Africa celebrates use of tech by female climate activists
50 young African women engineers and innovators across the continent have developed technologies to fight climate change.
The Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) acting executive secretary, Antonio Pedro, celebrated them at the 9th Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development in Niger this week.
The breakthrough by the young women comes at a time when Africa and rest of the world is grappling with the adverse effects of climate change and adaptation.
While Africa has contributed negligibly to the changing climate, with just about two to three percent of global emissions, it stands out disproportionately as the most vulnerable region in the world, according to the United Nations Environmental Programme.
25 young women were recognised for their exceptional skills in robotics and IOT, animation, gaming, web development, 3D printing and Turtle Stich.
Pedro expressed ECA’s desire of Africa producing more female scientists, who can contribute to the fourth industrial revolution and instil confidence in other young women on the continent.
He spoke the ECA’s connected African girls’ initiative, which was created to reduce the digital gender gap by equipping young African women with necessary basic skills to achieve long term success in digital education, employment and entrepreneurship.
This, he said, is done through creating an enabling environment for collaborative efforts and innovation.
Pedro reaffirmed the importance of gender equality, saying it was “a fundamental human rights issue as it catalyses multiple effects on socio-economic development.”
Also, he emphasised the role Information and Communications Technology sector plays in promoting gender equality and women empowerment, as stated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal five.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number five, among other things, impresses upon the world to find female mentors or leaders, adding there’s a lot to learn from women in positions of authority.
“It is unthinkable that in Africa, the digital revolution will take place without young people and women,” Pedro said.
Speaking at the same event, International Telecommunication Union regional director for Africa Anne-Rachel Inne was impressed by the technology and innovation developed by the young women.
In her tribute to them, she made a point of forging partnerships that would see technologies and innovation deployed to the rural areas where it is needed the most.
“Most of our population in general is rural. In the majority of our countries, about 60 to 80 percent of the population is rural. If you are going to take technology that doesn’t mean anything to them then you have a problem in appropriation. You have a problem in making it work and making it sustainable.”