advisory Committee’s

STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK OF ACTION

Creating an enabling ICT

Country

Business Linkages

environment

Capacity Building

for African women

Champions:

Champion:

REBECCA ENONCHONG

GISELE YITAMBEN and AMOLO

and AWO QUAISON-

Champion:

NG’WENO

SACKEY

YUSSUR ABRAR

)

A.

Policy and Regulatory

A.

Networking

Mechanisms

AWO QUAISON-

YUSSUR ABRAR

SACKEY

ALEXANDER NTOKO

B.

Pilot Projects- AKHTAR

PATRICK HAYFORD

BADSHAH, NANCY

HAFKIN

B.

Infrastructure Issues

C.

Private Sector and

YUSSUR ABRAR

Foundation Partnerships

NATALIE HAHN

A. IT Access – YUSSUR ABRAR

B. IT Business – GISELE YITAMBEN

Management/Finance/Marrketing/ Training

I) Management Level

II) Entrepreneurial Level

C. Business Incubator Services – AMOLO NG’WENO

D. Mentorship – AMOLO NG’WENO, AKHTAR BADSHAH

E. Venture Capital Fund – WOND WOSSEN MESFIN, AMOLO NG’WENO

F. Job Placement and CISCO Network – ERIN WALSH

G. Technology Transfer Program, including Diaspora and international business expertise

UNIFEM, UN AGENCIES/NANCY HAFKIN

H. Youth and Grassroots Campaigns

REBECCA ENONCHONG

fostering e quality in africa ongoing activities

Gender Caucus and E-Discussion Group established to support women’s networking around the WSIS process

E-Campaign and electronic discussion groups on violence against women

Gender and HIV/AIDS project for

youth mobilization through electronic networking and e-discussion groups

Fostering E-QUALITY In Africa: Ongoing Activities

Advocacy and Networking

fostering e quality in africa ongoing activities1

Women into the New Network of Entrepreneurial Reinforcement (WINNER) project in Zimbabwe

Multi-Purpose Empowerment Centers in Somalia

Strategic Communications Skills Development

Fostering E-QUALITY In Africa: Ongoing Activities

Capacity Building

fostering e quality in africa ongoing activities2

Memorandum of Understanding with ITU and UNDP

Co-operation with UN ICT Taskforce, Digital Partners and CERFE to set up an African Digital Diaspora Network in North America and Europe.

MOU with UN ICT Taskforce under discussion

Discussions with UNV on technology transfer proposal through Diaspora ICT entrepreneurs and professionals

Fostering E-QUALITY In Africa: Ongoing Activities

Strategic Partnerships

fostering e quality in africa ongoing activities3

Gender mainstreamed in the Rwanda IT Policy and technical advisor attached to Ministry of Gender

Promoting women’s participation and mainstreaming gender in the World Summit on the Information Society Africa Regional meeting

Fostering E-QUALITY In Africa: Ongoing Activities

Mainstreaming

the future
THE FUTURE

Partnership with African Diaspora ICT Entrepreneurs affords an untapped resource to propel E-Quality in Africa.

The costs of women’s exclusion from the agricultural and industrial revolution are still being felt. In the era of globalization and new technologies, Africa and the international community can no longer afford to exclude women.