Speeches by the Executive Director
2020 Year of Women of Color!
As the year comes to a close, I would like to express my gratitude for your continued trust and loyalty to DotConnectAfrica Group!Whilst we’ve all faced unprecedented challenges this year that we never imagined, these times have underscored the importance of relationships and connectivity, of humanity and kindness and of strength and resilience.
Let us start with the BREAKING news in December 2020 – The Corona Virus Vaccine Trumps everything else.
January 1, 2020 marked the beginning of a brand-new decade that we and many others looked at with optimism and as a chance at a new lease on life.
Our optimism was however short lived after a stretch of bad events quickly threw our world and our lives into complete chaos and turmoil. In particular the early stages of the COVID-19 global pandemic quickly brought humanity and the global economy that affects us all to its knees.
How DCA tackled the issue in the 2020 crisis?
We were wildly active during these trying times and forged the gratitude track, as we were alive to contribute. The challenge motivated us to even worked tirelessly to sustain, strengthen, and celebrate our global community from a distance. In making sure Africa’s voice is not left behind during such pandemic and lock down measures, we focused to find solutions to the most affected sectors and its existing problems.
As a result, we developed and launched various innovative initiatives, programs and campaigns.
- Early during the hit of the pandemic, DCA ran a highly successful Essay Writing Competition across Africa under the hashtag campaign #stayathomeandbecreative, to motivate students to be active during the government mandated lockdowns.
- Our pioneering 10 year women-in-tech program brought together our seed-fund award program winners, Ambassadors and Girl leaders to virtually celebrate our 5th Year Seed-Fund Award anniversary alongside the International Girls in ICT Day via a WebForum.
- To buttress our Women Empowerment Program, we also launched two other initiatives, FemPower Forum, a digital community networking portal to allow our members and participants to network and have access to capacity building support, advisory and market linkages across Africa. We also launched an accompanying FEMPower Newsletter to share and disseminate relevant information as well as highlight the powerful voices of these women and girls.
- In a desperate urge to connect, share and speak out, which was created by the necessity of the 2020 lock-down, we also launched a hashtag campaign #YourSayYourPart, which became our 2020 signature project under a DCA WebForum. This public virtual video forum allowed us to connect and engage with high level global Senior and Executives to collectively bring their wisdom and experience and share their voices, concerns and hopes about Africa and COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The conversations we prioritized included the seriously impacted sectors of SME , Human Rights, and Women In Finance.
Finally, as you are aware, championing for IoTs is at the heart of DCA. This year we adapted a growth strategy and we have regrouped, reorganized, recruited resources and refocused our DCA’s service offerings to launching various types of web related services to help clients on their digital transformation journey.
Please click on the images below to view the key programs and initiatives we launched:
WELCOME 2021: A YEAR OF HEALING AND HOPE.
I hope your new year is off to a good start.
This new year, as we continue to hold the torch of hope aloft, we must think of ways to build our lives and those around us in an era post-pandemic.
2020 was a year of reflection and recalibration, of asking deep questions about what really matters. A year where we questioned the status quo and confronted the unforgettable. A year full of supersized, negative surprises, where we confronted the uncomfortable, but also raised pertinent issues. In 2021, we can use these issues that challenged us, as a platform to forge common grounds.
One profound lesson we are carrying into 2021 is that those who can adapt easily are often better off than those who can predict the most accurately. Factors outside our control significantly impacted our plans in 2020, forcing us to quickly propel ourselves forward, or get knocked off course. Indeed, having a digital-first mindset put us in a better position to pivot and rise to the challenges.
What’s exciting is that the appetite for IoTs has significantly grown from being viewed as a luxury to becoming a basic necessity.
In 2021, DCA’s main focus will be to help clients on their digital transformation journey through the various types of web related services we are offering, as we also roll out new products of our own.
We encourage you to click on the link below to view the various Internet-centered digital products and services we have on board.
New Year’s Messages
hope your new year has started off to an optimistic note.
I am sure you will agree with me when I said that last year was full of global women on the rise in our 2019 Year end Newsletter , with lots of progress made in both the workforce and the entrepreneurial space. We also reported that our pioneering Women-in Tech program , Miss.Africa Digital for 2019 had an outreach in 12 African countries and we shall keep firing up and expanding our territories to empower women and girls.
There are plenty of reasons to believe 2020 will continue this in force, as we see more even females entrepreneurs on the rise. We are at a unique point of transition and many of the hurdles experienced by women are going to be a thing of the past, meaning the universe is aligning to our favor. The workforce and the entrepreneurial platforms are becoming increasingly diverse as more women, including women of color, seek to make their visions a reality and capitalize on it.
