Much hope was invested in Africa’s digital revolution. So far, it hasn’t spread much further than the bigger cities. Women often fail to benefit but young women entrepreneurs are determined to reverse this trend.
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The reality of African digitalization is much different than the optimistic ideal most experts and activists hold. Rather than ushering in an era of radical change, disparities in access and connectivity are forming.
Africa has the second largest mobile phone gender gap, following South Asia. And despite high rates of economic growth, mobile’s contribution to the continent’s GDP has been quite small.
Africa’s digital infrastructure – the availability of internet, television and mobile phone access – remains underdeveloped. The Senegalese government is still drawing up its digital strategy. “Just imagine,” Binta Coudy De told the GMF in Bonn “that means that we haven’t even begun to think about concrete measures.”
Young African entrepreneurs remain optimistic and enthusiastic about digital technology, hoping that one day the projected benefits of greater connectivity will come to fruition.
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