Intel has launched a new digital literacy campaign under its “She Will Connect” initiative to reach 5 million African women and therefore halve the gender gap in technology in the sub-Saharan African region by 2016.

Collaborating with The Rockefeller Foundation, Safari Connect, The Youth Banner and USAID, Intel aims to enroll about 2,000 Kenyan females in the program by the end of this year. The training will start in 35 pasha centers across 27 Kenyan counties and feature a unique self-tutoring syllabus called Intel Learn Easy Steps to help participants improve their use of digital technology.

The rich training programme is expected to empower the participants sufficiently to enable them venture into entrepreneurship or get employed.

“One of our mandates as an authority is to develop ICT skills and capacity in order to serve Kenyans better. We are championing this through partnerships, investment and infrastructure growth. Partners and initiatives like ‘Intel Will Connect Program’ are essential if we are to achieve our development agenda. This program particularly marries with our goal of taking ICT to the marginalized and under-served through Pasha Centers,” said Victor Kyalo, Acting Chief Executive of the ICT Authority, at the launch of the campaign.

Last year, Intel released a “Women and the Web” report which exposed the huge gender gap in technology. Critiquing access and utilization of the internet in low and middle income countries, the report revealed that 25 percent fewer women than men are online in developing regions.

Suraj Shah, Africa Programs Director, Intel Corporation, noted that the initiative was designed to enable the women access the opportunities embedded in emerging technologies.

“The opportunities associated with women gaining access to the Internet include improvements in self-esteem and expression, expanding their social and political participation, providing new skills that enable them to obtain formal education, become entrepreneurs, secure employment, and have access to information as well as new connections within their communities and beyond,” he said.

By Emmanuel Iruobe

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