The Miss.Africa Digital program – the first Pan-African program for women in technology, is a gender-focused initiative targeted mainly at female youth audiences throughout the African continent, to increase their personal involvement in early technology use and adoption with a view to improving their digital self-awareness and empowerment, and overall self-esteem.
It is aimed in attracting more young girls and women to the Internet platform to enable them form a sizable demographic of Internet users in Africa, thereby involving them in complementary gender development initiatives that improve the lives of young girls and women through digital inclusion.
The Miss.Africa program aims at sign up young ladies and women interested in being part of the Miss.Africa program and these volunteers will be in a position to attend forums that Miss.Africa will hold, host or will be invited to, among other things, as part of their curriculum. This will serve as an opportunity for the young ladies to create networks, travel and increase their knowledge on Domains, Internet Governance and other internet related issues, but not limited to these.
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To enlighten ladies about the technology industry through mentorship programs, outreach enhancement initiatives, leadership engagement opportunities and technology centered learning to create an all-rounded lady for the African market place.
Opening the technological world to African women
How this will be achieved:
- Having a curriculum in which the ladies will follow
- Networking dinners with different people working in the ICT sector around Africa
- Participation in The Annual Miss.Africa gala to recognize and award the ladies who have stood out during the program
- Outreach community Initiatives (going to different schools and marginalized areas to educate other young people about technology and the internet)
- Mentoring programs where those in the industry get to mentor the ladies
- Partnerships with different like-minded organizations and companies
The program was first launched and publicized by the Yes2dotAfrica Campaign during the ICANN 41 meeting in Singapore in June 2011, by Ms. Sophia Bekele, and it received much support at the conference.
Miss.Africa then later added volunteers to the program who, as a result, were able to attend and participate in the ICANN Dakar Public Forum. This gave the volunteers an opportunity to network, learnt more about domains and also about other pertinent issues at the center of Internet governance and policy deliberations.
After the forum in Dakar, the Miss.Africa program was moved to its current location in Nairobi and continues to grow by connecting more ladies from other countries in Africa to technology.