Gender divide blights Ghana digital transformation

digital-transformation-boomFrom RUSSEL ADADEVOH IN Accra, Ghana
ACCRA, (CAJ News) – THE private sector and government have been urged to collaborate and address the gender gap in mobile phone ownership and access to the internet in Ghana.
There is a gender gap of approximately 16 percent in mobile phone ownership and 17 percent in the use of mobile money services, with an even higher gap of 56 percent in use of the internet.
There are 2,5 million fewer women online than men in the country of 28 million.
Mobile Special Group Association (popularly known as GSMA), however, noted mobile operators were working to tackle this through programmes such as the GSMA Connected Women Commitment initiative.
Experts said government could take steps to address this issue by integrating gender equality targets and key performance indicators into strategies, policies, plans and budgets, involving women and local communities.
The recommendations are carried in a report the GSMA has launched in partnership with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) at a high-level roundtable between the Government of Ghana and mobile industry leaders on Monday.
Akinwale Goodluck, GSMA Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, said mobile offered the most widespread and inclusive means of accessing the internet and digital technologies, which are vital to the Ghanaian economy and its growth in an increasingly connected world.
“Mobile is the key to unlocking digital transformation and I am very excited about future potential and to see our member operators building on the good work already started, through the dialogue they have undertaken today,” Goodluck said.
Philip Smith, Head of DFID Ghana and Liberia, said mobile technology was vital for sustainable development across a wide range of government sectors and departments.
The meeting, held in partnership with DFID, the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications and the United Nations Development Programme discussed how the Western African country could advance digital and economic inclusion through mobile.
Participants signed a communiqué committing to maximise opportunities for mobile to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a range of areas including agriculture, gender equality, financial service access, innovation and entrepreneurship.
– Technoafrica

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