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Orange launches 6th Women’s Digital Centre to tackle gender disparity in tech

Orange Botswana, through Orange Foundation, launched its 6th Women’s Digital Centre (WDC) in Chobe to bridge the digital gender and power gap, with a focus on employment and financial empowerment.

The new centre will cater for up to 60 women in Botswana’s tourism hub, many of whom remain marginalised from mainstream economic activity.

The Chobe WDC, located at Kazungula, will provide ICT literacy and micro-entrepreneurial skills training modules to disadvantaged women in the community.

Orange Botswana has donated tablets, laptops, headsets, server equipment and USBs to the new centre.

The company has also committed to ICT and entrepreneurial skills training, as well as financial literacy.

Orange Botswana Director of Legal Affairs and Corporate Affairs, Lepata Mafa-Nthomola, said, “Gender equality is a right recognised by the United Nations across the world; however, it is a long way from being applied everywhere in the same way. Even in Botswana, despite great efforts being made, we cannot confidently say we are where we need to be; where the women of Botswana deserve to be.”

Mafa-Nthomola added that the WDC is a tried and tested model that allows the country to create shared value and impact in a sustainable manner, “moving us as a nation closer to bridging the digital and indeed access gap, and ensuring we are that much closer to becoming a more knowledge-based economy… it is about digital solidarity for progress, and indeed, with a purpose.”

According to Mafa-Nthomola, women account for over 50% of Botswana’s population and Orange plans to mobilise WDCs to make a change in this regard.

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