Women – especially women of color, who have been #hiddenfigures j ust like the four trailblazers; Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan who worked at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia, called “human computers ” did the complex calculations that made space travel possible and paved the way for women of color to make history in fields including science, math, and technology.
Today we have many “hidden figures” who would include many African women, which need to be discovered. It could be our moms, sisters, daughters or colleagues.
Despite, as we move forward, there are also the obvious challenges which women have to focus on and try to overcome: Doing it all yourself – working smart not hard , investing in support network, and Work-life-balance, which I advocated for in my 2019 New Year’s newsletter.
While the gender gap is evolving, women have to be cognizant of these challenges and change attitudes and habits to adapt and innovate with impact and purpose. Thus, continue to #InnovateYou . Look around you, what can you give an innovative touch?
2020 is all about soaring higher and doing the “undoable” therefore, our theme this year is ‘ A new way of empowering – Impact and purpose’. Make 2020 work for you!
Thank you for being part of it all, lets walk this space together with confidence and resilience. Read more
Welcome to 2019: Year of Work-Life Balance
It is now 2019. The New Year is always like a blank book, and the pen is in our own hands. It is our opportune moment to write what we want to do for the rest of the year and how we plan to achieve it.
“2018, THE Year of Powering Innovation.” Happy 2018 from DotConnectAfrica
It is my great joy and honor to send this new year foreword to you all as we begin the new year.
2017 proved to be a great year for DCA and 2018 gives the excitement and ray of hope for a prosperous year full of opportunities. 2018 appears to be moving towards the expansion of opportunities in the IoT sector with the best indication going to the disruptive mobile app economy and with our Miss.Africa initiative seed fund through our DCA academy programme, which is interested in the STEM and internet technology adoption that will play a part in enhancing their impact and scalability.
I hope together we will move towards achieving the numerous opportunities that the new year 2018 has to offer.
Welcome to 2017 from Miss.Africa Digital
Get your Miss.Africa Trophy!, Apply for our Miss.Africa Seed Fund
Bravo #entrepreneurship, #innovation, #womenintech #girlpower #STEM4girls
I wish to take this opportunity to wish you all
an achieving fulfilling, peaceful 2017.
Salute 2016 – The Year of “The Women”: A New Year’s Message
Therefore, 2016 comes with such hope and promise. Before the World Economic Forum’s annual talk-shop from the Alps in Davos, Switzerland produces its fantasy list of predictions for the year, I will give mine. I call for the year 2016 to be “Year of The Women”
There are many reasons I came up with this theme, but mostly I feel a sea-change is happening and my global engagement everywhere tells me the Universe is now on the side of women. This is in no way to reject our strongest supporters, men, but to simply acknowledge that women have become more independent, smart, accomplished, finding their new found roles and using it to push the limits of their opportunity confidently and with a great sense of responsibility, and care. And let us not forget women are leading by example.
There is a popular truth say “When you empower a woman you empower a community”.
Welcome 2015 – To the Year of Creative Disruption
In 2015, we are betting on more. Our theme and engagement for 2015 is therefore Creative Disruption, and here is why?
“to act with confidence beyond the range of familiar beacons and to overcome society’s resistance requires aptitude that are present in only small fraction of the population”. Joseph Schumpeter “Father of Creative Destruction”.
We shall continue to lead in 2015, as we weigh in the power of “Creative disruption” as the main driver of our work. We hope you will join us or be there to support us to make that incredible difference in the world we live in!
Welcome 2014 – The year to stay in the ARENA
Our 2014 New Year Resolution is simple: We plan to stay in the ARENA!
Those who watched DCA for the past six year know very well DCA has been fighting a gauntlet fight, as is called in wrestling, with its many opponents – what a vast majority of people have mostly observed as chaotic, a match without a referee, or a game without any rules. Therefore, I could not help but relate with this quote:
” It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles; or where the doer of the deeds could have done them better.
The Credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Finally, with the President’s quote above that inspired me so much amongst many, I ask all of you Champions to stay with us this year in the “.Africa ARENA”, and support our worthy cause, because we are not fighting for a “.africa”, we are fighting for Africa and I promise you, we will deliver!
Welcome 2013 – The Year of Internet Governance:
A number of significant victories were achieved that hold DCA’s principles in 2012, to include the UN Declaration for Human Rights for Free Speech, the significant, landmark opposition to Internet Regulation by WCIT-12 conference, and for our .africa, defeat of our opponents on the .dotafrica string issue, when ICANN approved our change request. All with your support!
