Closing the global digital gender divide is a pressing concern. Women are yet to reach their full potential as participants in all aspects of society. Closing this digital gender gap can help empower women and girls to actively participate in governance as civil society members and political leaders.
The Miss.Africa digital Program, a Pan-African trust program of DotConnectAfrica (DCA) , is aimed in attracting more young girls and women to the Internet platform to enable them form a sizable demographic of Internet users in Africa, thereby involving them in complementary gender development initiatives that improve the lives of young girls and women through digital inclusion.
The Miss.Africa Program recently announced the winners of the second round of Miss.Africa Seed Fund. The Miss.Africa Seed Fund Competition, which is open to all tech start-ups currently supporting women and girls in STEM, provides a total of $7000 seed funding to aspiring techpreneurs.
The 2016/17 competition drew over 200 applications from 24 countries across Africa, all of whom had the opportunity to attend showcase their tech ideas & concepts to match up with the fund criteria. Of the many startups that opted to pitch their ideas, 3 finalist were selected.
Abo Coders, Nigeria won the grand prize of Five Thousand United States Dollars (5000 USD) while Bahir Dar University STEM Center, Ethiopia and Ubongo Game Lab, Zambia emerged as winners of the second One Thousand United States Dollars (1,000 USD) Geographic/Country Category for initiatives that create socio-economic value for women by effectively leveraging tech opportunities.
Speaking at the milestone of Miss.Africa Second Seed Fund round, Ms. Sophia Bekele, founder of the Seed Fund congratulated the winners of the 2016/17 round saying;
“The Miss.Africa Seed Fund supports diversity and creativity. We are very honored to be part of building the tech industry in Africa, particularly of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) value. Every effort counts. To achieve the second round is a milestone for us and we are looking at the lessons we have learned through years to enhance and make the Miss.Africa Seed Fund more rewarding.
We saw over 25 girls train to become mobile and web app developers and more others learning new programing language, as well as developing tech centers and training throughout Africa. This year we look forward to adding more into the system, because if she learns to code #SheTechsAfrica.”