Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Digital Inclusion

Orange, UN Women support digital inclusion in West Africa

Article Image
Pan-African telecoms operator Orange and UN Women are joining forces to support digital inclusion and economic empowerment for women in rural West Africa.

They are collaborating on UN Women's "Buy from Women" initiative, which gives women living in rural areas access to digital technology and new market opportunities, but also provides information, weather warnings and digital financial services. This initiative helps boost the productivity and income of businesses and farms run by women.

"Buy from Women" has already been implemented in ten countries across the world and Orange will be collaborating in Liberia and Mali. Other African countries where the project is running or is about to launch include South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire.

In addition to the financial assistance given to the project to bolster these initiatives, Orange and the Orange Foundation will offer unique technical expertise, their network and their existing infrastructure in digital skills, technologies and digital inclusion.

"Women's economic empowerment is a crucial element for UN Women. It is also more broadly a major driver of emancipation and a means of safeguarding women's human rights. 'Buy from Women' is a flagship initiative that opens up a full range of possibilities for women living in rural areas who are often not familiar with technology, to support them in the driving role they can play in favor of sustainable development," said Fanny Benedetti, executive director for UN Women France.

Success stories

In Mali, the initiative has already helped 1,500 women to market and sell their products including shea nuts, cereals, vegetables, jewelry and hygiene products and given them access to online training. The partnership with Orange in Mali will now also offer technical, financial and human resources to expand the offering and assist an additional 400 women.

In Liberia, adaptation of the "Buy from Women" platform to the local context is almost complete. A pilot project with women's cooperatives working in the cassava and cereal value chains has already proved successful and over time, this initiative and its developments plan to help support 1,200 rural women across the country.

Two Orange Foundation Women's Digital Centers (WDC) in Liberia are also training women, who are not familiar with new technologies, to use digital tools and platforms and will help specifically with digital knowledge for the "Buy from Women" platform.

"As the leading continent for female entrepreneurship and in the front line against the climate emergency, Africa's resilience is an incentive to pursue the partnership between Orange and UN Women to improve conditions for women in rural areas with the help of digital tools," said Elizabeth Tchoungui, executive director for CSR at Orange and deputy chair of the Orange Foundation.

The initiative aims to help support women's resilience to disasters in rural areas – with improved risk coverage, weather forecasting and warnings and advice on how to adapt farming with climate change.

It is also focusing on women's access to renewable energy in rural areas – this includes financing of pay-as-you-go solar systems and building women's skills in the energy sector.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Technology woman photo created by wirestock - www.freepik.com.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Video

Interview: Qualcomm execs on mentorship for African startups

Qualcomm Technology VP for Engineering, Sudeepto Roy, and Elizabeth Migwalla, VP for Government Affairs, join Connecting Africa for a video interview about Qualcomm's Make in Africa Mentorship Program.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

Story

Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.

Story

Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up