Our 2013 Resolution is simple: a free and open .africa and internet!
Welcome 2012 – The Year for new gTLDs
One of our most significant victories scored during 2011 was to defeat the proposal to include DotAfrica and similar namestrings in any language in the Top-Level Reserved Names List. We note with pride that ICANN listened to our arguments and did not agree with those who wanted the DotAfrica name to be reserved and seperately negotiated outside the ICANN new gTLD programme.
Looking forward to 2012 – our New Year resolution is clear; Read more
2011 New Year’s Messages
We’ve organized, traveled across continents, spoken, promoted, panelled, launched, continue to get consensus and also work across the aisle. When faced with unreasonable challenges, we have fought for what is right and succeeded. All with your support Read more
Happy Holidays December 2010 Newsletter
This year, 2010, was a year to remember and has been a productive one for DotConnectAfrica (DCA) and there is much more to come in the next several months. It was also a year that has embedded in it lots of clues about the risks and opportunities that lie ahead, which we want to be sure to mine.
Speeches and Presentations
- Sophia Bekele in coversation with Bloomberg TV, as women-in-tech. Watch October 8, 2020
- “African Women’s Forum “, Bekele Stresses Opening Up The Business Sector To Women And Youth In The Age Of The Digital Revolution at the 2019 Crans Montana Forum, Brussels, Belgium on November 14 to 16, 2019
- Bekele Shares on on Business Ethics: “The Market has no Morality” at the SF ISACA Chapter 2019 Fall Conference
- Bekele Shares on “Crafting Coalitions for Change, Time for Trust at the EurAfrican Forum, Cascais, Portugal on 10th Oct 2018
- Bekele speaks on “Building digital competencies to benefit from existing and emerging technologies, with a special focus on gender and youth dimensions.” at the 21st session of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), hosted by UNCTAD at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, on 15th May 2018 (Download Panel Presentation [PDF])
- Promoting learning for employment and entrepreneurship, Bekele Speaks on Continuous learning, Entrepreneurship and Employment. at the UNESCO’s Third International Conference on Learning Cities, Ireland, on 18th to 20th September, 2017. (Download Panel Presentation [PDF])
- “Special African Women’s Forum”, Bekele Shares Key Issues and Challenges on Strengthening Women’s influence in the necessary change of their society at the Crans Montaba Forum, Barcelona, Spain on July 5 to 8, 2017
- Sophia Bekele Shares Key Issues and Challenges on Africa’s Innovation ad IT industry with Portugal Leadership at the EurAfrican Forum, 14th Oct. 2016, Cascais, Portugal. Read
- Sophia Bekele provides Thought Leadership on a Keynote Panel at the 2nd Quantum Global Advisory Board Symposium, 19th Nov. 2015, Zurich, Switzerland Read
- Sophia Bekele speaks on Business Ethics and her recent Moral & Legal victory over the global internet governance body, ICANN, 1st Oct, 2015 Lincoln University, Oakland California Read
- Sophia Bekele speaks at White-House/USAID organized African Diaspora Leadership, GES-Global Entrepreneurship Summit, 8th July 2015 in San Francisco, USA Read more
- SOLDOUT #HaasABF2015: Keynote: Sophia Bekele heralds “Africa’s Digital Opportunity is NOW ” Read
- Sophia Bekele gives Opening Remarks on ACCESS UNESCO Connecting Dots Conference, March 3, 2015, Paris France Read more
- Sophia Bekele gives a Keynote: “P.U.S.H. to CHANGE AFRICA” at 2014 CUNY Young African Leadership Symposium (YALS) CUNY, New York, United States. Read See presentation (PDF)
- Sophia Bekele Weighs in on Obama’s August US-Africa Leader Summit at the NYF Africa Read more
- DotConnectAfrica Executive Briefing Note at the ICANN-42 Public Forum Meeting at Dakar, Senegal Read
- Sophia Bekele speaks at the New Domains Conference on ‘How to Successfully Build a Community around your TLD’, Munich, Germany Read
- Sophia Bekele speaks at World Affairs Council Freedom of Information as a Human Right Read
- Sophia Bekele CEO of DotConnectAfrica speaks at the launch of the official “.africa” campaign at the AITEC ICT Summit Read
- The “.africa” name re-branding Africa at the World Cup, South Africa Read
- The “.Africa” domain presented at Libya’s premier e-government event Read
- “.Africa” at AITEC West Africa Read
- DotConnectAfrica CEO statement to ICANN public forum, Cartegena, Colombia Read
- DotConnectAfrica CEO invited to present the “.africa” project at AITEC Africa, in Nairobi, Kenya Read