Kenya-based Akili Dada to benefit from Google’s $ 40 million grant kitty

Kenya’s Akili Dada, which supports young female leaders through education, mentoring and leadership training, is among 11 organizations selected to benefit from Google’s $ 40 million grant which covers areas of education, technology for social good and how to end modern day slavery.

Akili Dada, an international Nairobi-based non-governmental organization (NGO) which focuses on provision of education opportunities for young girls by building networks with other women’s rights organizations both in Kenya and across Africa, is among the grant recipients for 2012.

All of the 11 of the selected grantee organisations are working in Africa, and will receive grants worth over $ 5.8 million. Through the scheme, Google is supporting programs that focus on girls’ education in the developing world. The programme recognizes that giving a girl an education improves not only her chances of lifelong success but also for her entire family and community.

Akili Dada is to receive $ 100,000 to support 19 high impact young African women leaders in its four-year Akili Dada Leadership Program which provides comprehensive and competitive scholarships, personalized mentoring, and rigorous leadership training with the goal of fostering transformative young leaders to catalyze change in Kenya and across Africa.

Other grant recepients are listed below:

–          Camfed: $ 2 million to provide 2,500 girls with a comprehensive package of support for a year of secondary school in rural Tanzania and provide safety net fund grants, educational resources and training to female teacher mentors in 200 secondary schools, as well as financial management and monitoring training to community groups. The funds will also support the roll out of an end-to-end digital (mobile-based) monitoring and evaluation system across 10 districts in Tanzania for all of Camfed’s programs.

–          African Leadership Academy (South Africa-based with Africa operations) – $ 500,000 to support 20 new African female young leaders for ALA’s 2 year leadership program South Africa.

–          Omega Schools Foundation (UK-based with Africa operations) – $ 250,000 to create a long-term self-sustainable chain of ten private schools in the slums of Freetown, Sierra Leone, together with a scholarship fund to enable girls from the poorest families to attend the schools.

–          Switchboard (US-based with operations in Liberia, Ghana, Tanzania) – $ 250,000 to create a free calling network for 1,300 doctors and 44,000 nurses (serving 44 million people) in Tanzania. This will allow medical professionals in the country to better communicate with each other and allow the government to send bulk SMS messages to them and collect data from them.

–          iLab Liberia (Liberia-based) – $ 250,000 to expand programming to create a web development curriculum for high school students and start intermediate and advanced free and open source software (FOSS) trainings. Part of the money would also be used to upgrade the lab’s VSAT connection and teach technology classes in conjunction with Leymah Gbowee, a recent Nobel Peace Prize winner.

–          Vittana (US-based with Africa operations) – $ 250,000 to develop improved technology for making microfinance student loans in the developing world and measure actual impact on students, which will help improve loan offerings and ensure they are individually effective and commercially viable. Vittana will make 3,000 loans in 2012, with over 95 per cent repayment rate.

–          Inveneo:  (US-based with Africa operations) – $ 2 million to establish a team of experts to assess, design and spearhead rural broadband initiatives in multiple settings; build a collaborative alliance of tech companies and organizations that brings together broader capacity to accelerate delivery of rural broadband; deepen the framework required to deploy broadband, which entails developing IT tools and entrepreneur training modules, navigating regulatory environments, negotiating among service providers and establishing turnkey billing and network management solutions to enable rural broadband models to delivered in developing countries.

–          Engineers without Borders Canada (Canada-bas

Akili Dada founder and Executive Director Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg with young girls selected to the organisation's leadership academy

ed with Africa operations) – $ 250,000 to accelerate the development of rural infrastructure in Ghana and Malawi by increasing the effectiveness, responsiveness and efficiency of district government planning, project execution and maintenance operations.



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