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 -

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Google's Equiano subsea cable lands on SA shores

Google’s Equiano subsea cable, which seeks to connect Europe to Africa via the ocean, has made its final stop landing in Melkbosstrand, Western Cape, South Africa.


Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.

More Innovation hub

Africa Tech Perspectives


Women in Tech: Spotlight on inclusivity with Digital Council Africa's Juanita Clark

Digital Council Africa founder and CEO, Juanita Clark, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and what needs to be done to make the tech industry intentionally inclusive.


Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.


Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Partner perspectives

5G is lighting up the future of North Africa
By Chris Meng, VP of Huawei Northern Africa Carrier Business Department

The moving target that is telecoms fraud
By Clémentine Fournier, Regional VP Sales, Africa, BICS

How mobile operators in Africa can address signalling threats and secure the network
By Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud and Security at BICS

All Partner Perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.


Omdia View: May 2022

By Omdia Analysts

SpaceX-owned Starlink's plans to launch a satellite broadband service in Africa was a major highlight in May 2022, says Omdia's analysts.

More Guest Perspectives

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival
November 7-11, 2022
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Flash poll

All polls

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up