From CTA, Netherlands
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are promoted as an equaliser of opportunities – but this is not always the case for women. Several African initiatives are demonstrating the critical contribution that information and knowledge can make to increase agricultural productivity and run a profitable agribusiness.
Women make up just 25% of the global population with access to the internet. Africa has the widest gap in internet use between men and women, and only 22% of the overall population is online, according to the World Wide Web Foundation. African governments need to boost investments in programmes to reduce the growing gender digital divide, says the Foundation.
Thanks to digital innovation however, some women entrepreneurs in Africa are already transforming agriculture and agribusiness through knowledge sharing, skills training and access to effective markets.
“Agriculture is the future and ICTs are a key platform to including women in agribusiness through skills training, mentorship and access to markets,” says agripreneur and director of the African Women Agribusiness Network (AWAN) Beatrice Gakuba, who runs a successful flower export business.
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, AWAN supports women in agriculture in entering global markets through leadership and management training and networking opportunities. The network has more than 300 members across Eastern and Southern Africa. “We empower our members with information to access effective markets. We get women in agribusiness together physically and online,” says Gakuba. “Virtual platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have helped us to network and share information and knowledge exchange on trade opportunities.” Read more …