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Kenya Pushes for Gender Parity in Tech at Connected Africa Summit 2024

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The Connected Africa Summit (CAS) 2024 wrapped up its final day on a high note, focusing on unlocking the potential of women in technology (She-Tech) and fostering sustainable, tech-driven economies.

The summit coincided with International Girls in ICT Day, highlighting the critical need for greater female representation in the tech sector.

Statistics reveal a stark reality: women currently make up only 10-30% of the Information and communications technology (ICT)profession in Africa.

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Recognizing this gap, CAS aimed to bridge the divide through dedicated sessions and discussions.

Vice Chairperson, ICT (Senate), Sen. Miraj Abdillahi, emphasized the importance of education, stating, “Giving girls an education is giving them a stepping stone to achieve whatever dream they have.”

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Education Officer for UNICEF Kenya, Rommanah Somba, echoed this sentiment calling for policy changes that support girls’ interest in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and the exciting opportunities these fields offer.

On her part, Annette Mutuku, Board Member of the ICT Authority Kenya, highlighted societal factors hindering women’s participation in tech.

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“Wrong society orientation leads women to suffer from imposter syndrome,” she noted. “We need to create platforms for us to actively participate in the digital transformation agenda.” Ms Mutuku further stressed the importance of self-belief and celebrating women’s achievements in STEM careers.

Henriette Geiger, the European Union Ambassador to Kenya, acknowledged the progress made towards gender inclusivity but pointed out the persistent gap.

She highlighted ongoing challenges like school safety concerns, teenage pregnancy, and early marriages that prevent girls from pursuing education, particularly in STEM fields.

“Girl education is critical for development,” she asserted, urging governments to address these issues.

The Summit concluded with a call to action from all stakeholders. The message was clear: create an enabling environment where girls can embrace STEM, develop their ICT skills, and become the next generation of tech leaders.

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Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu is a Tech enthusiast, happy to delve deeper into the African tech space covering Social Media, AI, Startups, Telcos, Cryptocurrency, Big Data, Women in Tech and all matters Tech. Write to me @[email protected]

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