As part of Orange Botswana’s commitment to championing innovation and technology for socio-economic progress, the leading mobile network through the Orange Foundation launched a Women’s Digital Centre (WDC) in the heart of Selebi-Phikwe. The initiative sees concrete measures being taken to sustainably and meaningfully empower women, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It underscores in particular the need to significantly accelerate the pace of progress when it comes to women’s full and inclusive participation and leadership at all levels of innovation delivery.
The initiative is designed to deliver literacy, micro-entrepreneurial skills and training modules to women in disadvantaged situations. It further aims to teach women basic management and promote digital inclusion by providing them with technical equipment such as computers, laptops, projectors, tablets, printers and USBs, teaching them to use these digital tools as well as basic software familiarity. The overarching goal of the Women’s Digital Centres is to give women a platform to gain knowledge and even own businesses, thus creating employment for other women. Orange Botswana donated 30 tablets, 30 headsets, 10 laptops 1 printer with 4 additional cartridges, Projector and projector screen, 2 servers and 100 USBs.
Said Orange Botswana CEO, Néné Maïga, “This is a core initiative under Orange Foundation and it aims to improve the employability of women as well as their financial independence. This program is designed to deliver ICT literacy, micro-entrepreneurial skills training modules to women in disadvantaged situations. It further aims to teach women basic business management and promote digital inclusion by providing them with technical equipment to help them become financially independent, thus owning businesses that create employment for other women.”
The Women’s Digital Center project was launched in 2018 in partnership with Humana People to People (HPP) in Ghanzi. The following year (2019) an additional centre was opened in Molepolole in partnership with Project Concern International (PCI). The third centre was opened in 2020 in Mabele village in the Chobe area in partnership with Project Concern International.
“Orange Botswana is a passionate advocate for the full participation of women in the economy of the country. That is why we have made the commitment to leverage the women of Selebi-Phikwe to meet their community’s needs, as a way to add to the efforts of addressing the pressing challenges of economic inequality. These commitments shape a progressive and transformative blueprint for advancing gender equality, human rights and the overall empowerment of women,” said Maïga.