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To address the Digital Gender Divide: Elba Sierra Leone hosts digital ‘Her Conference’

HomeNewsTo address the Digital Gender Divide: Elba Sierra Leone hosts digital ‘Her...

To address the Digital Gender Divide: Elba Sierra Leone hosts digital ‘Her Conference’

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Elba Sierra Leone Limited, sponsored by Africell, Eco Bank, Rokel Commercial Bank, Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, and PCS Group, proudly hosted the 2nd Digital Her Conference on Thursday, March 21st, 2024. The event, held at the 10th Floor of the Freetown City Council Building, marked a significant effort to address the digital gender divide and empower women in Sierra Leone’s burgeoning digital landscape.

Sierra Leone stands on the cusp of a digital revolution with vast potential to improve financial inclusion, access to services, job creation, and economic growth. However, amidst these opportunities, a growing digital gender gap threatens to leave women behind. Recognizing this challenge, the Digital Her Conference aimed to catalyze action and bridge this divide.

The conference highlighted Sierra Leone’s progress in digital development, with mobile internet penetration doubling from 13 percent in 2014 to an estimated 30 percent in 2021. Additionally, the country has witnessed a significant rise in internet users, social media usage, and adoption of digital financial services. Despite these advancements, disparities persist, particularly concerning women’s access and skills in the digital realm.

Edleen Elba, Managing Director of Elba SL Ltd, underscored the conference’s mission to empower women and foster innovation. “Digital Her is a platform to unlock women’s potential, foster innovation, and narrow the digital gap,” she stated. The event featured a diverse lineup of national and international speakers exploring topics such as Government initiatives supporting women’s entrepreneurship, digitization’s role in economic growth and essential digital skill acquisition.

Acknowledging the sponsors’ support and the conference’s focus on women, Edleen Elba emphasized the importance of collective action in addressing existing barriers. Reflecting on her own experiences in business, she highlighted challenges such as access to affordable internet, bureaucratic hurdles and the need for digital skill development.

The conference attracted prominent leaders in African tech and innovation, including Keynote Speaker Efe Ukala, recognized for her advocacy for women’s empowerment, and Guest Speaker, Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, renowned for bridging the digital divide in Nigeria. Their insights underscored the imperative of inclusivity and technological advancement for women’s economic empowerment.

The event, featuring diverse sessions and interactive discussions, provided a platform for stakeholders to strategize on fostering women’s participation in Sierra Leone’s digital economy. Online viewers engaged via YouTube, enriching the dialogue on women’s professional and business growth in the digital era.

Looking ahead, the Digital Her initiative aims to further enhance women’s inclusion through initiatives such as a comprehensive online platform showcasing local businesses and legal frameworks. As Sierra Leone accelerates its digital transformation, ensuring women’s equal participation remains essential for realizing the country’s full potential.

The 2nd Digital Her Conference served as a rallying point for stakeholders to reaffirm their commitment to women’s empowerment and digital inclusion in Sierra Leone. With concerted efforts and collaborative partnerships, the nation moves closer to realizing a more equitable and prosperous digital future.

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