Gender digital divide remains largest in Africa: UN official

KIGALI, May 16 (Xinhua) — The gender digital divide remains largest in Africa, especially in the low income countries, Fatou Lo, UN Women Representative in Rwanda said Thursday.

“When you compare to other regions across the globe, you find that gender digital divide, especially in the use of internet, mobile ownership and computers, remains largest in Africa,” Lo said at a panel session on the sidelines of the 5th edition of Transform Africa Summit in the Rwandan capital Kigali.

Bridging the gender digital divide in low and middle income countries could add up to 140 million U.S. dollars a year to the mobile industry, she said.

Technology can be a great enabler for girls but a lack of opportunities, skills and a fear of discrimination prevent many from embracing the global digital revolution, said the official.

To bridge the gender digital divide gap in Africa, girls and young women need equal access to technology and digital training, she added.

The four-day summit, dubbed Boosting Africa’s Digital Economy, brings together about 4,000 participants including policymakers, regulators, young innovators and officials from Africa.

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